Question from Erin: I have a Straight Talk phone and I have a question about the amount of data it’s using.
I always buy the $35 card and I often use up my 10GB of data several days before the month is over. I absolutely hate it when they switch my phone to slower speed.
My friend told me there’s an app that will let me bypass the data cap on my Straight Talk plan but he can’t remember the name of it. I searched the Google Play store high and low but couldn’t find it.
I think he might be just trying to pull one over on me. Am I right or is there really an app that will do this?
Rick’s answer: Erin, the short answer to your question is no. There are no legitimate apps that will override the data cap on your Straight Talk plan.
There are third-party apps that claim to do this, but they don’t really work. What’s more, they typically plant malware on your phone!
For those reasons they aren’t available in the official Google Play store.
So the long answer to your question is your friend probably isn’t “trying to pull one over on you”, but his information is a bit off the mark.
The above being said, there are a few things you can do to minimize your monthly data usage and (hopefully) avoid the dreaded “2G speed penalty”.
1 – Some mobile web browsers have an option to reduce the quality of images (which also reduces their file sizes) before transmitting them to your phone over your cellular data connection. If your browser supports this option, turn it on.
2 – Review your list of installed apps and uninstall every app that you never use or don’t even remember installing in the first place.
Note: Some apps that came pre-installed on your phone can’t be uninstalled. You’ll have to disable them instead.
3 – Disable “Push Notifications” on your social media apps unless you absolutely MUST be notified right away when something happens on there.
4 – Don’t allow any of the apps you do choose to keep installed to run in the background unless they absolutely need to (your email and instant messaging apps, for instance).
You can revoke an app’s permission to run in the background in the “Apps” section of your phone’s settings screens.
5 – And now for the biggie: Connect your phone to an available Wi-Fi connection whenever possible.
Data received over Wi-Fi doesn’t count against your monthly cellular data allotment so simply connecting to Wi-Fi whenever possible just might help you stay under your data cap.
That’s all there is to it. I recommend that you try all the tips mentioned above instead of searching for a dubious Straight Talk “data cap override” app.
I hope this helps, Erin. Good luck!
Bonus tip: This post explains an easy way to instantly silence any smart phone when it starts ringing.