Simple Tricks to help manage your data on Android

Last Updated on December 5, 2015

Having a smartphone is very cool but maintaining it becomes coolest. I overheard a conversation between two people and here is the excerpt “Since i bought this phone, i have been spending so much money eh. It consumes my money plus my data. How do I manage data” The other replied “Hmm, I am telling you. These big phones are really for big people. I just went and bought a Nokia touch dedicated to making calls”. My friend was complaining to me “Chuks, Please help change my Samsung Galaxy S4 ROM because my 3GB of data bundle almost exhausted within the first week”.I believe you once complained about this lol.

It is no new thing that smartphones like Android smartphones with their increasingly data-hungry applications both bloatware and third party apps from Play Store or external sources to blow through your data plan bundle and incur coverage charges. Here in Nigeria, most network providers are generally stingy with their data plans. Some of them that advertise unlimited data usually have a soft cap around 1.5GB and reserve the right to charge you if you break through it.

With Android, there are plenty of apps, data restricting settings and personal considerations to help minimize the rate at which these data sucking apps chop off your monthly budget on data bundle. With the proper configurations, this article will help using data at a much slower rate.

Personal Management

Your use of data determines what data plan to purchase. Purchasing a data bundle of 500MB wouldn’t be a good advice to someone that loves Watching streaming videos on YouTube or Vevo, Live radio/music streaming, Live Sports, Checking Addresses on Google map etc. I think adding extra 3.25GB of data to your monthly usage will be okay. But if you are a type that does Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and checks few mail with less attachment will be okay at 500MB.

Type of Apps Installed

Installing apps like YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, Spinlet will make use of your data whether you’re actively using them or not. They’re checking for updates, running ads, and refreshing your user contents in the background. The good intentions are there, but most times, the conveniences these practices bring don’t outweigh the depleted data reserves. Uninstalling these apps will be a good step.

Disable Location Access

This enable Google to collects your location and ready to be shared by apps that request for it. It drains data by doing this. It is recommended that you turn it off. Open your phone’s settings, scroll down to “Location Access”, Now, tap to untick “Access to my location”. It’s done. Settings > Location access > Access to my location. By doing this, you may not get updates for your current location and accessing Google map.

Disable Backup & Reset

This feature helps back up your application data, WLAN passwords and other settings to Google servers. This can be nice whenever you reinstall apps, the settings and its data earlier backup will be restored but it will require a data connection to restore. With our little data budget, it is recommended to disable this. Open Settings , then scroll down to Backup & Reset, now tap to untick “Back up my data”. This chapter is done. Settings > Backup & Reset.

Configure in-app data settings

Many apps ping servers in the background to keep their content updated. For instance, Google+ backs up your photos and videos as they’re captured, while Mint can be configured to refresh banking data, Facebook that checks your daily camera rolls and synchronize your calendar with messenger contacts.

These conveniences are great, but they come at a cost, so dive into the app settings and disable the data-sucking options you don’t absolutely need.

Update apps on Wi-Fi only

This let you update your apps to the recent releases. You could choose to receive updates then update them either with Wi-fi or data. To help you manage data,this article encourages that you set it to Wifi only. Open Google Play store and tap Menu > Settings > Auto-update apps. Here, be sure that “Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only” is selected. You also have the option to choose “Do not auto-update apps,” but it’s less preferable, since you’ll have to remember to update apps manually.

Restrict background data

To restrict background data, go to Settings > Data Usage, and scroll down to reveal a list of apps with accompanying data usage stats.

Then, tap an app to view its usage data, and take a look at the two numbers next to the pie chart. “Foreground” refers to the data used when you’re actively using the app, while “Background” reflects the data used when the app is running in the background.

If you notice an app is using too much background data, scroll down to the bottom and check “Restrict background data.” Just note that this setting overrides any conflicting app behavior (like an app that would otherwise update your bank account info every few hours).

Monitor data usage

One of the most useful Android features is the Data Usage tool. With it, you can view your monthly activity, see which apps demand the most megabytes, and configure usage warnings. Example is Opera Max, Onavo count, Data manager

Compress all data activity

As an absolute last resort, Firewall blocker takes a step further by actively compressing almost all incoming data. With apps like Avast anti-virus, DroidWall blocks all incoming data request or usage by either configuring it to use either data or Wifi.

Using a lite web browser

Mobile web browsers like Opera mini and UC browser help compress and manage data before they are received. It will be a good step choosing these lite browsers to Chrome, Stock web browsers, firefox etc.

Avast Anti-virus
Required : **Rooted phone..Learn how to root

Download Avast anti-virus here.
Now open the app, tap on “MORE TOOLS”, select “FIREWALL”. Tap on “Enable Firewall” to turn it on.
Note: You can block all apps from accessing your data on any mode. There are 3 modes (Wifi, 3G, Edge). The recommended apps to turn off are
*Android System, Settings storage, Google Play Services, Google services fraework, Network solutions.


Download droidwall here
Open DroidWall, it has two blocking modes (Wi-fi and 3G).
Tap on any mode you wish to block apps from. You can select the apps you selected in Avast anti-virus.

You either use Avast Anti-virus Firewall or DroidWall.

I believe the name Smartphone is a part of mobile phone’s responsiveness to activities within the phone, Email sync, Social App notifications, Streaming of videos, cloud backup and storage etc and that is what makes life with Android phones interesting. Blocking apps from accessing our data is never our own intention but it is a practice to help manage life.

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