Mobile apps that gobble up data are a big problem, causing customers to blow through bandwidth and quickly use up precious battery life.

One of the challenges, though, is that while customers often pay the price, they have little way to know what the apps they install are doing.

The key is to get those writing the programs to do a better job from the outset. AT&T is trying an interesting bit of reverse psychology to get developers to pay a bit more attention to the issue.

“Have customers been complaining about your app running too fast?” AT&T asks on a flyer handed out to mobile programmers who attended the developer summit held at last week’s CES.

AT&T then suggests some ways of slowing things down such as using uncompressed images, turning off caching and using lots of redirects. The carrier also touts a cross-platform “application resource optimizer” tool it offers to help make apps more responsive and less hungry for data and power.




2 comments
Marc (DarcFlii LLC)
Marc (DarcFlii LLC)

Fine. Give us unlimited data and we will pre-fetch our entire catalogs. And cache it within their cloud storage that they dont offer.

BC2009
BC2009

 "One of the challenges, though, is that while customers often pay the price, they have little way to know what the apps they install are doing."


I'm pretty sure you can do this on Android too, but on iPhone just go to Settings -> Cellular and scroll down to the "Use Cellular Data For" section.  Below each app name is the amount of CELLULAR data that app has used since statistics were last reset.  To reset statistics, scroll all the way to the bottom and tap the button that says "Reset Statistics".  


I don't know if these stats auto-reset with each billing cycle (I don't think they do), but it is pretty easy to monitor cellular data usage of apps.  Many apps have a "data sipping" mode when on cellular versus WiFi.  For example, the Sling Player app will switch to lower quality on cellular automatically to conserve data.


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