How to Reduce data usage on Android; A Guide to Data Management On Android Phones

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So there you are, on your phone, minding your own business (or not, in the case when you’re viewing Sam’s Whatsapp status and passing judgment on his life- we have all been there), when you receive that message that has disappointed more people than a rejection letter – your data bundle is done.

Finished. Just like that. You then begin to wonder, how long has it been? A couple of hours? Minutes?

Naturally, someone has to take the blame for it, and it could be anyone and everyone, from your younger sibling who is always borrowing your phone to ‘google something’ to your service provider, who has ‘developed a scheme to eat your data’.

No one is safe. Even Sam’s status is apportioned some blame for taking up way too much of your data bundle. What’s worse is if you just got the bundle a few hours before. But even worse than that is if you were using good old pay-as-you-go, as that will mean all the airtime in your phone is gone.

This is a very common occurrence especially here in Malawi, where internet fees are amongst the highest in the entire world. In fact, they are exorbitant. Many is the time I’ve heard people come to me and complain about how their data bundle just finished after a few minutes of use.

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but the only culprit here is you if you have never heard of a data-saving app. Now, you may ask, what is a data saving app? Basically, this is an application made with the purpose of managing your data usage.

Chances are you are using a smartphone powered by android. Later versions of android have an inbuilt data saver.

However, most of them are not reliable, as by default they may still allow some background processes to run, including Google services and updates. If you are looking for complete control over your data usage.

This is where the app DATALLY comes in. Datally is a data saving app developed by Google itself (the same company that makes the Android Operating System, FYI).

You can easily find it on the Google Play Store just by searching it up. The best part is, it’s completely FREE. To top it off, there are no annoying Ads whatsoever.

Most other data saving apps aren’t free and those that are free come with a bunch of annoying ads, so Google should be commended for coming up with this app. Setting it up is fairly straightforward and the user interface makes it super-easy to use. After opening it, you simply toggle the switch to ON. A notification will pop up every time the app is in use.

You can then go about customizing which apps you do not want to eat up your data in the background in the Manage Data section. Every app and service, whether pre-installed or downloaded, will show up and has a toggle next to it that allows you to stop background data consumption of that specific app or service when it is not in use.

The Manage Data section shows a chart of the usage statistics of the apps that have used up data for that period. It also has the option to set a daily limit, for those of you who are really stingy with your data.

You can also control some of its actions from the notification area. It also has a bubble tracker that can be enabled, which shows up on the app you are currently using and lets you know how much data you’re using up in real time or for the entire day if you would prefer that. From my time of using it, it has proven reliable and has not given me any signs of stability issues or any bugs.

This app has helped me save a lot of airtime and stick to within my means, so give it a shot if you want to save that data! Your wallet will thank you in the long run. And so will Sam- after all, no one likes being blamed for finishing up another man’s internet bundle.

P.S. Note that Datally is designed to work over mobile data connections only. It is not applicable when using a Wi-Fi connection.


  1. Y Sita
  2. Harvey

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