Why is Google using my data?Support

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  1. dmullens

    dmullens Active Member

    I purchased an AT&T Thrive about 2 weeks ago because it was a goPhone and I could pay for just the data I was using. Because of this, I've been trying to monitor my data usage. I don't mind using data, but I noticed that I was using data even when the phone was idle and the screen was locked.

    After spending a couple of weeks trying to figure out what the data hog was I discovered it was "Network Location" according to 3g Watchdog. Some days "Network Location" was 80% (or so) of my data usage.

    Right now I think I found that it is Location Services and it is a service started by Google Maps. I'm still not positive about this though. I thought that someone on this forum might know.

    If it is, my question is, why is it using so much of my 3g data? Also, how do I get it to stop? If this is information that Google wants (for whatever reason), why should I be paying to get it to them?

    If anyone has suggestions on pinpointing the issue let me know. If I can find what service (or program) is using up my data, I would like to block it while I'm not using the service, but enable it when needed.

    Thanks for any insight!:

  2. wayrad

    wayrad Well-Known Member

    Location data settings can be changed in Settings/Location.
  3. dmullens

    dmullens Active Member

    Yea. I changed them. It didn't seem to make any difference. I have the option to use wireless networks for location disabled and GPS enabled. I assumed that this meant it would not use my 3G data...but it still is and does.

    At one point I think I had them both turned off. I can't remember for sure, but I don't think it made a difference either.

    I'm usually around Wifi, so I don't get a lot of a chance to 'try' the settings out. I don't want to mess with them while I'm driving :D
  4. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

    80% of what? The percentage doesn't really mean much by itself. How much data is it actually using?
  5. dmullens

    dmullens Active Member

    First off...this has all been a realization over time. The first time I went into town it was a short trip (about 30 minutes). About 10 minutes into the trip I noticed 600K had been used. I had not used the phone. At that point, I don't know how much of that was location services or something else. I have _noticed_ it using 600K-800K even though my total usage was around a meg or so.

    I've just purchased 3G Watchdog pro and even though I know it isn't completely accurate on the "app usage" data, network services has been the #1 use of my 3g data. Here's the thing...I don't want something that I'm not actively using to be #1.

    Perhaps I'm odd...perhaps it is because I'm paying for my data on ATT...but I want my usage of the phone to be the #1 reason it is using data. A couple of days ago I was waiting for my son to get done with track practice and I fired up Oprera Mini and did some quick browsing. Opera mini used about 200K of data...that's all I did...but my data usage was about 1.2 megs.

    I've just installed Juice Defender and I think that will limit some of the data usage...but I really want to know how to manage my 3G data usage without turning off 3G completely. I'm find with Gmail, GoogleVoice, etc. accessing the 3G data because I'm, in a way, initiating it. I've yet to figure out how and why I'm initiating the location data.

    I might have to turn everything off and turn things on one by one to find out ;)
  6. dmullens

    dmullens Active Member

    First off...wish this hadn't been moved to the Thrive forum...since I think it is probably something that Android is doing...anyway..


    Took a trip today and was gone for about 1 1/2 hours. I have JuiceDefender turning off mobile data when the phone is not in use, but allowing updates every 15 minutes. I had my daughter text me through GoogleVoice (since this uses data). I checked Google Voice (loaded in the page). Gmail also notified me that I had a few new emails.

    I've been using 3G Watchdog to give me some insight into what apps are using the data. The developer of 3G watchdog says that the app reporting doesn't always match up with the data reporting....so there's no need to point out that the apps usage and the total data usage doesn't add up. I do feel that 3GWatchdog can give at least a general idea of what is going on though.

    Here is what 3G Watchdog reports

    Data usage: 203 KB


    1) Network Location - 140 KB (send) 40K (receive)
    accounts and sync settings
    settings stoarge
    Android System
    Bluetooth Services

    2) Google Voice - 56 KB (send) 26 KB (Receive)
    3) Gmail - 17 KB (send) 5.2 KB (receive)
    4) calendar Sync Adapter - 4.3 KB (send) 7 KB (receive)
    5) Dialer - 7 KB (send) 2.1 KB (receive)

    I the mobile location turned off (I just remembered that I do have the GPS location turned on though). Still my question is..why is "Network Location" sending so much data...and to where?

