Demand control over your IPhone data usage

Demand control over your IPhone data usage

Call ATT and demand that they provide an a means for the account holder to know which programs are using cellular data and further allow us to limit which programs we allow the phone to access cellular data.  This has to be separate from WI-FI usage.

 

They will tell you that this is a software issue and that you need to contact Apple.  WRONG!

 

It is true that Apple eventually would have to write some software to allow this to work.  The point is that Apple will never do this unless ATT explicitly asks them to as this will cost ATT revenue since users can then actually have control over what data is used.  ATT has to allow this to happen.

 

Here is what happened when I called ATT because my daughters IPhone 4 was using about 100MB of data every week even though I know that she almost never used the web browser and was not streaming video or anything like that.

 

When you call ATT "Customer Service" and ask them how you can know what programs are using up all the data in your data plan, the first thing they will tell you is you can upgrade your data plan.

 

They will also tell you there is NO WAY to know what programs are actually accessing the internet using this data. 

 

Continuing their "Uncustomer Service" I pressed them that they really needed to help me figure out why my daughters new phone was using over 200MB in just two weeks.

 

I said I either needed a way to manage the data or turn it off.  I was again told NO WAY TO DO THIS.

 

I kept pressing him that I need help and that the other answers were not helping.

 

Finally I started to break through their script.

First he tried to tell me that the application would warn me if it access the internet.  WRONG.

The next suggestions were to read the terms and conditions of each application to see if it accesses data.  SORRY, NOT GOING THERE.

 

After about 45 minutes on the phone he finally told me about how to turn off data usage on the IPhone OS4.  Basically if you turn off WI-FI and Cellular Data then try and launch all your applications.  If they error then you know you are trying to access the internet.  See my post about how to know what programs are using all that data for details on how to do this.

 

Everyone needs to speak up and complain to ATT about this.  Only then will we have a chance to get this under OUR control.

Message 1 of 41 (13,905 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

You need to call apple. AT&T just sees packets, it's too late to know what app caused a packet to be sent to an ip adressSmiley Tongueort.

 

It's not AT&T's problem to lobby Apple for you. There is NO smartphone OS that provides detailed data use statistics on the market, so it's not a "core feature" that Apple forgot to implement.

 

And yes, we have had this discusssion before about how it's only inside the OS where you have any hope at all of knowing the detailed breakdown of data use.

 

All you need to do is turn off cellular data to prevent cellular data use. It's not that hard.

 

Settings->General->Network. Flip the Cellular Data switch to Off. There you go.

 

Other helpful hints. Do NOT enable diagnostic data in iTunes: http://forums.wireless.att.com/t5/Apple/Data-Usage-Problem/m-p/2630583#M162640

 

Do turn ON wifi, and use it whenever possible - wifi data use isn't part of your "data use" billed on your account. Remember that WIFI TURNS OFF 15 minutes after you suspend, UNLESS the phone is plugged into AC/USB power. So, leave it plugged in overnight if you're getting push/periodic email or other notifications, to prevent it from using Cellular data - or turn off cellular data.

 

Oh, and welcome to the forums.

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 41 (13,853 Views)
Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

Just curious... you say your daughter doesn't surf the web or stream video, does she listen to streaming audio?  Does she use any Apps?

 

Does she ever get voicemails?  YES, checking voicemail via visual voicemail REQUIRES cellular data.

Frankly, 100MB/week is nothing.

 

Someone is doing something to use data.  The iPhone does not mysteriously just use data.

 

It is not now and never has been AT&T or any other cellular providers responsibility to tell you how to stop using data.  If you use it, you pay for it.  If you don't use it, you don't pay for it.

A simple google search would have told you how to turn off Cellular Data in iOS.  Are you incapable of helping  yourself?

Message 3 of 41 (13,816 Views)
Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

There is probably no way for AT&T to know which apps use data. It's probably just seen by their system as transfer of so many data packets to/from your phone, without info on what specific program is calling the data. If there were such a capability, people would claim AT&T was invading their privacy by tracking app usage.

Most people seem to be capable of managing their data fine.
Message 4 of 41 (13,797 Views)

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

johninsj,

 

Thanks for the comments but I have to disagree with you saying this is not an ATT issue.

