10 Rather Unknown Ways to Use Less Data in S’pore, Especially for FB, IG & WhatsApp

Image: Tom Wang / Shutterstock.com

We all know the importance of Internet: Without them, our life is almost incomplete. Wait, correction: without Internet, our life is completely incompletely.

If there’s a new Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’ll go on a limb and say that the most important level isn’t food or whether, but Internet.

Because with Internet, you can Google for ways to find food and shelter #justsaying

While unlimited data plans are now available, not everyone can afford one. So we’ve decided to list down ten ways to help you use less data, so you won’t receive two SMSes per month (geddit?)

If you prefer to watch instead (because you’re on unlimited data plan or are on Wifi), here’s a video we’ve done on this topic:

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Still here because you’ve received that damn SMS about your data limit? Okay, read on and you can say sayonara to that SMS next month le.

Stop background Data on unimportant apps

Do you know that as you go about your life, having Maggi Mee in the office, your phone might still be sucking data? Just think of WhatsApp: it has to be constantly be running in the background so that new messages can come in, right?

Same goes for other apps.

However, you don’t need all of them to be running in the background because they’ll be draining data even if you’ve not opened it before.

Different phones have different ways to disable it, but usually you’d have to disable the background data of an app one by one.

(Article continues below) Most Touching Singapore Video: Jenny is brought up by a single parent, and when she steps into adulthood, she starts to forget that her mother used to be her everything. Watch it here:

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Here’s an example: in this phone, and in less than a day, you can see that half a MB is used in the background:

It’s my colleague’s phone, and he hasn’t even opened the app for the day that morning, and might not open it for the rest of the day.

So do yourself a favour: go through your apps and stop those annoying background data. All you need is 10 minutes.

Delete Apps You Don’t Use

Do you know that 1 in 4 apps that are downloaded would be abandoned after one use? But sometimes, people don’t delete the app despite it taking just a few seconds

So, if you can remove the background data, why do we suggest you to delete the app?

Simple: push notifications

Every push notification would take a bit of data, and if you add everything together with all your extra apps, you’ll have hundreds of notifications a day. Add the days and you’d have MBs of wasted data.

So do some spring cleaning and delete apps you don’t use.

But of course, don’t delete the Goody Feed app. Read on and you’ll understand.

Use Data Saver Mode in Facebook

Some people know this, but surprisingly, many people in the office didn’t know about this. Most people think that as long as videos aren’t auto-playing when you’re on 4G, you’re on data saver mode.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Data saver is a rather ‘”hidden” setting in Facebook, and once it’s turned on, your newsfeed would look slightly different when you’re using 4G.

Here’s how it looks on Wifi…

…and here’s how it looks on 4G.

See the difference? There’s just a little compromise on the experience (images for links would be smaller), but you’d be saving quite a lot of data.

You simply need to go to the Facebook app, go to setting and turn it on.

User Data Saver Mode in Instagram

Other than Facebook, most of us cannot survive without Instagram

And just like Facebook, there’s a data saver mode, too. It works the same way as Facebook, but the difference is pretty subtle – in fact, so subtle, I can only feel the difference in the data usage instead of the experience (which, of course, is good news).

Go and give it a try, especially if you have the habit of telling all your friends what you have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper.

Download the Goody Feed App

Okay, maybe not the Goody Feed App, but if you’re a regular reader of a content platform, say Goody Feed, it’s always better to use their app (if they have one).

Reason being, when you’re reading this article on a browser, the browser needs to load many things, including the layout and the codes.

Usually, for an app (we’re talking about good ones, like the Goody Feed one, which is called an “native app” as it’s coded natively and independently for the phone’s OS), everything is within the app: go into the app and it’ll just load the contents, which in turn would take waaaayyyyy less data.

To illustrate the point, imagine that reading an article is akin to sleeping in a house.

If you’re reading with a browser:
You go to IKEA every day, buy furniture, put them inside the house, sleep for the night and the next morning, you throw away all the furniture. The next day, you do the same thing again, wasting money again and again to buy the furniture and throwing them all away, when all you need is just to sleep.

If you’re reading with an app (remember, native apps like the Goody Feed app):
You buy IKEA furniture, keep it there and go home every day to sleep. If there’s a need to change the furniture…you update the app (which is not that often and usually done when there’s Wifi). Simple.

Don’t Clear Cache in your Browser

I know some guys need to clear their Internet browser history regularly, but do you know that cache in your browser makes you use less data?

For example, if you go to any website, say Goody Feed, often, your browser would automatically save the layout in your phone. So the next time you go in to read a new article, it’ll just need data to retrieve the article contents and not the layout.

Kind of like what an app does.

Of course, it won’t be as fast and less-data-intensive as a native app, but if you die die don’t want to download the app, this helps a little.

In other words, not clearing cache makes your web experience better. But anyways, that’s the whole idea of caching.

Download Ad-blocker

Okay, I know I shouldn’t mention this since we’re in the business of programmatic sales as well, but unfortunately my editor forces me to come out with ten points, and since this is one of the more legit and hidden ones, I’m leaving it in.

You see, most websites you see would definitely have ads. You might just see it above or below this paragraph (unless you’re reading this on our app lah, which has so few ads, you might not remember seeing them).

That’s how websites survive – the alternative is to charge you for the contents lah, but unfortunately we’re not that premium.

Now, if you have ad-blocker in your phone, the ad won’t load, so you’ll save some data.

But here’s a disclaimer: if everyone does that, you might no longer have free contents on the Internet.

So instead, our advice is this: think of the bigger picture: Don’t download ad-blocker. If not, every content online would be premium, and you might go back to buying newspaper or magazines from 7-Eleven.

(I wonder why I still list the point here. But anyways.)

Check Your WhatsApp Setting

Some people like to send a Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Night message every day, and these messages are either images or video.

If you set your phone to auto-download, good luck: you’re going to burn lots of data.

Just check your phone and remember not to set to auto-download. Here’s the setting:

Just so you know, the default setting has it auto-downloading photos while on mobile data.

Lower WhatsApp Quality Call

Do you know that there’s a setting for you to use a lower-quality voice call in WhatsApp? It’s rather hidden so when I ask everyone in the office, no one knew about it (though they didn’t bother to switch it on after that).

Unless you intend to record yourself on WhatsApp for a SPOP Audition, you won’t need high-quality voice calls on WhatsApp.

Just switch it on, and you won’t need to worry about your bills as you chat on the train. I tried it and the difference is rather subtle, so just go for it.

Here’s where it’s hidden:

Use Wifi even when you’re outdoor

So, one of my colleagues was in West Mall when he suddenly realized that he was on Wifi – it turns out that there’s a Singtel Wifi in West Mall for him to use. A check online reveals that there are over 1,800 Singtel Wifi hotspots, and they are supposedly five times faster than regular Wifi.

Image: Singtel.com

While you might not be on Singtel, malls, restaurants or even buses might have Wifi installed nowadays.

Some would require password, but many can be connected automatically. The trick is to turn on Wifi constantly and keep a lookout for Wifi wherever you are.

Trust me, you can save lots of data with this trick!

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