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Unexpected high data usage on the iPhone

239613 Views 174 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2014 8:03 AM by crosstantine RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • davipt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 11, 2012 6:07 AM (in response to invenio)

    Just to add some additional information, as unfortunately I have no answer to this yet.

     

    Me and my friend have two very similar devices, in the sense we have the same settings, same apps, and mainly the same usage. I have a 4 and he has a 4S. We both have the "My Data Manager" installed. The usage of each app is exactly the same, except the item "OS Services", which in my device consumes an average of 50MB *per month*, whilst his consumes much more, and some days ago it even consumed 115MB in a single day.

     

    We've triple checked everything we could. We've tested stuff like the IOS update was counted under "SoftwareUpdateSvc", installing or updating apps or content are counted under "App Store" or "iTunes Store", and even everything related to location - from the standalone accesses for timezone update or location via wifi, to the real usage of location like FourSquare or Waze - are all counted under GeoServices. The iOS Push is under ApplePushService. etc. etc.

     

    So basically we can't find out which remaining service can be under the "OS Services", except that it consumes not that much on the 4, but a awful lot on the 4S. This may also explain why his battery lasts much less than mine, and his device is always warmer than mine.

     

    So this really looks like a awful bug somewhere, but I can't identify what it is.

     

    Just my 2 cents to focus the discussion on the real issue, as this has nothing to do with real usage, or 3G vs. wifi, or iCloud sync, ActiveSync gmail accounts, nor anything like that.

  • hhe1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 11, 2012 9:10 AM (in response to davipt)

    You could try what I did in order to find the problem related to the internet calendar.

     

    - Connect an old ethernet hub (not switch) between the AP and the modem. (They might be one product so then you need to find a separate AP or WLAN router for this)

    - Connect a PC with Wireshark or other packet capture software to a port on that hub

    - Force the iPhone to associate to that AP/WLAN router. Mobile data turned off

    - Capture all packets for a long time. Remember promiscuos mode in Wireshark

    - Find the sessions consuming data with statistics/conversations. Sort on bytes

     

    Might help with a little networking experience in order to analyze some of the details from this capture.

  • brandonjones1980 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 9:30 AM (in response to invenio)

    Are you  using Icloud?  If so, it could be using your cellular connection to back up data.  To check this: Setting -> Icloud->Documents and Data.  Be sure that use cellular is off.

  • davipt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 9:38 AM (in response to brandonjones1980)

    here my friend's 4S has iCloud fully disabled (photo stream and documents and data), whilst my 4 has both enabled. But this doesn't matter, because mine does the sync only via WiFi (yes I do indeed have peaks of almost 1GB over wifi when it decides to sync everything).

  • davipt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 9:39 AM (in response to davipt)

    I did notice on his 4S device's logs that albeit the Location->TimeZone is disabled, I see from time to time, every 15 seconds then, some log lines stating something like (paraphrasing) "not updating date from GPS, is correct", so my guess is that the location+timezone is still active even with the button turned off.

  • Rockware Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 10:59 AM (in response to davipt)

    NIce work.  Here's another chunk of info.

     

    I have an iPod 3 with no data plan enabled.   All data transfers are over WiFi that has its own data cap (thus my Interest). 

     

    Using the My Data Mgr app, I'm seeing 50 to 200 megabyte sessions occurring between midnight and 3am IF the iPad is connected to a charger.  It doesnt happen every night but does happen 2 out of 3 nights.

     

    Im working to track down the full circumstances but it'll take awhile.  However it's impossible to believe Apple is unaware what's going on; there are has a lot of upset customers.  Fortunately for Apple, most of those customers think its their service provider and the billing systems.  It's obviously not but no one is being forthcoming.  Curious the tech media aren't running with this story.

  • brandonjones1980 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 11:23 AM (in response to Rockware)

    This sounds just like Icloud.  If you goto settings -> Icloud -> storage and backup, you will see the following text at the bottom: "Automatically back up your camera rool, accounts, documents, and settings when this Iphone is plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi (or I could be misunderstanding it all together). In a previous post I  gave instructions to disable Icloud backing up using cellular data.

  • Rockware Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 12:53 PM (in response to brandonjones1980)

    I would agree except that iCloud backup was the 1st or 2nd thing turned off on day 1 two weeks ago.

     

    So i think NOT on iCloud.  Even if it was, I don't have that much new data day to day to explain 10s to 100s of megs in less than an hour. 

     

    Keep in mind that this feature/problem is chewing up 10x or more  data volume as my intended usage on any given day.  It's not a minor glitch.  This mysterious midnight data transfer is THE overwhelming user of data capacity.  And it's mysterious because multiple service providers on multiple continents either can not or will not explain what's going on.  I suspect the latter only because I spent 12 years working for network equipment manufacturers in a technical capacity where I was frequently enough the resource of last resort for solving field problems.  There's no possibility that a problem of this magnitude would not be fully characterized and understood by Apple and their service providers.   It is undoubtedly well understood and there's a flurry of activity going on behind the scenes to come up with a solution.  

     

    THe obviously odd bit is that there is no ready explanation coming from any of the providers.   It's hard to believe that apples famous secrecy is this effective.

     

    Has anyone actually been billed for going over plan caps because of these midnight data raids who couldn't successfully challenge the charge? 

  • brandonjones1980 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 1:02 PM (in response to Rockware)

    I'm just throwing things out here as they come to mind.  As you probably know, when you press the home button, your apps do not close.  I have restarted my Iphone, and the same apps where still running.  Press the home button 2 times, and all the open apps will be listed at the bottom.  Swipe to the right and you will see more apps.  To close them, hold down an icon until they start to jiggle "just a little bit, LOL".  Then click the red icon with a white in it and it will close it.  Is it possible that one of these apps could be transmitting data in the background?  If you are able to figure it out, please let us know.

  • ambur6 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 12, 2012 8:08 PM (in response to invenio)

    I just got my iPhone 4s yesterday, and already noticed something similar to this. I got a plan with only 100mbs per month thinking that since I would be using my wi-fi for my actual internet browsing I wouldn't go over the limit...I managed to go over it in one day. It seems that instead of just using wi-fi to download the apps I got, the music I download from my itunes purchases and any browsing, it was using the 3G as well.

     

    So, I think that's the problem. Rather than just using all of our wi-fi, which is seems most of us believe it's using exclusively, the iPhone is using both and that's raking up major data usages. Since finding out I was already over my limit yesterday, I have been turning off the 3G and Cellular Usage when I decide to use Safari, download new apps, or to use my apps that use the internet, and I've only used 2mbs since then...so that defintiely helped. I've even downloaded apps and that hasn't added any charges. However, it's pretty ridiculous to have to shut off your actual cell service to use any kind of browsing features. I'm going to keep looking, but I'm hoping that there's a way to change it so that when wi-fi is connected, it's used exclusively to download, upload, and do any kind of data exchange. I've also shut off Siri after learning from you all that she uses tonnes of data. I did use her today though, and when I had 3G off she didn't use too much.

     

    I hope that helps everyone else kind of figure out what's going on, but I'm pretty positive that it has something to do with the whole wi-fi and Cellular data usage. If anyone has found out how to make it so that Cellular Data doesn't get used when wi-fi is connected, while also keeping cell service, I'd love to know because every time I turn off 3G I also lose service. By the way, I'm in Canada, so I definitely agree that it seems to be a hardware problem rather than a problem with the cell providers. It's too widespread to be our providers.

     

    Thanks for sharing what you've all learned. I'm going to keep looking and if I find anything else, I'll be sure to let you all know.

     

    Note: I was thinking before that it was just the 3G, but I'm thinking it must be more the Cellular Data. I've been turning both off so I wasn't sure whihc was helping, but maybe when I googled some more, I found that if you turn of Cell. Data and keep 3G, you should still get messages and calls, and not use up data. Frankly I don't mind doing that if it won't cause charges. (This forum helped: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3995759?start=0&tstart=0). So, hopefully that'll solve problems. Although by the sounds of it, several have already figured out to turn it off.

