NEW YORK (AP) ó If you have a smartphone with a monthly data limit, here are
some tips on what types of phone use will gobble up your precious megabytes:
ó Streaming video and videoconferencing. The biggest offender. One minute of
YouTube-quality video eats up 2 megabytes. If youíre on a plan that gives
you 200 megabytes per month, you canít even watch Lady Gagaís ďTelephoneĒ
video once per day. If youíre on a 2 gigabyte plan you can, but donít make
your iPhone a replacement for a TV. In either case, itís fine to indulge in
YouTube and Netflix if youíre on Wi-Fi.
ó Streaming audio. The second biggest offender, and potentially more
serious. While video is something we need to see to enjoy, Internet radio is
more of an accompaniment to other activities, such as jogging or doing
dishes. That means some people like to keep it on for hours. Audio consumes
about a quarter of the data that video does, but 10 minutes a day will break
the bank if youíre on a 200 megabyte plan. One hour a day of Pandora
consumes nearly a gigabyte, which you can afford if youíre on a 2-gigabyte
plan and donít use other data-hogging apps.
ó Photos. If youíre a real shutterbug, photos can consume significant
amounts of data. Sending and viewing photos both count toward your monthly
limit. Posting 10 photos per day eats up most of a 200 megabyte plan. If
youíre on a 2-gigabyte plan, you probably donít have to worry about photos.
ó Maps. Navigation apps consume lots of data when they retrieve map images,
up to a megabyte a minute. Youíre also likely to use them for long periods
of time when youíre away from Wi-Fi, such as when youíre driving. Watch out
ó Web surfing. Web pages vary widely in size, so this will depend quite a
bit on whether you like to visit graphically rich sites (lots of data) or
spare, text-oriented ones (less data). But roughly speaking, ten pages a day
will eat up about half of a 200 megabyte plan. Again, those on 2-gigabyte
plans donít need to worry much about surfing.
ó Facebook. Roughly equivalent to Web surfing. Status updates wonít take
much data, but sending photos and viewing friendsí pictures will.
ó Email. Most emails are tiny, in terms of data. Basically, you can send and
receive email all you want, as long as they donít have attachments such as
ó Twitter. Like email, these short messages donít use much data, but if you
follow a lot of people and click on links, usage adds up.
ó Weather apps. Small, focused apps that report simple but useful things,
such as the weather forecast, save data (and time) compared with looking up
the same information on a Web page.
Verizonís data calculator:
AT&Tís data calculator: