At one point or another we’ve all wondered just how much data our favorite apps chew through in a month. And I don't just mean those on a capped data plan, who need to be a little more cautious about how much data is flowing through their smartphone each month. Even those lucky ones on Wi-Fi or unlimited data plans, who may think they don’t need to worry, can still benefit, as apps that churn through data constantly are a major battery drain. The website Know My App, made up of a collaboration of wireless industry types, including carriers, outlines the average data usage of the most popular apps.
The apps in question have been tested on different phones and different carriers (which are listed under each app) and a breakdown of the test usage is listed as well. This gives you a good indication of whether you use the app in a similar way, or more lightly or heavily. The upshot is that even though the actual usage may not perfectly mirror your own, you can get a really good picture of just how much data an “average” usage of the app consumes. This means that while you’ve probably already flagged YouTube and Vine as apps to avoid on your data plan, you can get a better idea of how much other kinds of apps actually consume.
The apps are broken down into categories, or you can search by app title. Each app will then have its device and carrier listed, the test parameters (how much usage and how often), and the amount of data used in comparison to common data plans (300 MB, 1 GB, 4 GB). The tests, conducted by testing firm Interlink, are based on an “estimate of an average user’s typical use” of each app. There’s also some useful information on limiting data usage, which we have also shared previously. Know My App is operated by CTIA – The Wireless Association and its partner carriers and app developers.
Do you have a capped data plan? Are you aware of just how much data your favorite apps use?