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Posted Oct 31, 2012
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New to SmartPhones - What counts as data usage?
Edited by jamileh on Oct 31, 2012 at 7:03:15 AM

I got the iPhone 4S recently, so some of these questions may some dumb.  This is my first smart phone ever.

 

Does being on wi-fi (for example, at home) constitute as data usage? 

Does updating existing apps count as data usage?

Does checking FB via the app count as data usage? 

Does downloading g-mail count toward data usage?

 

I am nearly at my 3 GB limit 13 days into the billing cycle.  It seemed way off to me. 

 

 <CM Edit - new thread created/subject edited>

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Oct 31, 2012 7:13:14 AM
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Hey Mike!

 

I moved your post to create a new thread because I think you've asked some great questions and I want to make sure it's easy for anyone else to find the answer. 

 

Does being on wi-fi (for example, at home) constitute as data usage? - No. When you're connected to wifi (at home, in public or at work) you're not using data from your data plan. 

Does updating existing apps count as data usage? - Yes, if you're not connected to wifi; updating apps uses cellular data

Does checking FB via the app count as data usage? - Yes, if you're not connected to wifi; updating apps uses cellular data. 

Does downloading g-mail count toward data usage?  - Yes, if you're not connected to wifi; updating apps uses cellular data. 

 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

Helpful hints:

  • Streaming video consumes the most data of all possible activities so things like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu can take a big chunk of your available data.
  • You can calculate your data usage or check how much data you have used during your current billing cycle by dialing *DATA# (*3282#) from your smartphone.

 

Here's a link to an article that explains how data usage is billed: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=54646#fbid=G9C1qiYG3P6

 

Here's an article that explains the various ways to check your data usage: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=52377#fbid=G9C1qiYG3P6

 

I hope this information helps; please let us know!

 

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New to SmartPhones - What counts as data usage?

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Oct 31, 2012 7:13:14 AM
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Hey Mike!

 

I moved your post to create a new thread because I think you've asked some great questions and I want to make sure it's easy for anyone else to find the answer. 

 

Does being on wi-fi (for example, at home) constitute as data usage? - No. When you're connected to wifi (at home, in public or at work) you're not using data from your data plan. 

Does updating existing apps count as data usage? - Yes, if you're not connected to wifi; updating apps uses cellular data

Does checking FB via the app count as data usage? - Yes, if you're not connected to wifi; updating apps uses cellular data. 

Does downloading g-mail count toward data usage?  - Yes, if you're not connected to wifi; updating apps uses cellular data. 

 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

Helpful hints:

  • Streaming video consumes the most data of all possible activities so things like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu can take a big chunk of your available data.
  • You can calculate your data usage or check how much data you have used during your current billing cycle by dialing *DATA# (*3282#) from your smartphone.

 

Here's a link to an article that explains how data usage is billed: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=54646#fbid=G9C1qiYG3P6

 

Here's an article that explains the various ways to check your data usage: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=52377#fbid=G9C1qiYG3P6

 

I hope this information helps; please let us know!

 

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Re: New to SmartPhones - What counts as data usage?

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Oct 31, 2012 9:50:48 AM
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Thanks for moving this.....

 

So I keep it on my wi-fi at home, for example. and download e-mail that way, I will not cut into my data plan? 

 

I figured using You Tube cuts into the data plan, which makes sense. 

 

 

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Oct 31, 2012 10:07:35 AM
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You've got it! Using wifi as much as possible will help reduce the amount of data you use. 

 

Don't forget that there are thousands of AT&T Wifi HotSpots available too: http://www.att.com/gen/general?pid=13540

 

One thing to remember is that if your phone "goes to sleep", it may not automatically pick up the wireless signal again so it's always a good idea to check to make sure you're still connected. 

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Re: New to SmartPhones - What counts as data usage?

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Oct 31, 2012 10:30:16 AM
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I listen to podcasts using an app, not downloading them, I simply hit play and it plays the podcast. Is that data usage or not?

 

 

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Oct 31, 2012 10:58:49 AM
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Yep, that's data usage becase you're streaming audio in that case. Basically any time you connect to anything else using your phone (except normal telephone calls using the dialer), you're using data. If you're on a wifi connection, you won't use your data package though. 

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Oct 31, 2012 11:21:04 AM
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Thanks for your help, that explains why I have blown through my data plan, because I have been listening to the same podcast and not downloading it ahead of time. If I download it ahead of time at home (meaning wi-fi), then the data doesn't get cut into and I can listen to it while driving and not use data, right?

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Oct 31, 2012 11:26:16 AM
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Exactly!

 

When you download something, you're listening to/watching it from your phone's memory; not from the server it's hosted on so you won't be using data to listen/watch. 

