—Turning on SMS notifications where ever possible to save precious battery life & minimize data usage

March 8, 2013

(photo credit: Wikipedia)

SMS has been with us from the very beginning of the so-called “mobile revolution”, and yet many of us still don’t use it to its full potential. Maybe we’ve been conditioned to avoid the draconian limits and overage charges from the mobile overlords, but strangely these days carriers are the handing out unlimited messaging plans like it’s going out of style. What else could they do? They’ve been gouging us over for years, charging for a service that costs them next to nothing to deliver (don’t get me started on the international text plan racket) and in response people have shifted their methods of communication to more data-centric options like social media, apps like Kik, or the ever-awesome (and free) Google Voice. They’re losing profits and I say serves them right. Now they’ve changed their tactics to making data their cash cow; tiered data plans, or “unlimited” data for “just a little more”. And while it’s hard for us consumers to quell our ever-increasing data addiction, it’s easy for the frugal masses to find a cheaper route.

With the focus shifted to data consumption, messaging plans are on the clearance isle. I say stock up now that they’re cheap. I myself have downgraded to a $30 monthly prepaid plan, and I now find that the stigma I once associated with prepaid was really rather silly. A 5GB/month data cap is totally livable if you’re not a streamer and/or have occasional access to Wi-Fi. All this marketing propaganda about coverage and throughput to promote these stupid data plans are a load of bull in my opinion, not to mention overpriced. In my quest for Android optimization, I’ve found that most of my data usage comes from checking Facebook and Twitter. This is actually quite shameful, especially in the case if Twitter, whose entire format was birthed from the SMS standard. Upon my discovery of battery saving apps that switch off data while the screen is off, I soon found that I was defeating their whole purpose by letting them wake my phone’s 3G radio after receiving some mundane comment by someone I don’t even know in response to a post I marginally like. Isn’t social media great? Then I remembered something from my BlackBerry days: Text alerts and posting via SMS. I guess they were good for something.

Twitter SMS

Facebook SMS

These are just two examples. You can read the instructions for yourself as I really have no time to hold hands, but once mastered you can perform many of the same functions via text as you can with a dedicated (data sipping) app. Best of all, you can switch off your 3G/4G radio altogether and save yourself some juice while still staying “connected”. Whatever that means.

—Got juice?


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