By Dan Moren
April 23, 2015 12:42 PM PT
Wish List: Sort by cellular data usage in iOS
Note: This story has not been updated for several years.
This one’s short and sweet. Last week I was off traveling and had to rely heavily on my iPhone’s data connection, with Wi-Fi being non-existent in many places and incredibly unreliable in the rest. As the end of the trip approached, I quickly realized that I’d ended up using the bulk of my 4GB monthly data allotment, even though I was only about a week into my billing period.1 Even by dialing back my usage, there was little chance that I wouldn’t go over.
Now, there are plenty of ways to monitor your data usage on iOS: you can use tools provided by your carrier, a third-party app like DataMan, or even go to Settings > Cellular and see an app-by-app breakdown.
But that last option has one key issue. Unlike iOS’s pretty great battery usage breakdown (Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage), the Cellular data screen lists apps alphabetically. Great if you want to turn off cellular data access for a particular app, but what I really want to know is which ones are the worst offenders.
So I’d like a toggle, please, that lets us choose whether to sort by highest data usage or alphabetically by app name. That way I don’t have to scroll through the entire listing of apps to figure out which one is eating up all my data.2
For extra fancy points3, adding filters for the last 7 days or last 24 hours, as Apple already does for battery usage, would be pretty handy as well. Not to mention being able to set a day of the month where your usage automatically resets, since I often forget to manually zero the meter on the first day of my new billing cycle. But, as I said, that’s a gap that third-party apps can fill for now.
Of course, what I really need is an iPhone case that shocks me when I’m using too much data. But let’s maybe hold off on that one for now.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at @email@example.com or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]
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