iPhone wastes 100s of megabytes on mobile data when connected to Wifi

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Ramius, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Ramius macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #1
    I just got off the phone with my network provider after finding out my iPhone for the last couple of months have been wasting hundreds of megabytes of mobile data. Despite being connected to my own wireless network.

    The phone has been lying still on the table, and suddenly I get a message from my provider that my monthly data package has been used up. In the middle of the month! Without me even using the phone. Are you aware of this Apple?

    According to the tech support worker, the iPhone now switches back to the mobile network when you lock the screen. And does automatic updates on the mobile network. Despite being in your own freaking home, next to your own router. Is this some kind of scheme Apple have going on with the mobile network providers? To max out data packages despite the users best intentions?

    For three months now I have had my data packages expire way too soon. When Im not even using the mobile network at all. Even with Wifi-help turned off, and data roaming off. This absolutely blows my mind.

    The tech suppport guy now adviced me to just turn off mobile data alltogether. To avoid the phone going against your will and using mobile network instead of the wifi in your house. And turn off automatic updates. He said this might have something to do with iOS 9. I´ve been using my iPhone 5 for over three years, and this only started happening in the last two-three months.
     
  2. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #2
    While disconcerting, that's not a terribly large amount of data. Which apps are using the data?

    You are aware that MacRumors isn't Apple, aren't you? In all likelihood, no one from Apple will ever read this.

    A mobile provider tech support worker? Why are you not speaking to Apple tech support? Not that your situation isn't legitimate, but I don't trust cellular provider reps much, especially when they start spouting conspiracy theories about Apple in bed with carriers.

    Something does sound wrong, but you ought to be speaking directly to Apple to get to the bottom of the issue.
     
  3. harlenmm77 macrumors 6502

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  4. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I think you are underestimating the largest corpororation in america. This is 2016.
    I have a 1gb limit. And when the phone spends 150 mb just lying on the table, on mobile network instead of your own wifi, thats a problem.

    No where in settings or an Apples own website does it tell you that it powers down wifi when you lock the screen. Or that automatic updates will transfer over mobile data despite your wifi connection. Or that leaving it out the charger puts you at risk of using mobile data (what in the world?).

    Like I said. I have been using this same damn phone for three+ years. This has never happened untill now. And most the apps I´ve been using has been the same. And to your comment in regards to size. Several hundred megabytes is ALOT when your iPhone is just 16gb.

    And yes, wifi assist is off, and roaming is off. I find it hard to understand that its common knowledge to users around the the world the phone you have set to wifi, still uses mobile data instead.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #5
    I did not know that my 7 will shut down the WiFi when locked.

    Anyone else know this?
     
  6. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Apparently this is known among mobile network providers.
     
  7. mrex, Nov 15, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016

    mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #7
    it seems to be that iphone change from wifi to mobile network to save the battery when the screen goes off. and when you activate the screen it jumps back to the wifi network. if it is now let apps to consume mobile data when the screen is off, the system work wrongly.

    yes, seen that happening... but never thought about it, because it doesnt affect me - i have had unlimited data for years...

    you can also see it by yourself. put your screen off, turn it on by pressing the on/off button. watch the lockscreen and what happens with the network signal. you can see it switching between wifi and mobile networks.
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #8
    Nobody knows that....because that's not how iOS works.
     
  9. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #9
    want to tell more about it?
     
  10. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #10
    This was the first thing that I tried. And sorry, but I don´t see this. The wifi signal on my phone stays steady and active through locking and unlocking. It never appears to switch over to mobile network. Unless I leave the house.

    My provider now wants me to manually turn on and off mobile data every time I go outside. This can´t possibly be the intention? To my knowledge, this was supposed to work automatically.

    And according to my network provider, this is something that happens when the phone is in standby mode. In other words, when the screen is black. Which leads me to the conclusion that the whole operating system is misleading the user.
     
  11. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #11
    if i dont remember wrong, ios use 'wowlan' and the wifi is used when somehing is triggering it. But there is something odd, if the phone lets app to download over the mobile network when the phone is locked.
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #12
    You're correct, however if a user has an exchange account that will use cellular on it's own depending on the settings. iOS makes use of the same type of feature that MacOS uses to pull down data and updates without waking the entire device up.

    OP, what kind of setup do you have for email?
     
