Have you been told by a helpful family member or friend that it is ESSENTIAL that you regularly 'close' your apps on your iPad or iPhone, to avoid draining your battery or over-using your internet data?
Every week, I see clients who, while they may know only a limited amount about their iPad or iPhone, will show me this key 'trick' that their kids or grandkids have shown them.
Well, here's one you can tell those kids and grandkids!
It is NOT necessary to do this.
While it is definitely necessary to keep the number of 'open' apps under control on a computer, iPads and iPhones (and other mobile devices) are quite different in how they manage your Apps.
When an app is not in use, it goes into a 'suspended' state, and is not consuming data or battery.
Instead, the kids and grandkids should be telling you to check that other more important settings, to ensure that you don't unexpected consume battery and data.
Find out what setting to adjust to conserve data and battery in these past iTandCoffee articles. You will see, this topic features regularly in this blog!
Some other articles about data usage
You may have already heard about this one in the press, but I thought it worth including in this week's newsletter for those who haven't (or for those who haven't yet turned it off!).
iOS 9 offers a new feature called Wi-Fi Assist, which can be found in your Settings -> Mobile or Mobile Data (or Settings -> Cellular or Cellular Data). It is near the bottom of that 'page' of settings.
This new feature is designed to "Automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor."
What this means is that, if your Wi-Fi drops out - either due to a problem or due to you being too far from it - your Cellular data will kick in to take over whatever was being done - for example, a large download, or streaming of content.
While this might be great if you have a massive cellular data allowance, most of us don't.
This new feature has already caused iPhone and cellular-enabled iPad users some surprises in the form of warning messages from Telcos about unusual data usage.
So, unless you have a massive data limit on your mobile data plan, I suggest you hop into your Settings immediately and turn this off.
If you need further assistance or advice on this one, or about updating your device to iOS 9, contact iTandCoffee - 1300 885 420, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the article from last week's newsletter, titled Oh Telstra, you have really confused me about my excess mobile data!, I promised I would provide an update once I got my monthly Telstra bill.
Well, the bill arrived this week and, just as feared, Telstra had charged me more than $10 for my excess data usage. My excess data charge was over $25 when it should have only been the $10 charge. Not a huge amount overcharged, but overcharged none the less.
I contacted Telstra this morning (using their 'Live Chat' service - which I prefer to calling, as it allows me to keep a record of the 'chat' with the customer service agent), and outlined the problem.
Initially the agent told me that the extra charge is still payable because I did not specify that I wanted to top up my data until well after I had already exceeded my limit.
It was only when I sent her my screenshot of the misleading message (thank goodness I had taken that screenshot) that she agreed that the extra charge needed to be removed. She has now credited the amount over $10 to my account.
She also promised to bring the problem the attention of the 24x7 App development team.
Here's hoping they fix this very soon, before others inadvetently incur excess 'excess data' charges. Make sure you tell other Telstra mobile users about this one.
This month, I found myself nearing my data limit on my mobile phone.
Just as a aside, this was mainly due to unexpected data usage I have incurred by looking at my photos, after I had upgraded to iCloud Photo Library. Every time I want to view a photo when I am off my WiFi, it is 'pulling the photo down' from my iCloud and using a bit of my mobile data.
As a consequence I am now avoiding looking at photos on my iPhone when I am out and about - unless I absolutely have to.
In the past when I have neared my data limit, I have purchased a 'Data Pack' from Telstra for extra data, which I have been able to do very easily from my Telstra 24x7 App.
I am then only charged for the days that I use this Data Pack, so it has never cost very much. The only thing was that I had to remember to 'turn off' this data pack at the start of the next month, to avoid ongoing charges.
Well, I was excited to see that Telstra has made a change to how it handles excess data usage on my post-paid mobile account.
When I chose the option 'Add-Ons' option in my Telstra 24x7 app, I got the below message on my screen - telling me that Data Packs are no longer available. Instead Telstra has a new service called Extra Data.
Great (or so I thought) - all sorted, no need to do anything.
I must have 'missed the memo' when Telstra announced this new service/feature. (Did anyone else see it?) Apparently, it came in on May 12th 2015.
The message that I got indicated that, as soon as I exceeded my data limit, I could rest assured that the 'Extra Data' that Telstra now offers would kick in, saving me from excess data charges.
The screen said nothing about having to activate this new feature - it appeared in would just happen seamlessly.
Well, maybe not!
Today, I went to my Telstra 24x7 app to check how much phone credit I still had available to me for the month.
To my shock, it showed that I had over 300MB of excess data usage!
I tapped on the Add Ons option at the top of the screen again (like I had before I had exceeded my limit), only to find on the next screen that the 'Extra Data' feature was showing as 'Inactive' (see below).
So, I have NOW activated this feature using the Activate button shown.
But the big question is now whether I am going to get a large excess data charge on my next bill.
Here's hoping the Telstra billing system is smart enough to recognise that this 'Extra Data' feature has been activated on my account during the billing month, and therefore wipe any 'Excess Data' charge.
Stay tuned - I'll let you know when I get my bill later this month!
For those of you interested in ensuring you have activated this feature on you Telstra mobile plan, here is the relevant page from the Telstra website.
If you own an Android mobile phone or tablet, you really need to read this article published this week in The Age.
If you value your privacy, you may want to check what apps you have installed on your device - Big Brother may be watching you!
Click/tap on the link below to read the article from The Age.
One in four apps on your Android mobile needlessly mining your personal data | theage.com.au
You may have seen an earlier article that I published about my preferred option for having mobile phone access while I travel, the Woolworths Global Roaming SIM. (See How to keep in touch by phone while travelling overseas.)
Not only does this SIM give you relatively cheap mobile phone access in a large number of countries, it also gives you access to mobile data - should you need it - at $0.45/MB.
What can be difficult is understanding just how much data you use when you do basic things on your phone - like a couple of searches on Safari.
So, I figured I would try out using my mobile data briefly to see how much I used.
I turned on my mobile data and data roaming, having earlier made sure that all apps were turned off for mobile data use.
I reset my usage settings to zero, then I turned on just Safari, and did a couple of quick searches about the monument we were visiting, looking at just one result.
I then looked at my data usage for that couple of minutes - to discover that I had already used 11MB, at a cost of nearly $5. And I hadn't even found an answer to the question that I was looking to answer!
So my lesson for the rest of the trip? Save my mobile data for an emergency!
Today is the 17th of the month so, as happens on every 17th, a reminder has popped up on my iPhone. This reminder tells me to 'Reset Cellular Usage'.
Why have I set myself this reminder and what does it mean?
On my phone, I have a 1GB allowance for cellular data each month, starting on the 17th of the month. (Note. 'Mobile' data and 'Cellular' data are basically the same thing.)
Most months, this is completely sufficient for my needs. But, there are some months when I use more mobile data and fly close to my monthly limit.
I like to be able to see just what apps and features on my iPhone are the main culprits for mobile data usage each month. I make sure that those that don't really need to use this data allowance are disabled from using cellular data and can only operate on WiFi.
The easiest way to track my total data usage for the month and my app-by-app and feature-by-beature usage is to reset the usage stats on the first day of my billing cycle - ie the 17th.
This Handy Hint (including a video) for iTandCoffee Club members shows you how to do this.
Non-members will be able to view this hint for the week from March 20th.
Join the iTandCoffee Club to view hints like this any time! Other related hints and tips are included below.
Related hints and tips (some require an iTandCoffee Club membership)
Call 1300 885 420
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