Friday, January 21, 2011

Reducing Your Bandwidth Usage on your WP7

Since I got my first smartphone (iPhone 3G), I have had the Fido 6GB data plan for $30 extra on top of my voice plan.  Some of you have probably manage to negotiate your data plan with voice down to around $47.50/mth but that's probably still quite expensive for some (HowardForums have tonnes of resources should you want to negotiate for a cheaper plan)

Some of my friends have opted for the lesser data plan of 150MB, 250MB but with a smartphone (non Blackberrys. BB devices tends to use a lot less as BB is connected to the RIM servers which does a lot of data compression), that much data can be used up in less than 1 week if you keep using your data via 3G (I average around 1.2 GB on my iPhone 3G and I am using about the same on my HTC Surround - similar types of usage).  My friends come to me for advice on how to save bandwidth, because in their eyes, I am the tech savvy one (aka. biggest nerd they know).  I am going to list out a bunch of things you can do on your WP7 device to save some bandwidth.   Some of these "hints" of course are pretty similar should you want to save bandwidth on your non-WP7 devices.

  • Turn on your WiFi (drains your battery faster).  When WiFi is turned on and connected, your WP7 device will use that first instead of your 3G connection.
  • Stop pushing emails to yourself. 30 minutes or 1 hour intervals are good enough (saves battery too!).  Reading emails don't use that much bandwidth. 
  • Don't download email attachments unless you really really have to (normally, the size of the attachment is displayed).
  • If you see an app you like to buy or try (not going to whore my app, updates are coming btw), wait till you have Wifi connection, or use your Zune on your PC to download and sync.
  • by default, pictures do not download to your email (love it)... keep it that way
  • Disable Feedback (Settings->System Page->Feedback)
  • Disable Find My Phone (Settings->System Page->Find My Phone) or turn off "Get results faster" and leave "Save my location periodically..."
  • Get Internet Exploder to try to use the "Mobile version" of a webpage all the time (works for some, not other sites (Settings->Application Page->Internet Explorer) - if this still doesn't work for your favourite websites, see if your website has a mobile type internet address (i.e. instead of etc)
  • Streaming stuff on 3G is probably not a good idea
Most mobile phones providers *should* have a website so you can log in and check your data usage.  I would suggest that if this is your first time owning a smartphone, check back often on your first couple months of usage with these bandwidth minimizing methods and see how you are doing and adjust your usage habits.  If all else fails, it might be time to upgrade your data plan.

Hope this helps, and if you have other suggestions, comments are always welcome!

*Update* - is guessing that your HTC Hub might be to blame for the rumoured excessive WP7 data usage.  Simple solution if you have an HTC WP7 device and you are experience excessive data usage, just unpin the HTC hub from your start screen (until they have a fix I guess) and that should do the trick.

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