 

All cellular phone manufacturers build in features that they believe the carriers will want.  Up until a few days ago ATT was the only carrier in the US for the IPhone, therefore I have to believe this was a combined effort to decide what features to include (and for this discussion more importantly, what not to include).

 

There is no way that Apple would put in a feature that enables the end user to monitor and control their data usage the way they want to unless ATT gave them the explicit request to do so.  You know that ATT counts on these extra charges to help their bottom line.

 

I 100% agree that it would have to be Apple that writes the software so that the phone can track and report to the owner of the account (most likely through the ATT Account web site) what programs are the big data users. I think most users would be surprised to learn which specific programs use the most date. It may be that controlling access is handled via ITunes which again would involve Apple software writers.

 

Whether it is available on other phones or not is irrelevant to my concerns.  The fact is that the IPhone has the potential of using much more data then the user realizes until they get the big bill.  Yes I realize that there are now warning text messages that go out about reaching the plan limits. 

 

The fact that ATT even sends out these warning text messages is because of customer pressure to do so.  I am suggesting similar pressure on ATT could give us much more information and control over our data usage.

Message 5 of 41 (13,789 Views)
Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

There is a way to check the 3G data usage on the iPhone.  In Settings>General>Usage, you can see how much 3G data has been used by the phone.  Reset this at the beginning of your billing period.  This should help you not go over your data plan allotment for the month.  This won't be app specific, but can help you monitor your overall use.  HTH

Message 6 of 41 (13,758 Views)

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

 



21stNow wrote:

There is a way to check the 3G data usage on the iPhone.  In Settings>General>Usage, you can see how much 3G data has been used by the phone.  Reset this at the beginning of your billing period.  This should help you not go over your data plan allotment for the month.  This won't be app specific, but can help you monitor your overall use.  HTH



 

21stNow you can download Pageonce - Money and Bills.  It is a free app.  You can then add your ATT account along with many other accounts and see the details right on your phone, including data usage.

 

The phone in question is a new IPhone 4 we just got for our teenage daughter.  The point is as the account holder responsible for the bill, I want a more detailed understanding of what programs are the big data hogs.  That way I would have the ability to say its OK to play this game but not that game.  Right now I can only say don't play any games while on the ATT network.

 

I have been traveling two to three weeks a month and have used about 200-300MB of data a month during this high travel time.  I use email, Urbanspoon, maps etc all the time.

 

I frankly am shocked to know understand just how much data these "free" games are using.  I figured it had to be streaming YouTube or something along those lines, which my daughter has not been doing.  The fact is that she has about 15 games that all access the internet on her phone. It's these games that are causing the high data usage.

 

 

Message 7 of 41 (13,736 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

 


Uncustomer_Service wrote:

johninsj,

 

Thanks for the comments but I have to disagree with you saying this is not an ATT issue.

 

All cellular phone manufacturers build in features that they believe the carriers will want.  Up until a few days ago ATT was the only carrier in the US for the IPhone, therefore I have to believe this was a combined effort to decide what features to include (and for this discussion more importantly, what not to include).

 


 

You seem to be confused that the iPhone is the first/only high data use device, yet some of us have been using smartphones for well over six years - Windows Mobile. PalmOS. Android. Heck, even lower end phones by Samsung are more than able to burn through gigabytes of cellualr data.

 

The fact is, none of these OSes give a per-app usage accounting - mostly because its largely irrelevant once the user gains rudimentary understanding of how data is used on the device.

 

I strongly suggest anyone with any smartphone on AT&T start out with the 2GB plan, and avoid ALL multimedia streaming on the device unless they are sure they are on wifi. If you are sure your regular usage is never over 200MB month after month, then save $10 and drop down to the 200MB plan.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 8 of 41 (13,698 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

 


Uncustomer_Service wrote:

 

 

I frankly am shocked to know understand just how much data these "free" games are using.  I figured it had to be streaming YouTube or something along those lines, which my daughter has not been doing.  The fact is that she has about 15 games that all access the internet on her phone. It's these games that are causing the high data usage.

 

 


 

Please post the list of games you suspect are using data. I am more than happy to verify for you if they use data, and if so, how much. I suspect you may be suprised by the findings, or I will be.

