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Tips to manage and save some iPhone cellular data

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After the introduction of Apple’s iOS 9 some users found that their Mobile data/Cellular data was being gobbled up more rapidly than before.

The reason for this was Apple’s new WIFI assist feature which uses mobile data if your WIFI is flaky.

If you have a similar case, you can turn this feature off in Settings > Mobile Data then scroll to the bottom of the page where you can turn off Wi-Fi Assist.

In reaction to the discourse over the new feature, Apple has admitted that users “might use more cellular data” in a new support document about the feature.

The issue is that the feature is turned on by default, so users who have a limited data allowance may wish to turn it off, but if they are unaware of its existence they will have no idea about the cause of their data loss.

Apple has limited the feature to some extent, though: it won’t work when you are data roaming in another country and not all apps can take advantage of the feature, for example video and audio streaming apps are exempted. However, Apple’s Safari, Mail, Maps, and Apple Music do utilize the feature.

UPDATE: Despite Apple’s attempts to rectify things and warn users of the feature, the company is now in trouble over WiFi Assist.

At the end of October, a Californian couple, filed a lawsuit against Apple for not warning users about it’s new feature. This might result in a $5 million payout if the lawsuit is successful.

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Before starting to manage your iPhone cellular data usage, it is advisable that you keep track of how much data is being utilized. This can be done by going to the Settings > Cellular (Or Mobile Data) and scroll down to see yourmobile data usage. You may want to reset this number as it may be quite a big one if you have never reset it before. It is effective to reset the mobile data every month whenever your network resets your allowance. To reset your statistics, scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap: Reset Statistics.

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The iOS 9 has the same features such that the ability to check which apps on your iPhone  are allowed to use cellular data as the iOS 7 and iOS 8 had. When you are running out of your data allowance, you can turn off certain apps in order to save your cellular data. This is done by going into your phone’s Settings>Cellular/Mobile data and scrolling down to turn off a number of apps. This will also allow your phone to save battery as apps will not be able to update in the background.

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You can also check how much data each application utilizes so it can be taken care of by switching it off altogether. This can be seen in Settings>Cellular page.

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If you are still hopeless to manage your cellular data, we advise you switch off your cellular data permanently when not in use. This option will restrict all data to WiFi, including email, web browsing and push notifications. This again is an effective way to save your phone’s battery life. To turn off your cellular data so go to Settings > Cellular (Mobile Data) and toggle the Cellular Data switch to off.

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Facebook while updating its iOS app has added a new feature where videos are automatically loaded when one scroll down to its news feed.  Sadly, its not feasible if you are running low on cellular data but nothing to worry about. This feature can also be avoided by going to Settings > Facebook > Settings and scroll down to Video and switch to Auto-play on Wi-Fi only.

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3G and 4G allows you to make use of face time to be in touch with your loved ones but its not a good idea to use such an app when you are left with limited cellular data. So, in order to avoid wasting your limited cellular data, the face time application can be switched off temporarily by going to Settings>Cellular and switching off the face time application. Although, you won’t be able to have calls over face time but people will still be able to contact you through normal calls.

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Go to Settings >iCloud>iCloud Drive. Here you can turn off Cellular Data so that your iPhone only updates iCloud Drive when you are on a WiFi network.

Also, turn off the data storing in the cloud by toggling the switch beside each app to off, this way you can be more specific about mobile data usage.

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If you have cellular data turned on for iTunes, and you subscribe to iTunes Match, you may find your data is being gobbled up. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and make sure that Use Cellular Data is switched off to handle this problem. Similarly, if you are an Apple Music subscriber, make sure that Use Mobile Data is not selected for Playback and downloads at Settings > Music.

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Data roaming allows you to access internet while you are in another country. Therefore, if you put keep it switched off the iPhone will still work fine in your home country. However, if you want to access your internet in another country, you can always turn on data roaming.  This is done by going in to Settings > Cellular and toggle the switch beside data roaming.

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One of the exciting features that safari web browser offers is where one can read the web pages without having to download them every time. For e.gyou can connect to a WiFi network at home or work, get all the material you tend to read on the way home without having to consume your cellular data. If you want to avoid using your cellular data for reading the desired set of web pages then you can always turn it off by heading to Settings > Safari and scroll down to toggle off Use Cellular Data for reading list.

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In the summer of 2013 Photo Stream started to regularly hit our data allowance, having signed up to a friend’s feed, and started sharing one of our own. Back then, when you turned off Photo Stream in Settings >iCloud> Photos and then toggle My Photo Stream on, it looks innocent enough, claiming as it does it will “Automatically upload new photos and sendto all of your iCloud devices when connected to Wi-Fi.” This may be the case, but we were getting sent photos from our friend’s Photo Stream when we were on 3G networks, it surely wasn’t a very cellular data friendly service.

Luckily the iOS 7 update, bring the functionality to manage Photo Sharing. You could turn off iCloud Photo Sharing (at Settings > Photo & Camera), which would stop your phone from downloading images from other people’s shared photo streams that you subscribe to (you can still download them on your Mac or another device).

When Apple launched iCloud Photo Library, we were concerned that it could also gobble up iPhone mobile data, but the Upload to My Photo Stream indicates that it is via Wi-Fi only.

One way to make sure that Photo doesn’t use your mobile data is to go to Settings > Mobile Data and switch the slider beside Photos to off.

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How many of your applications are using the Apple Push Notifications service to alert you to new data? Go to Settings > Notifications to find out. You can easily stop any apps from pestering you with Notifications here. The format has changed in iOS 9, scroll down the list, tap on those apps you don’t want to notify you, and toggle to switch beside: Show in Notification Centre, and Show on Lock Screen. However, you would still want to make sure that those apps that you still want to receive notifications for aren’t doing so over your cellular connection.

In iOS 9 you get the choice of notification style for each app. You can choose for apps to not allow notifications. Or you can choose the kind of Notifications you allow. It’s annoying that you have to turn off notifications on a per app basis, but you can see the kind of notification setting you have for each app without tapping on them first (below the name of the app).

If you have an Apple Watch you may want some apps to display notifications on that device – go to the Apple Watch app to set this up.

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To control your email if you have the phone set to fetch data wirelessly at specific intervals you will quickly consume data – this can get really annoying if you have your iPhone set to Push data to your iPhone from the server as it will update all the time. Make sure that Push is not selected. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and if Push is turned on, turn it off. Now make sure you are set to fetch data manually. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and scroll down and select manually from the list. You can be more precise if you amend your fetch settings for separate accounts. By changing the settings, battery life can be preserved.

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The iOS 9 still allows you to automatically update your operating system. This maybe depressing for times if your operating system is updated using the cellular data. However, you can easily snap out of despair by taking charge of your phone and doing the following. Head to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and make sure that the Background App Refresh switch is set to off.

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IF you ever found yourself connected to Wi FI after switching it off. It’s a problem that can easily be fixed.All you have to do is to select the network by tapping it and in the following screen select Forget this Network.

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There may be free Wifi available to places like libraries, airports, coffee shops and so on. And they can be easily accessed if you are a BT broadband subscriber you can use the BT WiFi app to get onto any of their hotspots for free. However, extreme caution is necessary as many of the WiFi may not be save so look and use the ones that have a WiFi password on it.

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One can create a hotspot from mac and access it from your iPhone in order to save cellular data.