  • VonSox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 13, 2012 1:54 AM (in response to ambur6)

    Got another 4 days until I can turn the cellular data back on again as the contract month starts again, but I've been keeping track of things on wifi and Apple itself does seem to be the main user of my data, downloads and uploads.

     

    I bought the app Dataman which gives a much more accurate record of which apps/services are using your data, as opposed to My Data Manager which bundles a lot of things up in 'OS Services' or 'Unknown Apps'.  From using this, I have noticed that although I don't actively use iCloud as I back up my iPhone on my home PC, 'Photo Stream' was using a lot of my data and I was totally unaware that my photos were being uploaded to iCloud.

     

    I have tried to delete my iCloud account, but for some strange reason this loses most of my Notes I have in my iphone, which is a feature I use a lot to save having lots of bits of paper lying around.  Thankfully reinstating my iCloud account brought all the Notes back, but I can't find a way of transferring these Notes into my iPhone, as opposed to iCloud - I find it very strange that there isn't an option to transfer them from iCloud to my iPhone. Looks like I'll have to email them all to myself, delete iCloud and put them back in to my Notes.

     

    I have turned off everything but Notes on iCloud, and have noticed that my data usage has gone down quite a lot since.

     

    As some of you have mentioned, this is obviously an Apple issue - let's hope they sort it out soon!

  • Costpau Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 13, 2012 8:17 AM (in response to invenio)

    Hi all,

     

    I'm in Portugal, just bought my first iphone - the 4S - last Sunday, and when I checked my 3G usage, surprise,,,,,660 mB of download!! And I didn't download anything through 3G !! All I did to install applications and so on was done through wifi. I've already switched off 3G, but this is a mess! Mobile functions out of wifi range are dead (of course). I came from a Samsung Galaxy (android) where I had a full use of 3G without any problem of exceeding contracted usage of 300 mB I hired. Not a very good impression for a first IOS user.....Does someone know how to complain to apple? I want to make a real written claim about this unacceptable behaviour. They must fi the problem or they have to go to the court..I consider this as an abusing situation which we can not assign to the 3G net provider. If someone can help, i'd appreciate that.

  • goudepik Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 7, 2012 7:06 AM (in response to invenio)

    does anyone know what os services is and how to stop it from autonomously send and recieve data , i downloaded "my data manager" and os services accounts for 94% of data consumption

    which is not initiated by me

  • guguii Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2012 7:21 AM (in response to goudepik)

    After many attempts, i finally could fixed it starting from zero. I mean, restoring the iphone as new one and start everything again, and downloading the apps from the app store of the iphone.

     

    Everything i had, scores in ganez, notes, sms,whatsapps, etc, get lost.

     

    Worst than lost the iphone. As the backups are also suffering the same problem, i can"t restore it never atain!!!!!

  • VonSox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 7, 2012 7:40 AM (in response to guguii)

    A better app to download, in my opinion, which shows you exactly what your iPhone is doing datawise is Dataman Pro.  This breaks down all what I assume is shown as 'OS Services' in My Data Manager, i.e. Store Service, Push Service, Message Agent, iAd, iCloud etc.  It gives a much clearer picture of what is using your data allowance on top of your own, known use. It's also interesting to see exactly how much data you have used when, say, catching up on Facebook for 5 minutes - this made me realise just how easily my son's data allowance had probably been eaten up if he hadn't noticed he wasn't logged onto wifi at times.

     

    We now manually turn on and off 'Enable 3G' and 'Cellular Data' (found under Settings, General and Network) on each of our iPhone's as and when we need to use it, to be sure of avoiding high cellular usage that we are not aware of.  We only use data when logged onto wifi, or will turn 3G and cellular data on if it is needed when we are not on wifi, always remembering to turn it back off once we've finished.  This seems to be the only way to be sure that we will not be charged excessive data usage in the future.

     

    As mentioned before, this is not the idea of a smartphone but sadly, unless we're all made of money, we have no choice as we cannot be sure that Apple are not using our data allowance without us being aware.

     

    An expensive lesson to learn :-(((

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