In today’s hyper-connected business world, busy executives are spending increasing amounts of time away from their desks and on the road. That means they’re using their computers less and relying more and more upon increasingly powerful smartphones and tablets.
All mobile devices, whether iOS or Android, have limits to the amount of data they can store. But there are many ways in which users can stretch their memory, not just by adding apps, but also by altering old habits and adopting new ones.
Here are 10 easy steps, in no particular order, that you can take to help minimize your memory use.
- Avoid Video Uploads: Uploading that TED Talk you just have to share with your friends could be a costly proposition in terms of memory used. Depending on your device’s settings and other factors, a minute of high-definition video can eat up as much as 200MB of precious storage space. Be stingy with your uploads and you’ll save heaps of memory.
- Bookmark It: After opening your iOS or Android smartphone browser, navigate to Google Reader, then create a bookmark. On Android devices, there’s even an easy button for this. Once you’ve created your bookmark, you can add a shortcut to your home screen for easy access. This simple step can help preserve a significant amount of memory.
- Watch those Widgets: While widgets can really be helpful tools if you need current information displayed, if you’re just looking to be able to initiate smartphone functions from your home screen, use shortcuts instead of widgets. You’ll accomplish the same thing without using so much data.
- Know Your Limits: If you’re running iOS, it’s easy to check your data usage in your iPhone’s settings. Newer Android versions allow users to not only see how much data they’re using, but also set alerts and limits. These can be helpful aids as you look for ways to minimize memory use.
- Game Over: If you’re dabbling in turn-based games, don’t worry too much about your gaming habit using up heaps of memory. It’s when you start getting into real-time action games that the trouble begins. These can use as much as 1MB per minute of play, making it a smart move to avoid them as much as possible. Save the games for your home computer.
- Browse for a New Browser: If you try a new browser, you might be surprised at the differences between the new one and your current browser. A good browser that’s available for both iOS and Android is Opera Mini, which offers significant data compression for big memory savings. It also decreases your memory use when browsing.
- Compress for Success: Apps like Easy Unrar (free, Android) and Onavo Extend (free, iOS and Android) can potentially extend your data plan by as much as 500 percent. Unfortunately, many of these add-ons don’t work with streaming audio or video apps, nor with VOIP apps, but they can really cut down on the toll photos and texts take on your memory.
- Skip the Streaming: Streaming music on Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud or other services makes the world your personal jukebox. But it also eats up a world of memory—up to 2.4MB of data at 320Kbps, to be exact. And if you think that’s a real memory-gobbler, just wait until you get into the habit of streaming video. Although it might be nice to catch up on episodes of your favorite shows while riding the train into work in the morning or while working out at the gym, that’s a luxury that could use up as much as 50MB for each minute streamed. Skip the streaming and see how much memory you save!
- Use Wi-Fi: Whenever possible—at home, at work, in the library, at the gym—use existing Wi-Fi connections and you will see a major reduction in memory use. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways you can cut down, so take advantage whenever you can. Look for Wi-Fi hotspots, and Torontonians will be pleased to learn the transit system will be installing more hotspots in various subway stations.
- Ax the Ads: What’s a hassle-free, commercial-free user experience worth to you? That’s a question you will want to ask when downloading apps to your iOS or Android device. If you are going to use that app often, you should seriously consider spending a little extra to get the ad-free version. Gone are the days when mobile users could readily buy ad-blocking apps, although such upgrades are still possible for jailbroken iPhones and rooted Android smartphones.
If you follow even a few of these steps, you’ll really see a difference in your mobile device’s available memory. And that can make a world of difference for today’s busy, always-connected business professionals.