Last Updated on March 5, 2022 by Kennedy
This is a very good question especially when you are on a limited data plan, what uses data on a cell phone.
You try to know the apps and other features of a cellphone that consume data so as to prevent or restrict some of these apps and features on your cell phone.
To properly understand all the apps and phone features that consumes data on your cell phone will help you a lot on how to preserve your data especially if what you are using is a limited data plan and not unlimited.
So let’s proceed with the question.
What uses data on a cell phone?
On a cell phone, what uses data are instant messaging apps and social apps, browser app, streaming apps, and even the phone itself in terms of software updates.
Talking about what uses data on a cell phone, I will say applications because apps tends to use data most on a cell phone. Now this varies from individual to individual as users are addicted to social media, while some are browsing apps and streaming apps.
Social and instant messaging apps like the imessage, whatsapp, Skype, Facebook messenger, viber, etc.
For mobile browser, the likes safari, Chrome browser, Opera browser, Aloha browser etc. A person like me, my browser apps uses a lot of data compared to my messaging apps except for whatsapp due to voice call and video call.
Sreaming apps like YouTube, Netflix, takes a huge amount of data especially when you are using a mobile data. I spend a ton of data watching videos online and streaming live football matches.
Other apps that uses data on a cell phone includes Email app, phone software updates, playing online games, maps and GPS, etc.
The above statement is just an initial as I will detail it down based on different categories of what uses data on a cell phone.
But before that I will show you how to find out what uses data on your cell phone.
Yoi can easily find out all that uses your cellphone data on your iPhone by simply going to the settings app, tap and open mobile data.
Scroll down a bit and you will see Apps using wlan & mobile data below it are all the apps that uses or used your cellphone data just like on the picture below.
Through the settings app you will be able to see all the apps that uses data on your iPhone.
Going back to the question of the day, what uses data on a cell phone, I will explain it based on my experience using an android phone and an iPhone for the past 12 years.
1. Software updates
Talking about what what uses data on a cell phone, I will start by mentioning the software updates as it is very compulsory in a given cell phone to always update phone software when available.
Irrespective of the fact that software updates isn’t very frequent, but they can consume lots of data when available. For example, a single software update usually have a file size of at least 300mb depending on the type of update.
Upgrading to a new OS version can have a large file size of 4GB.
Now if you are on limited monthly data plan, 4GB is a lot of data to spend and which definitely take up a lot of data from your allocated data plan.
2. What uses data on a cell phone: Browser apps
This is one of most that uses a cell phone data plan as it involves many things which includes the followings;
- Browsing the internet using a mobile browser
- Downloading files, videos, pictures, etc using the mobile browser
- Uploading of files using a mobile browser
- Streaming online using mobile browser
- Playing online games using mobile browser
Mobile browser is mostly what uses data on a cell phone especially when downloading large files or uploading files on the internet, unless you are the type that don’t download or upload files on the internet.
For most phone user’s, when you check their data usage for the month you will see that browsers will be on the top list because of too much browsing, streaming and downloading using their browsers.
So asking what uses data on a cell phone, mobile browsers should be on mind because it requires internet to function.
3. Social and instant messaging apps
Social and instant messaging apps are another feature that consumes lots of data in a given phone unless you don’t use them at all.
The social and instant messaging apps includes the likes of imessage, whatsapp, Skype, Facebook app, Facebook messenger, Twitter, Instagram, telegram, viber, line, etc.
For iPhone users, imessage is very essential and sending pictures and videos using the imessage will take a lot of mobile data. This is also applied to using whatsapp, Skype and Facebook app and Facebook messenger which attracts a high data usage.
4. Streaming apps
This is a killer when it comes to data consumption.
Streaming on YouTube for an hours will consume more than 1GB data depending on the quality of the video especially if set to higer quality picture.
The likes of Netflix will attract a data size of 2GB if you happen to stream on Netflix for an hour or more on high quality resolution.
These are the major things you should know when asking what uses data on a cell phone especially the browser apps as we tends to use browse very frequently compared to streaming online or using any of the instant messaging apps.
5. GPS/MAP uses data on a cell phone
Talking about what uses data on a cell phone, GPS and mpa shouldn’t be ignored especially if you fancy using them on your cell phone. For you to be able to track a location using your cell phone, you only have to use a GPS or map, and this two require internet connection.
If you don’t have an active Wi-Fi then you are only left with a mobile data for your GPS tracking.
6. Play store/App store
Talking about what uses data on a cell phone, kindly note that Google play store and App store requires internet to work, so it is either you use a Wi-Fi or cellular data.
7. Online games
Most android and ios games are now online with a very few games that are offline. If you are looking for the best games for your cell phone and they are 100 in number, 80 will be online games while 20 will be offline games.
And the truth is that most of these high graphics online games consume a lot of data compared to normal graphics games. Games like pubg, call of duty, fifa mobile can take up to 300mb or more if you play these games for an hour.
Without internet connection smartphones won’t be enjoyable because most of the good features of a smartphone requires internet unless you will use for phone for snapping pictures, listening to offline music, and playing offline games.
What uses the most data on a cell phone plan?
This depends on one’s cell phone usage cause someone might say my browser uses the most data on my cell phone, while another person will say Youtube and Netflix uses the most data on my cell phone plan.
However, it is very much easy to determine what uses the most data on a cell phone plan as you have to check you cellphone data.
I will show you how you can go about this both on android phone and iPhone.
To check what uses the most data on a cell phone plan on android, you have to open the settings app and tap on connection. Upon opening connection scroll down to data usage and tap to open it.
Right inside data usage you will see where it states mobile data usage and Wi-Fi data usage.
Talking about what uses the most data on a cell phone plan or what uses data on a cell phone, you have to open mobile data usage and right there you will see your data usage along with the apps and phone features thar consumed your data cell phone data plan for the month.
With this you can view what uses data on your cell phone and if you feel that some of these apps and phone features are using a lot of your cellphone data plan, you can restrict them by simply force stopping the apps on your cellphone.
How do I stop my phone from using so much data?
To stop your phone from using so much data, you have to first identify the apps and phone features that uses data most on your phone, and afterwards restrict them for simply put the to sleep.
For you to stop your phone from using so much data depends on you.
If you stream a lot especially on high quality, then you have to reduce it to medium or lower quality so as to economize your cell phone data plan.
However, to stop phone from using so much data i will recommend you to use Wi-Fi if available instead of mobile data.
What does mobile data do?
Mobile data is used for internet activities on a mobile phone which can also be used for mobile hotspot. With an active mobile data on a cell phone, one can browse the internet, stream online, download files, updates apps and software, etc.
As long as you need internet on your mobile phone and you don’t have an active Wi-Fi, mobile data is the only option you have.
Mobile data comes in handy for those that has no active Wi-Fi connection just like me. I mostly use my mobile data on my phones except for when I’m at work then I will my office Wi-Fi.