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Want to know just how much data your favorite apps use?

Authored by: Kris Carlon — Dec 27, 2013

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.

Android can tell you how much data you're already using, but Know My App will tell you in advance. / ©

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.

DespicableMe KnowMyApp
You may think games don't use much data. Candy Crush? No. Despicable Me? Heck yes! / © CTIA/Gameloft

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?

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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