Bandwidth or data usage refers to the amount of information that is sent wirelessly to and from your phone. While some iPhone plans come with unlimited data usage, many plans give you a finite amount of data to consume each billing cycle. It is important, therefore, to know how much data you're using and which apps account for the most bandwidth usage. This is especially true if your business is paying for the iPhone plan, as any overages on your data usage will mean a higher monthly bill.
iTunes and the App Store
iTunes and the App Store generally account for more than 13 percent of data usage each month according to a report by Onavo, a market intelligence firm. Of this 13 percent, three-quarters is incurred by downloading apps and songs. In fact, a survey conducted by MacLife in 2010 revealed that previewing a few songs and downloading just one song will eat 14.42MB in only three minutes. If you only have 1- or 2GB of bandwidth allotted each month, you'll quickly run out by downloading songs and applications. A single graphics-heavy game, for instance, can be over 1GB alone.
Video of the Day
Any app that plays videos, such as YouTube, the social media apps or Netflix is going to incur heavy data usage. Videos take a lot of data to buffer and stream on your iPhone. That same 2010 MacLife survey found that playing a three-minute video takes around 11.62MB of data. If you play the video in high definition, which might be the default setting on your iPhone, you'll use up even more bandwidth. The same is true for using any website or app that plays videos as part of its features. If you click on a video in FaceBook, for instance, you'll start to incur additional data usage on top of using the app itself.
In and of themselves, social media apps also use quite a bit of data. FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ all rely on graphics-heavy interfaces. The more graphics an app has, the more data it is likely to use. In fact, opening up these apps uses at least 1- or 2MB by default, not to mention the amount you use by navigating around profiles, looking at pictures or posting status updates.
Safari, Email and Maps
As a business professional, you probably use your iPhone to send and receive messages on a regular basis. You might also want to capability to use Maps to find your way to clients' homes. And further, you might use Safari to do a bit of on-the-go research. However, browsing the net, using the maps app and checking your email are heavy data killers. This is especially true if the email or website you're looking at is rich in graphics or photos. So while a text-based email may only incur around 30KB of data, more involved websites, maps and emails can use several megabytes.