Data, data, data, it’s been in the news a lot lately. From carriers throttling “unlimited” plans to the ads in free apps using up more than their fair share of data. But when it comes to the apps themselves, which are the worst data sucking offenders? PCWorld set out to answer that question. They used a Droid Razr running on Verizon 4G LTE and tested apps in six categories. This is what they found:
Among the app categories we tested, movie streaming apps chomped up the most data. … And high-definition videos take up double the amount of data that standard definition videos do. …
YouTube videos aren’t the biggest data hog. Netflix streaming uses more.
Listening to Pandora for an hour a day for a month will use about 1.76GB of data.
Spotify differs from Pandora in that it is an on-demand music service and music management platform. Though you can do more things with Spotify, it does use more data than Pandora when streaming to your phone.
If you choose to stream music at the “medium” bit rate of 160 kilobits per second (kbps) you will use about 1.2MB of data per minute. Listening to Spotify for an hour a day for a month will cost you about 2.1GB of data. So Spotify alone can max out a 2GB data tier.
Games can be addicting, so you should take caution with them, especially those with detailed graphics and online multiplayer modes. Also, 3D graphics usually mean large file sizes. For instance, Madfinger Games’ Shadowgun cost us 218MB to download.
But it’s when you get into games that depend heavily on an Internet connection to play that you get into some serious and ongoing data usage.
If you frequently video chat on your smartphone and have both Skype and Google+ Hangouts installed, it may be wiser to use Skype in the absence of a Wi-Fi connection. In our tests, Hangouts used roughly six times more data–30MB per 2-minute session, in contrast to Skype’s 5MB.
Uploading photos to Facebook, Twitter, or your preferred social site uses up several megabytes of data each time, which can add up to quite a significant amount of usage if you upload a lot of pictures. …
We wanted to know how much data it costs to upload and view images at some of the best-known social media sites. To test this, we uploaded five 60KB images, and then used our mobile device to view (download) five images on each service. …
Pushing images up through the network to the services’ servers costs you anwhere from seven to 13 times more data than viewing images that are already hosted there, depending on the service.
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