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iPhone Data Plan and Limitations
Those who have signed new AT&T contracts to receive the subsidized iPhone 4 will find that there are some very new features in the contract. The main point in the new two year AT&T contract is that there are restrictions for data usage, and in these situations you will have to limit your data use otherwise you will have to pay extensive fees. What this means in a practical sense is that you must limit the amount of data that comes and goes from your iPhone over the 3G network, which is not something that previous iPhone users have had to worry about. With this in mind it is important to find ways to reduce your iPhone's data use without eliminating the great features, apps, and internet functions that have made the iPhone the major step forward that it is. Here are some tips for reducing the iPhone data use so as to not exceed the limits of your iPhone's data plan.
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The first, and most important, move you must take is to use Wi-Fi whenever possible. The iPhone has always been great when used with Wi-Fi, but since the 3G network is possible everywhere you go in an unrestricted way there was no reason to centralize around Wi-Fi networks. Now there is. In all cases where you are stationary make sure to connect to an available Wi-Fi network, especially when you are at home or the office. Try to regulate any iPhone 3G usage to emergencies or important uses, such as for iPhone maps or brief email checks.
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Limit The App Store
Downloading apps from the App Store, or even media from iTunes, should be eliminated completely from the 3G network. Downloading software content through the 3G network will take up a huge amount of your iPhone's data limits, and you could even use up your entire data limits after a few downloads. This is a good idea even for those on old iPhone contracts as it tends to take a long period of time and there are limits on the size and type of files that can be downloaded over the 3G network. Instead, focus in on downloading and installing apps directly from your computer's iTunes or through the iPhone's Wi-Fi connection.
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Turn Off Push Notifications
Push notifications are used by a whole number of iPhone apps to "push" information that may come in as a message on your iPhone. For example, if you have your Facebook iPhone app with push notification enabled, you will get text messages giving you notifications based contact you have through this social networking tool. All of these require constant connections and will take up quite a bit of information, so make sure to switch these push notifications off. Try to make sure that all of your iPhone apps only update and connect to the internet if initiated by you and not on their own.
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Eliminate Certain iPhone Apps
Some iPhone apps have been developed to go around previously expensive phone call and text message costs. These "free text messages" apps and features like Skype were major steps forward, but Apple and AT&T have effectively killed them with the new data limitations. What this means is that is will remain cheaper to use the standard iPhone communication features that things like Skype, so save Skype for your home computer.