A low 3G data use option
Rather than just on/off, low use allows 3G access to foreground app only with initial prompt each app session to access data. Wifi remains unaffected.
No, people don't want to be hassled with prompts.
Better idea is a list of apps and THERE you can choose which you allow to use 3g, which you allow wifi.
Vicente Pastor commented
I agree with Sergio. When the phone is in stand by, with a lower data connection you can receive mails or Whatsapp messages. So, when you use actively your phone (downloading apps, listening to music via Spotify, etc etc), it' time to use the 3G connection.
3G drains my battery. So I would like that low 3G mode would only activate 3G when I'm interacting with the phone. Rest of the time I would like it would use Mobile data connection without 3G
J Baker commented
I like this idea a lot. If you are close to your data cap, you can turn on the low usage option similar to the Battery Saver.
A situation I can see this being handy is when you're using WiFi only, with the data turned off, but someone sends you a picture message. Currently you have to turn on all data, download the image, and then turn it off again. With low usage, you could simply allow the picture to be downloaded while not having everything else update/transfer data.
It won't have to be enforced, the app should be given the option to implement a low usage option. If you as a user see that an app uses to much data even at low usage you can make your own descission to use or NOT use the application anymore and complain to the builders about the high data usage. Because without this option you have to go to the same trouble as you do now, only not for the whole phone but for each app, turning down features and turning them on again when it is allowed.
Stuart G commented
Yes. This was what I was meaning. When I go abroad I have the option of roaming on or off. If I want to just look at one web site I have to turn off email syncing, xbox live syncing, updating location information and phone update checking, even then I can't be sure its not downloading people updates, updating live tiles, receiving notifications etc. In terms of keep it simple, the option to only allow the foreground app able to access data, and then only when you give it permission (on each app launch) would suffice. I do like the idea that an app can comply with the low use option, but wonder how that would be enforced, i.e. what does low use mean an app has to do and how does MS or the user ensure that an app that implements it, really is using the minimum it can? Maybe, when you give an app permission, you have drop down limit of 256KB, 512KB, 1MB, 2MB, 5MB, 10MB, etc. or Unlimited for the session?
Give us a "minimum 3G" option!!!
When you are in a foreign country you have to pay a lot of money for data usage! Or when you almost reach the limit of your data subscription. You can choose to turn it off, but sometimes you would like to use it for 1 or 2 tasks with the minimum needed data needs.
When the "minimum 3g" data option is enabled, no program is allowed to send or receive data without explicit permission from the user. When this options is entered it should pop up a screen where a list of all applications that currently would like to set up a connection are displayed and that you can put marks in front of the ones that you give permission. After that each application that also wants a connection shows up a system dialog where the user has to confirm.
Applictions should have the possibility to test the API if the "minimum 3G" option is enabled so that they can do everything to minimize data usage. For example not downloading the new user profile photo, only the messages.
And put a data counter in place that is always visible that counts from the moment that you started the minimum option. When you click on it show all apps that use data and how much data they have used since the modus has been enabled.
Situations when you are in a foreign country:
- I expect a very important email, the email boxes notices the "minimum 3G" options and only downloads the email headers and when you click on an email, the email is downloaded. But when there is an attachment attached it will ask you if it should be downloaded.
- The navigation software has its maps installed local on the phone but while driving it only has to check (download) for traffic situations on my route, so minimal data usage.
- We are driving with a group, multiple cars to a destination and I would like to see where on the route my friends are, so my location program needs to upload my location and get the location from my friends ones in 5 minutes, not much data needed.
- I would like to see messages (live messenger, whatsapp) from certain friends but with minimum number of checks.