I was looking over my smartphone's data usage, and found some interesting and not so interesting stats.
1) Obviously my biggest user is Chrome... I use it often enough.Not often enough for it to rank as #1, but still...
2) Chrome is followed by Facebook. OK, I'm good with that considering how often I am on FB. Though to be honest, I'm on FB more than I am on Chrome.
3) Yahoo Mail is third. WTF is that about? I hardly ever use it, but apparently it's using me.
4) The most curious stat is that Google Play Services is my fourth most busy app. For many folks, this would probably fly under the radar if they use their store app or games in it. But I NEVER use my Google Play app. I have older apps I never update and don't do games. Man, Google Play store must be buzy!
5) Google Maps is right behind Play, and that makes sense, considering I use it on a weekly basis for most of my drives.
6) Gmail must be super efficient. It is way down here on the list and that's impressive, considering I am on it hourly.
7) Twitter is down here, even though I use it heavily twice a day for four days a week. Impressive!
8) FB's Pages Manager is down here and that makes sense to me.
So what the heck!?
Part of Google Play is Google Play Music, and it apparently does things to make your streaming seem seamless. As do other apps. I remember when Amazon was this massive data hog at one point in time, and I never used it, despite it using up all my bandwidth on me by the middle of my billing month. Once. All by itself.
But there are things you can do if need be, to throttle back your bandwidth usage.
For one, you can restrict apps to update only on Wifi. (I've set all my apps to manual. Only the ones I want to update, I do it myself.)
You can throttle background data, but there's a price to pay with that decision.
You can preload any streaming app data if you know you're going to use an app later.
You CAN cache maps before hitting the road.
You can turn off syncing.
You can minimize browser data usage.
Just to name a few options. (CNET: Tricking Androids into Using Less Data)
As far as Google Play itself, according to this post over on Android Stack Exchange, one answer pretty much covers what I've said here...
Android itself provides a built-in feature to restrict data for individual apps. It can be found at Settings → Data Usage → scroll down and select the app to restrict. You will find restrict background data option there. Select Google Play Services from there then restrict data.
But remember, you can't use Play with background data disabled.
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