Quick Tips To Reduce Data Usage

Quick Tips To Reduce Data Usage

With great mobile technology comes great responsibility.

As smartphones are becoming smarter, giving us more ways to do everyday things such as banking, catching up on the daily news, entertaining us on long commutes and research, costs are rising as more data is being consumed.

It’s becoming increasingly important for us to constantly monitor our data usage, especially with some apps out there consuming large amounts of data without your knowledge. Before you know it, you receive a large bill for exceeding your monthly data allowance, leaving you to wonder where you went wrong.

If there was a way for you to not only keep track of how much data you’ve used so far, but also to see which apps are data friendly or data intensive, wouldn’t that be great? What if, in addition to that, there was a way for you to surf the web and have a third party compress the amount of data you used?

Everyone likes to avoid large bills, so we thought we’d share these two tools to help you reduce your data usage for both iOS and Android devices.

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Opera Mini 7

If you’re concerned about the amount of data you use while surfing the web, how does saving about 90% on data costs sound? That what the makers of the Opera Mini 7 (Opera Software) believe their product can offer you.

Opera Mini 7 available free for both iOSAndroid and Blackberry, compresses web data and images (in the cloud) before delivering the content to your smartphone, ultimately reducing the amount of mobile broadband used. The browser uses only a tenth of the bandwidth of other browsers and compresses web pages by up to 90%, according to the site.

With this all these great data savings, you might be sceptical as to whether the browser will perform. Not to worry, you don’t have to compromise performance for data savings with Opera Mini 7, in fact in a study conducted by CIO, Opera Mini 7 is one of the fastest browsers available. The browser runs smoothly and offers all of the conventional features of a web browser such as:

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    • Tabbed Browsing
    • Pinch to zoom
    • URL auto completion
    • Text wrapping to optimise webpages originally developed for larger screens to fit onto the smaller screens of smartphones
    • Most visited websites visually displayed on the home screen
    • Bookmarks, favourites, search engines can be backed up and synchronised to access on other devices.
    • Offline Viewing
    • Kinetic Scrolling
    • Download Manager

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There are also other versions of the Opera Browser available for Mac, PC & Linux systems.

Onavo Extend

If you are looking for more than just data compression, Onavo might have just the thing for you. In a bid to become the “Opera for everything”, Onavo has developed an app for iOS and Android (only available for Android 4.0 ICS), which will compress data for not only web pages but apps as well.

In a similar vein to Opera, Onavo uses a cloud-based service that intercepts data (from both web pages and apps) and compresses the data using specialised algorithms. The app can save you up to 80% on your data usage, as well as allowing you to monitor your data usage monthly. The data usage report feature works both in Australia and overseas, which will help you avoid large data bills for both local and roaming.

 

The app also contains a dashboard, which shows you the most data intensive apps.

There are a variety of customisation options available, such as:

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  • Only receiving the monthly data usage reports, no compression
  • Temporarily stop data from being compressed
  • Set desired image quality
  • Choose which elements to compress e.g. everything but email
  • Reset the data usage counter

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While this app is great for compressing data from both apps and webpages, it currently cannot compress video or internet calls. It also only compresses data you receive, so when sending data you will have to consciously monitor what you are sending.

Onavo Extend is currently free, however the company plans to later start charging a per-month fee for its compression service. It is expected for the monthly cost to be less than $10, however this is determined according to the customer’s situation (e.g. whether they are using international roaming or local).

Onavo also offers a secondary app called Onavo Count exclusively for devices running versions of the Android OS other than 4.0 ICS. Onavo Count does not compress data, but rather serves solely as a data monitoring tool. The app’s features include:

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  • Widgets: Set of three widgets to monitor data usage, including a Live Data Usage widget, which shows which apps are currently using data.
  • Alerts & Warnings: Receive updates on which apps are hogging your data, when you are approaching your data limit, as well as predicting when you will reach your monthly data limit.
  • Restrict apps: You can restrict specific apps to only operate using wi-fi, or you can also choose to completely block your 3G data once you have exceeded your limit to avoid large data bills.

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