Monday, January 30, 2023

Facebook Messenger, Gmail, GDrive & Whatsapp uses a lot of background data – Opera

Opera Software revealed that Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Google Drive (GDrive) & Whatsapp consumes heavy background mobile Internet data.


A new app-usage finding, conducted in December 2015 through millions of Opera Max users, shows that on average over 30% of all data is used by apps running in the background.

Background data is all the internet traffic that goes on when users are not actually using an app: email syncing, pre-fetching ads, news articles or feeds – even though they may never read them. Mobile Internet are generally expensive and comes in limited quota in Malaysia. The problem with Background data is that it could eat up all those mobile Internet quota if not managed properly. Background mobile Internet data also consumes a lot of battery power.

Facebook Messenger and Gmail are the most data-hungry apps, with some 73% of their total data usage happening in the background. Meanwhile Google Drive and WhatsApp showed more than 50% background data usage, Opera revealed.


“Most apps are made to give a great user experience, not to save data. If you fetch background data through your data plan, it’s like throwing away $1 out of every $3 you spend on your mobile data plan,” says Sergey Lossev, Product Manager at Opera Software.

“Most people are not aware of this background data drain and may not have authorized it, nor do they know how to stop it from happening. That is why, today, we are introducing Smart Alerts in Opera Max,” adds Lossev.

Opera Max for Android is a data-management app that provides data savings even for streaming video and music apps on Android phones.

“Smart Alerts help you easily manage your background data usage, as well as getting helpful tips and suggestions on how to prevent apps from devouring your data,” Lossev continues.

Opera Max’s Smart Alerts works on Android 4.0 & above, automatically identifying apps that use a lot of data in the background. Opera Max then notifies users about how to manage these data-hungry apps, allowing them to block these apps from consuming mobile data. The Opera Max app triggers Smart Alerts when it detects excessive background data usage of over 10 MB per week.

These alerts will show up inside Opera Max app. The user will also get a pop-up when Opera Max detects heavy, rapid background data usage.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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