How to use Apple's low data mode in iOS 13 and what you get

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Apple has introduced a new feature with iOS 13 that optionally saves you data usage by reducing network activity.

It's a bit buried in the settings, but this low data mode will help you when you get close to the data limit.

It's a bit buried in the settings, but this low data mode will help you when you get close to the data limit.

We had the low-power mode from iOS 9 in 2015, but now Apple has added a similar new option that gives you more control over what cellular or Wi-Fi data your iPhone or iPad uses or apps on them.

With the Low Data Mode, you can reduce the amount of data used and, thanks to the way Apple has implemented the feature, you can prioritize what you want.

Apple app

Apple's apps and services are, as expected, ready to work with the Low Data Mode.

Once turned on, your iPhone or iPad will automatically stop downloading items. You won't get apps or music that you buy on other devices unless you choose to download them.

Similarly, Apple News will not update so much and will stop anticipating what you want to read and pre-recover that story for speed.

How to set the Low Data Mode on Wi-Fi. You have to do it for every network you use. Separately.

How to set the Low Data Mode on Wi-Fi. You have to do it for every network you use. Separately.

Even high-quality music streaming stops and when you use FaceTime, it adopts a lower bitrate to save data bandwidth.

Third-party apps

Part of this will depend on the developers and what they choose to add to iOS, but each app will see some changes. The update of the app in the background is disabled, for example, and even backups or any automatic downloads stop.

Just like with Apple Music and FaceTime, any audio or video stream will be of a lower quality than you are used to.

Temporary measure

You will not always use the Low Data Mode. The quality of what you use on your iPhone will be lower if turned on, so use it only when necessary.

However, when necessary, it will be so useful. Maybe you're making a deal where you have a specific data limit and you know you're getting closer. Just activate it so as not to exceed the limit.

And then, in the same way, you may find yourself in a weak signal zone and while everything should work, it takes longer and the battery runs out more.

In these cases, activate the Low Data Mode and you will appreciate the difference.

You will especially appreciate it when you want to do something specific. If you need to download a specific app, you can do it. The low data mode does not prevent you, it only limits automatic downloads.

So the download you choose to start positively is what will happen. It gives effective priority to your needs.

Wi-Fi or mobile

Low Data mode is a good idea, we would just like to turn it on and off more quickly. This is because you have to activate the Low Data Mode separately for any Wi-Fi network you are using and then again for your cellular connection. If you use an iPhone with dual SIM, you must turn it on or off for each cellular plan.

To turn it on for a Wi-Fi network, go to settings, Wifi, then touch the I button next to the name of any network.

Tap the Low Data Mode button and you're done. For Wi-Fi.

For mobile, go also to settings, but then a Mobile phone and the Cellular data options.

If your iPhone isn't set to the US language, you'll see the same sections instead of Mobile data is Mobile data options.

In both cases, after touching the data options, you will find an on / off switch Low data mode.

It is not as if it were a slow task to activate or deactivate it for one or two cellular plans and therefore for one or more Wi-Fi networks. But not only do you have to do it for each of these options, but you must also remember that you did.

US iPhones will say Cellular rather than Mobile Data. Remember to do it for both lines if you use the dual SIM

US iPhones will say Cellular rather than Mobile Data. Remember to do it for both lines if you use the dual SIM

There is no visible indicator for low data mode such as low power mode. You can see that it is active only by returning to the settings or noticing that some features are disabled.

Excellent start

We would like to see some sort of indicator on the screen. Furthermore, it would be great if the Low Data Mode emulated the sibling of the Energy Saver mode and were chosen as an option in the Control Center.

And at the moment, there is no way to create a link to do it. A location-based or even timed trigger to activate or deactivate it would be ideal.

Yet perhaps Apple has not done any of this because the company knows that you will not constantly turn on and turn off the Low Data Mode. It will never be a function that you use five times at a time. But when you use it, it will prove very useful.

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