So, what IS 2gb of "usage" for an iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Nrwrit3r, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Nrwrit3r macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2010
    Hey guys!

    Like many people who just found out about the new limit on the iPhone, I am wondering what 2gb of data really is? I'm planning on buying a 4g but I want to make sure I won't be going over the usage every month. I am young and use the internet a huge amount (thankfully I'm on a college campus and will mostly be on wifi).

    But what is 1 mb of "usage" ?

    I am a newbie...I am good with computers/phones, but I don't understand the whole usage thing.

    If I watch a youtube video and download a new app every day, will I go over 2gb of data? Does the iPhone download a youtube video to watch it, or is a youtube video normally just 1mb? The new iPhone will have a higher res screen, meaning higher grade streaming....will I go over it?

    And what about videochat? Would videochat easily suck up 2gb of usage over 1 month?

    I don't currently have an iPhone and therefore cannot really go online and check my usage. Any information would be much appreciated!
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Why don't you log in and have a look? If you were using airvideo for example 2gb wouldn't last you very long.

    I can see alot of people trying to save a buck and losing out on this one.
  3. Nrwrit3r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2010
    What is airvideo?

    And I don't have access to the account (I'm still on my dad's account haha), and I don't currently own a smartphone so it wouldn't apply to me.
  4. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Here's the thread about how to check your data-usage chart.

    Many people are posting images of their chart. You can scroll down and take a look. Each bar is one month's worth of data.

    (Remember, the charts are in MB, so if it says 500 that's really 0.5 GB.)
  5. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Especially since we're going to have two-way video calling on the iPhone 4G.
    That 2 GB is going to go really quick with that.
  6. iMrNiceGuy0023 macrumors 68000

    Jun 5, 2009
    with Multi Tasking being added....people will Pandora in the background while doing other things....and Pabdora uses a lot of data
  7. TLewis macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2007
    left coast, US
    You'd think so, but I just did a 3G test (wifi disabled): with Pandora running for around 127 minutes, only ~32.0MB was transferred (that's download + upload). It's hard-to-believe, but that's what my cellular network data shows.

    That's around 7937 minutes worth of pandora in a 2GB limit (and I'm assuming AT&T will use the ugly 2GB == 2000MB rule), or around 4 hours 20 min/day (assuming a 30.5 day month). That's not too bad.
  8. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    There's a little thingy on AT&T's site that lets you try out different scenarios to determine how much data you'll use. Doesn't have GPS, though.
  9. thelatinist macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    GPS itself requires only miniscule amounts of data (for the initial geolocation from the aGPS server). After that it is all done locally. If using a GPS solution without local maps, that's another story.
  10. TLewis macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2007
    left coast, US
    Wifi usage doesn't count towards the 2GB limit. The 2GB limit is only for cellular data usage (3G/EDGE), and cellular data and wifi data are totally separate and different things. If you only use wifi, you should never, ever hit the 2GB limit.

    In fact, most of my usage is wifi -- largely because 3G/EDGE often sucks where I am -- and my cellular data usage since February was under 300MB.

    A quick pandora check earlier today showed pandora using up maybe 0.26MB/minute. You can do the rest of the math. :D

    Note that youtube on the iPhone is a bit crippled as (1) videos appear to be converted to an even smaller lowres version for the iPhone (which can be good, as that means less cellular data, if you use the cell data network), and (2) longer youtube videos often can't be viewed on the iPhone (they can be viewed via a desktop web browser, but get an "unviewable" error message if you attempt to view them on the iPhone).

    airvideo is a wonderful iPhone app that makes videos on your PC or Mac accessible by your iPhone. Basically, you run a server app on your PC/Mac, and the iPhone app connects to the server to view videos. It's really best for (local/home/dorm) wifi use. There is an option to make the videos accessible over the internet, which means that any airvideo-enabled iPhone can access them via 3G/EDGE (you'd better add a password if you do this). However, with the new 2GB limit, airvideo over 3G/EDGE is really not usable; while it's highly variable, my airvideo-converted videos are often 150MB-200MB in size, for a ~45minute video. On the other hand, since you have the video on a PC/Mac, you can just transfer the ones you really like to the iPhone.
  11. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Isn't it charged per minute, not per MB?

    Edit: Hmm, that appears to be a one-way service. What does AT&T call "normal" two-way video calling?
  12. TLewis macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2007
    left coast, US
    Well, it remains to be seen, but my guess is that video calling just falls under data usage. It'll be interesting to see how well it works over 3G, if at all; if it does work, that 2GB limit may not seem so big after all ....

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