Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan iOS devices
This is a lesson that I learned the hard way when using an iPhone overseas with a 200MB data plan. That's the same amount of data offered by the new AT&T $15 scheme. [crarko adds: Which I believe takes effect June 7th. This will obviously affect the iPad with 3G as well.]

You likely know that you'll need to avoid many high-bandwidth activities -- watching video, streaming music -- when you're using a cellular connection if you don't want to max out your plan. Here's a gotcha that isn't immediately evident: updating your apps.

Depending on what apps you have and how many you need to update, you could, as I did, end up consuming 30 or more MBs of data in one gulp. (And since the size of the downloads isn't shown on the App Store update screen, you're not easily able to find out how much bandwidth you're about to consume.)

Better to wait until you're on a WiFi connection to get the latest software updates. If you have the new 2 GB data plan instead, perhaps this will be less of an issue, but still worth tracking.

[crarko adds: Apple needs to do a better job of clearly listing the sizes of these items in the App Store app. I'm pretty sure there is currently a 20 MB size limit on individual (not cumulative) downloads over the cellular connection, but if you have a number of apps that's a lot of updates to add up over the course of a month.]
    •    
  • Currently 2.44 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (18 votes cast)
 
[10,029 views]  

Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan | 8 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan
Authored by: david-bo on Jun 03, '10 07:48:23AM

Hint is too US-centric. Cf Wikipedia.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan
Authored by: crarko on Jun 03, '10 08:11:51AM

You can avoid running app updates on other carriers as well, if they have data caps.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan
Authored by: frgough on Jun 03, '10 08:13:02AM

You can also download the AT&T iPhone app which will let you review your data usage at any time.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Be extra wary on iPads
Authored by: hughescr on Jun 03, '10 09:38:37AM

iPad apps can be in the hundreds of megabytes EACH. So watch out on iPad even if you have a 2GB plan...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan
Authored by: michaeldoc on Jun 04, '10 05:02:16AM

I fell foul of an unanticipated data limit on a prepaid plan with Telstra Australia. I had paid for 100MB of data and had 20MB left. I was being very sparing with it. One night at home I started updating all my apps on our wireless network (I have many apps). Unbeknown to me, our wireless network dropped out and the iphone connected automatically to 3G while I slept. In the morning I was $30 poorer as once my 100MB was used the remainder was taken from my talk plan at what I regard as extortionist rates (many complaints circulate about Telstra's data rates on talk only plans). To prevent recurrence of this I tried to manually change the APN, but somehow when my phone was configured to Telstra the setting for the APN became invisible. I now use unlockit.co.nz to set a false APN whenever I don't want my data allowance gobbled up by some hungry process on the phone and I can recommend this practice. It only takes a few seconds to remove the false APN every time you want data, and a few seconds to reinstall. Disclaimer- I have no relationship with unlockit.co.nz- I just think they provide a valuable service.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan
Authored by: asmeurer on Jun 04, '10 10:10:55AM

+1 for Apple putting sizes for App updates. It affects wifi users too (i.e., iPod touch users). The problem is, if you update your apps and there is a lot to download, and you need to go somewhere else where there isn't wifi, the wifi on your device will stay on and constantly look for a connection until it finishes updating, even if your device is asleep in your pocket. So it's a common occurrence for me: I update my apps, put my iPod touch in my pocket, go somewhere else, where there isn't wifi before it finishes, and the next time I look at my iPod, that battery is almost dead.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan
Authored by: rocketmac on Jun 04, '10 10:40:20AM

Keep in mind also that if you get an international plan with a data limit (let's say 30 MB to keep the math easy)... if you turn it on for only 20 days out of a 30 day month, you only get 20 MB. It's prorated.

AT&T got me on that one, but I complained and get the excess charges removed.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Help avoid hitting the limit on the new iPhone data plan
Authored by: brunow on Jun 05, '10 02:27:43PM

You guys in the US are lucky. At least you live in a large country, so most of you will probably seldom use roaming. For me living in a small country in Europe, it takes me 30 minute drive to the Dutch border (Holland), 90 minute drive to the German border and 90 minute drive to the French border.
I do a lot of international roaming, my phonebill is outrageous.

But, what I never do is update the apps from my iPhone.
I always do this on my computer at home, and then just sync.
At least, this allows me to go back to the previous version if an app decides to mess up my iPhone.

I also have to agree with the first comment:
This hint is really very US-centric.

I would also like to point out that I don't understand how any one in his right state of mind would want to spend very expensive roaming on updating apps.
These updates can't be that urgent.




[ Reply to This | # ]