iPhone Data Usage – Issue Solved?

posted in: Gadgets & Tech | 4

Back in October I wrote a lengthy post about the mysterious data usage I had on my iPhone 4 since I got it.

Here it is: http://splodzblogz.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/mysterious-iphone-data-usage/

As you will know, I found that in a matter of a few days I had used just about all of my data allowance for October… unexpectidly and unknowingly – it was very frustrating.  I wasn’t really sure why but after some investigation the main culprits appeared to be advertisements in apps (games and twitter mainly) and multitasking (apps using my data connection while running in the background).  Others seemed to agree these might be causing the issue, so I re-set my iPhone, stopped using apps with ads, made sure apps were completely closed rather than just sleeping.  I was checking my data usage every single day (yes, I know, quite anal) and it was going up but one, maybe two MB in each 24 hours.  Some days I didn’t use my data connection at all (I was intentionally cutting back to make sure I got to the end of the month within my limit).

I just about did it… my bill earlier this month stated that I used 532MB of data in total last month. 450MB of that was in the first six days!  Interestingly I haven’t been charged for the 32MB I went over my data limit, nor did I lose 3G or get cut off data completely – all three were suggestions given to me by different O2 reps when I asked them what would happen.  Maybe I didn’t go over enough to be cut off? Phew!  I don’t want another month like that!

On 9th November I decided to go back to using my iPhone normally (or as normal as I get!)… that is I’m tweeting (a lot), facebooking, emailing, twitpicking etc.  I’ve also reinstalled my favourite games (and a few new ones), some of which have ads, however I have purchased a couple of full versions of games I was using regularly to avoid the ads.  I also bought the full version of Echofon which is my preferred Twitter app – the free version had ads but the full version does not.

(Oh one thing I haven’t changed back was my email settings – I quite like only downloading email when I decide to and not automatically every 30 minutes as before – it means I can decide when I want to use my data rather than the phone deciding for me; that and I don’t get distracted by the little red circle telling me how many unread emails I have!)

It’s now 22nd November, 14 days into my current billing period (that’ll be just about half way through then), and my iPhone says that I’ve used 51.3MB data so far this month (I reset my iPhone usage stats the morning that my new billing period started – My O2 says 47MB but it does state it’s a day behind on the website).  Very different to last month and much less worrying!!

iPhone Data

So there is it.  By reducing the number of apps I use that have adverts (by buying full versions of apps) and by ensuring I close apps completely and don’t allow them to run in the background, my data useage has gone from astronomical to completely reasonable.

If you’re having the same problem (and I know many people found my last post by searching Google for “massive iPhone data usage” or similar) then follow these two steps and all will be well.  Unless you are an excessive user that is.

4 Responses

  1. RSS

    good post. thanks. i just ran into the same data issues, and suspect it’s the background apps. in particular, something like a traffic alert application, in the background, is probably pinging every 15-30 seconds around the clock. that could easily add up.

  2. Janet

    Hi i own over 400 apps some are ad based, but it shouldn’t be using that amount of data as the ads are very small in size in comparison to normal websites on a computer. Anyway you should always close anything you finished using. its the same idea on a computer otherwise you are using and indeed WASTING resources. i have never had a problem with my data usage.

    People should be aware of the multi tasking facility and close off anything they do not need.

  3. Javiero

    I can assure you that this is a rare problem in iphones from years ago, i’ve been experiencing this for a while and a full restore helped at the begining, some months after it become again. Its not a problem of few iAds using celullar dat, people its experiencing hundreds of MB!!

    This is an anomaly, a bug.

    A bug from almost 4.2.1 iOS, and never solved

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