 

It is trivial to do this by using wifi and some monitoring software on the local network. I have such a network & tools and would be happy to install and play any free game and let you know how much, if any, data it uses per session or per minute or any other metric you desire.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 9 of 41 (13,697 Views)
Master

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

 


Uncustomer_Service wrote:

All cellular phone manufacturers build in features that they believe the carriers will want.  Up until a few days ago ATT was the only carrier in the US for the IPhone, therefore I have to believe this was a combined effort to decide what features to include (and for this discussion more importantly, what not to include).

 

There is no way that Apple would put in a feature that enables the end user to monitor and control their data usage the way they want to unless ATT gave them the explicit request to do so.  You know that ATT counts on these extra charges to help their bottom line.

 


 

 

For the iPhone and Apple you would be wrong in them caving to carriers.  Apple has been the exact opposite in that area.  While ATT was the only carrier in the US they were not the only carrier for the iPhone.  Many countries sell/support the iPhone.

 

Apple out of all the phone manufactures has been the least likely to add/remove features at the request of the carriers.  Apple doesn't even allow the carriers to brand the phones with their logo or to allow the carriers to install their own software on the device.

 

If you really want to know what the applications you put on the device use you can easily (but time consuming):

DO IT YOURSELF Smiley Happy

 

Do a fresh install of the iOS with no extra applications installed.  Monitor the usage.  There you have your baseline for what the base Apple iPhone uses.  You can then add things like email, calendar, contacts and use the built-in apps as you desire and you would see the built-in applications usage on how you use the device.

 

Then install an application and you will see its usage over your baseline.  Remove it and install the next app you use and continue doing each one (add, test, remove, repeat .. over and over and over).

 

 

But if you really think its a feature Apple should have in the iPhone, then you need to report it to Apple as a request since they handle the development of the iOS software.

 

Maybe if there was enough people that really wanted it, they would listen (like text messaging, copy&paste etc etc), but I honestly doubt you will ever see it.

 

Head over to Apple and put in your suggestion as a product enhancement.

http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

 


 

Message 10 of 41 (13,663 Views)
Guru

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

 


satchev wrote:

Does she ever get voicemails?  YES, checking voicemail via visual voicemail REQUIRES cellular data.

Frankly, 100MB/week is nothing.

 


Although the OP didn't (originally) mention as to exactly which data plan his daughter is on...to just bluntly put out there that "Frankly, 100 MB/week is nothing" is somewhat of an ignorant statement.  100 MB/week may be nothing to someone on the 2 GB or unlimited plan, but "quite frankly" it is not "nothing" to someone on the $15 200 MB plan.  I'm guessing that the OP's daughter is on the $15 plan--otherwise, then yes 100 MB/week would be nothing and the OP wouldn't have created this thread.

 

Message 11 of 41 (9,610 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

I'll repeat my offer in case the OP ever returns

 

Please post the list of games you suspect are using data. I am more than happy to verify for you if they use data, and if so, how much. If you are uncomfortable posting, feel free to send the list to me in a PM and I can reply with the results in a PM as well.

 

I'm quite interested to discover which, if any, free games use significant data, in the tens or hundreds of megabytes range. I might expect to find a few tens of KB of usage (to update scores, show rankings for example) but significant game usage would be pretty interesting to discover, and check on the app store to see if it's noted in the description or feedback for the app.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 12 of 41 (9,600 Views)
Employee

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

there is an easy way to tell if an app uses data

 

if it has a global highscore list (rates you against everyone else playing)

if you can play/talk to people (excluding the sms app)

can download anything (themes, add-on packs, etc)

 

 

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 13 of 41 (9,526 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

 


JFizDaWiz wrote:

there is an easy way to tell if an app uses data

 

if it has a global highscore list (rates you against everyone else playing)

if you can play/talk to people (excluding the sms app)

can download anything (themes, add-on packs, etc)

 

 


 

Yeah, but a free game usually isn't going to have anything other than maybe a score list. And that should be a tiny trickle of data.

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 14 of 41 (9,507 Views)
Employee

Re: Demand control over your IPhone data usage

data is data. you want to know which apps use data, that's how.

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 15 of 41 (9,491 Views)
Share this topic
Announcements

Welcome to the AT&T Community Forums!!! Stop by the Community How-To section for tips on how to get started.

Additional Support