As a mobile operating system, Android has lagged behind Apple’s iOS platform for many years.
There were twice as many iOS devices as Android handsets in 2011, and here in 2018, Android still retains less than 45 per cent of the mobile OS market.
Even so, that means around 21 million Android-powered smartphones are being used throughout the UK.
Many were purchased with SIM-only data deals, where quotas are capped to save money.
Because it’s easy to change SIM-only contracts and increase contract data allowances, it’s easy to choose a tariff suitable for your circumstances.
However, these circumstances might change unexpectedly, for short periods of time.
You could start a new job and suddenly be reliant on satellite mapping, or need more entertainment while commuting.
Perhaps you’re going on holiday, where data roaming will be required to keep in touch.
Maybe you’ve just discovered the joys of Spotify, or become addicted to a new Netflix series.
In any of those scenarios (and many other ones besides), it’s easy to exhaust modest Android data limits without realising.
Setting some boundaries
It might be beneficial to establish some Android data limits, preventing a device consuming more than the paid monthly data allowance.
This could save a considerable sum of money, especially if your current contract incurs high fees for additional bandwidth consumption.
You can still use the device through WiFi – mobile data should always be a last resort when there aren’t any available networks to connect to.
With this in mind, it’s advisable to request login details for WiFi networks in properties you visit semi-regularly, and to tap into public networks in cafés and town centres.
Do bear in mind these networks probably won’t be secure, so a WiFi hub isn’t the place to do any online banking.
How to set Android data limits
This guide is written for Android Nougat, though it should also be suitable for devices using Marshmallow and Oreo.
(A new alphabetically-themed OS is launched roughly once a year, with 2017’s Oreo replacing 2016’s Nougat).
- Go to Settings.
- Choose the Connections option.
- Select Data Usage, to view the amount of mobile data you’ve used during the current billing period.
- Turn on Data Saver as a pre-emptive measure, stopping low-priority background apps sending and receiving information.
- Next, select Mobile Data Usage, which displays the amount of megabytes consumed by each app on the handset.
- Tap the blue Settings icon in the top right-hand corner, to bring up the Billing Cycle page.
- Clicking on Data Usage Warning lets you determine when a notification should be sent about data consumption during the current month.
- Immediately below, there’s a slider button beside Apply Data Usage Limit. Moving the slider right prevents the handset using mobile data once this limit is reached.
- You can adjust the amount in the newly-unlocked field below Apply Data Usage Limit. Bear in mind the default threshold may be higher than the monthly data allowance.