 

 

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Oct 31, 2012 12:33:48 PM
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mike2854 wrote:

I listen to podcasts using an app, not downloading them, I simply hit play and it plays the podcast. Is that data usage or not?

 

 


if you are not on wifi then yes it is using data, it still transfers to the phone

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Oct 31, 2012 1:10:11 PM
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So the smart thing would be to download it when using wi-fil and then I listen to the podcast while driving w/out burning data, right?  I can delete the podcast later to save space.

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Oct 31, 2012 1:26:04 PM
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That's the best way to avoid data usage, yes. 

 

 

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Oct 31, 2012 2:17:39 PM
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Nov 1, 2012 10:09:15 AM
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If I was driving and used the map app that is built into the phone as a GPS and left it running the entire time, is that data usage?

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Nov 1, 2012 11:41:09 AM
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mike2854 wrote:

If I was driving and used the map app that is built into the phone as a GPS and left it running the entire time, is that data usage?


depends - there are some that do realtime updates with traffic, those will consume data, others will download the entire route and not have to access anything

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Nov 2, 2012 9:29:19 AM
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Well, I am using the one that is built into the iPhone 4S, not Google Earth/Maps or any other app that could be out there. 

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Nov 2, 2012 9:53:33 AM
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mike2854 wrote:

Well, I am using the one that is built into the iPhone 4S, not Google Earth/Maps or any other app that could be out there. 


Everytime the built in map app refreshes itself (which normally happens as you move), you will be using data.

 

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Nov 2, 2012 11:30:51 AM
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No wonder people still buy GPS's.

 

Thanks.

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Nov 2, 2012 12:52:45 PM
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To help with perspective, I use Maps on my iPhone A LOT. Pretty much every day, honestly. I also use Facebook and Twitter a alot, along with some other data intensive apps. 

 

I rarely, if ever exceed 1.5GB's a month in data use. 

 

Everyone is different but most people don't use as much data as they think. :smileyhappy:

 

 

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Re: New to SmartPhones - What counts as data usage?

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Nov 3, 2012 10:55:12 AM
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I figured the maps function was "free" (at least data wise) since it came with it.  I would think if one used an Mapquest app (for example), that would be data being used which would make sense. 

 

I appreicate all the advice.   This has been a learning experience for certain! 

 

 

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Dec 4, 2012 7:18:04 AM
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I am using an iPhone 4s, with AT&T wireless service. I use the Xfinity Connect app for texting, because it is included with my home land line phone package. I am often connected to a wireless service at home and/or work, but during that time, texting is using data. I thought it should be using wifi, and no data use? Is there a setting I'm missing? I monitored the useage with the myAT&T app.

Data useage while connected to wifi, using Xfinity Connect texting

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Jan 7, 2013 9:04:31 AM
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Feb 12, 2013 2:35:56 PM
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I have the Unlimited Messaging service. When I am connected to 3G, it will send texts as an "iMessage." Does this consume data? Or is it still classified as "Unlimited"?

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Feb 13, 2013 7:17:56 AM
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AKPorcupine wrote:
I have the Unlimited Messaging service. When I am connected to 3G, it will send texts as an "iMessage." Does this consume data? Or is it still classified as "Unlimited"?


iMessage is an iOS feature and uses data to connect to Apple's servers.

Your unlimited messaging plan only covers messages sent through AT&T's service and the latter is not counted as data.


-= ranron =-
Silver iPhone 5s - AT&T / 450 Rollover Minutes + 200 Bonus Minutes / Unlimited Int'l Data / 50 Roaming Messages / WorldTraveler / WorldConnect
Gray iPhone 5s - China Mobile / 1200 Minutes / 3GB data

[Note: I am not affiliated with AT&T]

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Feb 13, 2013 7:26:47 AM
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ranron nailed it!

 

 

You don't have to use iMessages if you don't want to use that data. To turn iMessages off, Tap Settings>Messages and slide the dot from on to off. 

 

iMessages are blue, regular texts are green. That's an easy way to tell them apart. 

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Mar 3, 2014 4:52:27 PM
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First let me say I love the entire concept of using my home/work wifi to save on data usage, especially since this is a company phone. I have the Samsung Rugby Pro, which comes with a nifty app that show data usage; both mobile & wifi. Personally, I love this phone and play with it at home all the time.

 

Athough I don't believe my company has been charged for my wi/fi data usage, data usage warning emails are being sent to my company showing my TOTAL data, instead of my mobile usage. Although I showed my boss my data usage of 977mb was actually 922mb wi/fi & only 55mb mobile, the emails warnings and the fact that this is my first smart phone make him question the whole thing.

 

Is there a possibility of a flaw in the auto-email program or a need for an update? Any help/info would be great.

 

 

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