  13. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I do not have an exchange account. Just normal Gmail. And come on, this has nothing to do with it. The phone is using automatic updates on mobile network. Thats the problem.

    I just read the iOS 10.11 update information. But it says nothing about this issue. I feel that Apple has changed the configuration of automatic updates.
     
  14. iphone1105 macrumors 68020

    iphone1105

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    #14
    am I the only one who's phone always stays connected to wifi, sucks to be OP
     
  15. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #15
    When discussing automatic updates are you talking about app updates/carrier updates? I'm just trying to clarify what you're saying here.
     
  16. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #16

    When I pick up my 7+ with a locked screen and turn it over to view the screen it is on WiFi. If not on WiFi it would show LTE but it shows it is on WiFi. Seems mine is on WiFi, even when locked.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 15, 2016 ---
    No There must be two of us!
     
  17. bufffilm, Nov 15, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016

    bufffilm Suspended

    bufffilm

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    #17
    Yeah, blame Apple for some runaway process or app that is now using lots of data.
     
  18. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Anyone on iOS 9.3.5? Or anyone who´s experienced their data plan mysteriously maxing out way before it´s supposed to?
     
  19. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #19
    This is not true. WiFi uses less battery than cellular because it always has a constant signal and is not searching for a better signal. Whenever I grab my iPhone at home, it is always connected to WiFi. Doesn't matter if I set it down for 30 seconds or 6 hours. As soon as my screen lights up its connected and its usually on AT&T WiFi Calling because my cellular reception is so bad. AT&T WiFi Calling takes up to 2 minutes to connect. So if my WiFi was shutting off, I would never be able to wake the phone and see the AT&T WiFi as the carrier.

    My iPad Air 2 WiFi on the other hand will disconnect from WiFi if unused for 24+ hours at a time. But this is a WiFi only device.
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #20
    My phone has the wifi indicator at all wakeups, unless the phone has been locked for a few hours.
     
  21. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #21
    No you are not the only one. I've never had my iPhone drop WiFi while the device was sleeping.
     
  22. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #22
    This has been implemented since at least iOS 8, that's when I first noticed it.

    @Ramius Go to Settings > Cellular and scroll through the list, find your top offenders and disable cellular data for the less important ones. Eg. Games and Apps that sync to iCloud that can wait until you are on Wi-Fi. I don't know if GPS counts as data or not, but you can turn toggle location services off for the unimportant apps or like I do, change every available app to While In Use. For apps that have no real reason to track my location (like news readers because I read world news), I turn them off. Most Apps that request your location that are not mapping apps, do so for analytics to sell to third parties or to gain geographical data about their users so they know where they need to shift to meet the other markets.

    There was an article I read a while back, I'm sorry I don't have a source, but it was written by a developer who made some of the top free apps in the app store. He explained that the amount of code written just for analytics was insane and gave the company he worked for statistics such as where you opened the app, when you opened the app, for how long you used the app, and how often you used the app. The data of course was aggregated and averaged to show the overall success of the app based on these numbers, which is why you have 450 Farmville clones, a plethora of flappy animals, and more bubbles to pop than people in the world.

    Unfortunately, a lot of these apps also work in the background so they may be sending data when your phone is locked. You can disable this entirely or per app under Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

    Hope this helps.
     
  23. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I have just done this and turned off ALOT of apps, including app store. Which is the offender for this data waste. If I want to maintain my LTE speed for the rest of the month, I now have to pay my phone company extra. Twice the price of my regular fee. Because of this data waste. So I find it hard to see how this has always been this way.

    Hopefully this means they will stop working in the background. But does turning these apps off means you cant use them even when you open them? What happens then?

    I have also turned off automatic updates completely now. I don´t trust Apple anymore after this. I guess I´ll go a few years back in time and handle everything manually again. To avoid my phone bills rising automatically.
     
  24. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #24
    Maybe I missed it, but you do know that those carrier messages are delayed right? Carriers do not track your data instantly. Its posted as waves to your account. Are you 100% sure that you did not use the data when you were not connected to WiFi or that you did not disable WiFi by mistake. It does happen. You are quite quick to blame Apple and say you don't trust them when this is clearly not a wide-spread issue.
     
  25. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #25
    Yes. 100% sure.
    I found the apps that had automatically updated today and it corresponded with their registered data usage. That happened while I have been having home all day on my wifi.
     

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