    The bigger issue (for me) is that I am paying for Network Location to send this data. If I could get my data usage down...that would be a good thing.

    This isn't really a big issue right now...and 200 KB isnt' that much data...however, I have to limit _my_ use of the phone (by turning off mobile data (3g)) to keep the data this low. Before using JuiceDefender the phone could chew up 1 meg or more in less than 30 minutes. I have no problem with the phone using data if I am actively using it by browsing the web, doing emails, watching videos, using Navigation, etc., but I don't want to do those things because some process is using the data stream too and, at this time, I'm not sure what it is, or how to stop it other than stopping everything.

    Perhaps it's just the principle of the thing...if data were unlimited...then use it...if it is limited...and if I have to pay per meg (which I do), then I should be able to determine what uses the resources.

    Thanks for any insights.
  7. simonp

    simonp New Member

    I'm having the same issue - the amounts are usually small but constant enough that over a month it's a noticable percentage of the total amount and since I am with vodafone and they have decided to limit me to 500mb a month its painful to watch data being used on apps that are sleeping, especially maps since there's no good reason.
    I'm using the Phoneusage app and between 3-6am this morning while I was asleep maps used over 300kb, all of it outgoing.
    Latitude is off (this racked up huge amounts of data usage before) - anyone got any ideas?
  8. dmullens

    dmullens Active Member

    I was starting to think I was the only one that cared about this. I'm still trying to test some things out. Two _very_ helpful programs are 3G Watchdog and JuiceDefender. I just purchased JuiceDefender Ultimate because it lets you configure access on an app by app basis. What I'm not sure of if that configuration is for both Wifi and 3G, since JD is concerned with battery life and not data usage.

    I know I can turn off 3G data usage at any time...even from a widget. However, I'm using GoogleVoice to do my SMS and it uses 3G data. So, if I turn off 3G completely Google Voice looses its ability to function.

    JD can be configured to turn on 3G data every 5, 15, 30 minutes, which means my SMSs can be delayed up to the amount set in JD. I've tested this out. The SMSs come through, just a bit delayed. On the upside, allowing JD to do this really curbs the data usage.

    What I hope is that I can determine what app is using the data while the phone is asleep and stop it when I want. My fear is that even though I've told Google to not send "anonymous data" back to google (by unchecking "Use Wireless Networks" in the Location and Security section of settings), it is _still_ doing it. My fear is this is a system app that I will not be able to control which causes me to wonder _why_ is it sending all this data...especially when 1) I don't want it to and 2) I'm footing the bill. It would be nice to not feel like I _have_ to purchase the $25/500mb option from AT&T every month and go with the $15/100mb plan.

    Not sure if this is the case, but I think that it uses more data when I'm traveling versus when I stay in one location. _If_ this is the case, it is _very_ concerning (especially since I've indicated to the phone _not_ to have this behavior) and I wish I knew how to take the issue up with AT&T or LG....although I think it is an Android issue.
  9. dmullens

    dmullens Active Member

    Still doing some research and ran across this:

    Issue 2813 - android - Network Location should not depend on submitting GPS data to google! - Android - An Open Handset Alliance Project - Google Project Hosting

    An interesting line from that page is this:

    In my opinion, this precondition is absolutely not acceptable:
    "Collection will occur even when no applications are running"

    Hmmm.... Someone also notes that this also effects the battery and he finds that the battery last far longer at home than when he is out traveling.
  10. gotton

    gotton New Member

    I have same issue, in some cases, my phone sends over 10M data by Network Location in several hours...

    I am using Droid 2 Global. I found if I turn-off Auto-Sync from Accounts, Network Location will no send data any more. No idea why...
  11. dmullens

    dmullens Active Member

    That's nice to know...however, there area a couple of things that I want to sync up. One is GoogleVoice (for SMS) and my email. Basically, if I set things so that nothing can sync, then that is good for low data usage. However if I allow Gmail and GoogleVoice to sync, then it allows other things to sync as well.

    Case in point: Facebook updates even when I have it turned off in Accounts and Sync. Not sure why.

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