WiFi Your Apps!

As we saw in my last post, the Android operating system provides some fine grained options to control the amount of cellular data your phone uses on a day-to-day basis, but most apps also provide a number of settings to help reduce the amount of mobile data used and maximize your WiFi offload.

This level of control is sometimes provided in the “Settings” of each app. Here we’ll take a look at a number of pre-installed apps as well as some of the more popular ones from the Play Store to see how you can optimize them to run more efficiently on Republic Wireless. It’s time to find out how!

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Google Play Store:

The main setting change for the Play Store is to make sure that any auto-updating of apps is done on WiFi only. Tap the three lines in the top left corner of the Play Store home page and select “Settings” from the slide out menu.

Select “Auto-Update apps” and select “Auto-Update on WiFi only.” You’ll want to have some apps set to auto-update to make sure that you get the latest and greatest version of the Republic App!

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Google Plus:

The main setting change for Google Plus is to make sure that photo and sync only happen when you are on a WiFi network. This can be found by tapping the three dots in the upper right corner of the Plus app homepage. Tap “Auto Backup” and make sure the options for “Audio” and “Video” are set to “Only When a WiFi connection is available.” You will also see a checkbox for “Data Roaming.” Make sure that is not checked.

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 Google Drive:

The main setting change for Google Drive is to make sure that documents sync only when you are on a WiFi network. Tap the three lines in the top left corner of the Google Drive homepage and select “Settings” from the slide out menu. Make sure the checkbox for “Transfer Files only over WiFi” is checked.

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Gmail:

The main setting change for Gmail is to control the download of mail attachments. Tap the three lines in the top left corner of the Gmail homepage and select “Settings” from the slide out menu. Under your account settings (not “General Settings”), make sure the “Download Attachments for WiFi” is checked.

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Google Chrome:

The main setting change for Chrome is to compress the data being transmitted. Tap the three dots in the top right corner of the Google Chrome homepage and select “Settings” from the drop down menu. Select “Bandwidth Management” and set “Preload Webpages” to “Only on WiFi.” You can also set “Reduce Data Usage” to “On.”  This will use Chrome’s compression service to reduce the amount of data used when viewing web pages.

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Facebook:

There are a couple of things you can do with Facebook settings to save cellular data around the refresh rate and the media that Facebook makes available.  In the Facebook app, click on the three lines in the right hand corner on the white toolbar.  Swipe down and look for “App Settings.” Under these settings, you should turn off “Sync Photos,” and set “Autoplay video” to “WiFi only.”

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Instagram:

Similar to Facebook, the key here is to manage the amount of media that is being preloaded by the app. From the main screen, tap the profile icon on the bottom right of the screen. Tap the three dots in the top right corner and select the “Video Settings.”  Make sure that the video pre-load option is set for “Preload on WiFi only.”

These are just a few of the apps that can be configured to use less data without compromising their performance when you launch the app. We’d love to hear what other apps you use, and what other settings can be utilized to save cellular data and maximize your WiFi use of these apps.  Join the discussion in our Community, here.

Stay WiFi my friends!

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  • Ellen

    I couldn’t find Chrome settings – “Settings” from the slide out menu. Make sure the checkbox for “Transfer Files only over WiFi” is checked . i bet Chrome has moved where this is located. I couldn’t find the Facebook – Swipe down and look for “App Settings.” Under these settings, you should turn off “Sync Photos,” either. Can someone tell me where to find these things so I can save data?

    • Anna C.

      Hi Ellen, sorry for my delay in replying to you. To best help you out, could you let me know what phone you have? I’ll take a look into it for you!

  • Ellen

    Moto X Pure Edition

    • Anna C.

      Thanks! Just took a look in the Chrome app… It looks like it’s labeled differently now (since this blog post is older, the apps have since updated). Try going to the Settings menu again, but select “Data saver” and toggle it on. It should function similarly.

      • Ellen

        THANKS!!!! I think I have all my already installed apps setup to only use data when on WIFI, whew…that was tough. I’d already used half my allotted data and only 1 week in…lolol I appreciate your help!!

        • Anna C.

          No problem at all, glad I could help you!

  • Russ

    For some reason I cannot download photos that friends send me as messages. What is turned off?

    • Anna C.

      Hey Russ, what phone are you using?

      • Russ

        It is a Samsung S7Edge