I spent some time tracking down huge sent data usage on my boss' iPhone and iPad. I found this article very helpful:
I used my Macbook Pro running Lion to sniff data packets on the iPad, and determined that the continuous stream of outbound data was to an IP on our corporate network. It turns out that the Mail app (through Exchange/ActiveSync) was trying to deliver a message unsuccessfully, leading to gigabytes of data usage outbound. I found the message in the "Outbox", and after waiting for it to fail to deliver, deleted it, and the data usage stopped. Same story with a different message on the iPhone.
So using the Remote Virtual Interface tool is a strategy that might help you figure out what's going on, if you're upgraded to iOS 5 and have a Mac running Xcode 4.2 or later (freely available to Lion only, I believe).
Hi, I am here in Germany, having iPhone 4S and new iPad, both latest iOS, pretty much the same apps, same sync settings etc. My iPhone works fine but my iPad goes crazy:
in 2 weeks it downloaded almost 7GByte of data!?! The upload & downlaod of my iPhone were are couple of MB!
What is even more strange that in those 2 weeks I was mainly at home (vacation) and 95% of the time connected to my (private) WLAN. I have not downloaded this on purpose. I checked all app seprately (like start it, do normal stuff (even one YouTube video)) but all them were using <=1.5MByte. Most of them I was not using anyway.
My contract plan is 300MByte and my provider already told me that is used up for this month!? Painful...
One day I was out, resetting my data statistics, went to standyby - after half day I checked: around 150MB were downloaded!?! Who did this?
There is no app that is even close to using 7GB - except iTunesU: is this one syncing as crazy?
But I have almost the same courses on my iPhone which behaves fine!
Maybe I should install a tool to observe the apps. I found only "DataMan" but also complaints, it doesn't show the traffic correctly!? But maybe good enough for a rough estimation? Other apps?
For most of the apps (including iTunesU) I could not find a possibility to choose use WLAN only / no mobile data.
I have never seen this with my iPad2 / former iOS.
I just submitted this to http://www.apple.com/feedback/
iOS and Cellular Data UsageDear Apple,
2 weeks ago, just before the end of my billing cycle, AT&T alerted me saying that I had used 95% of my monthly 200MB data plan on my iPhone 4S. Historically (since my iPhone 1) I had consistently used no more than 150MB per month so I had chosen the cheaper plan. I disabled all cellular data, waited for the next billing cycle, and reenabled cellular data after the cycle had started.
After 3 days, I received another alert saying that I had already exceeded the new month's limit, and that I was now being billed an extra month. Inspection of my bills suggest that my 'phone had started to make very large downloads - one as big as 83MB. This is something it had never done before, and I had not installed any new apps recently.
This was very surprising and the several AT&T support people I have spoken to agreed that it was strange that my data usage had suddenly increased 10 to 100 fold. They could not help, other than the usual suggestions of killing Apps all the time, using WiFi, avoiding large downloads on cellular data, and attempt to monitor total usage closely against running applications etc. They also said that they do not have any way of determining which application is using the network, and that their billing log updates may be as inaccurate as in the last 24 hours, so can't be used to pinpoint when the downloads happen.
Cellular data is like any other utility. For example, the water company has a meter on my house that measures my total usage. However, if my bill suddenly exceeds its trend, I can invite their technicians into the house to inspect for leaks. I can also turn off all the taps individually, rather than cutting off the water supply to my whole house.
Given that people's data usage is only increasing, and that ISPs are introducing more and more bandwidth caps, this problem will only get much worse. One of the AT&T representatives admitted that he has exactly the same problem with his daughter's iPhone but did not have any easy way of determining the cause.
Apple has decided to lock down iOS. Consequently, no-one else can install monitoring tools that would breach the AppStore API rules, for example, a kernel extension & daemon that monitor network traffic on a per-application basis, unless the 'phone is jail-broken. (I could write this myself if it were allowed.) But Apple has not provided sufficient tools to manage this problem. This is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Unfortunately, Steve (Jobs) was wrong when he said that users should not be concerned with application management. The ISPs are forcing this on us.
I strongly recommend the following is added to all new versions of iOS:
1) Apple needs to expand the granularity of the /General/Network/Cellular Data system preference. As well as this "all in one" switch, we need a switch for each installed application, so that on a per-application basis, the application can be FORCED to only use WiFi. (This includes iOS system features such as location, notification, iAd services etc.)
2) Apple needs to replace the /General/Usage/Cellular Usage to show a screen similar to the storage space usage that indicates how much cellular data is used on a per-application basis. As it is, it is almost useless, and AT&T's tool is better.
3) The idea of allowing all apps to remain running in the background is unacceptable. Instead, on a per-application basis, pressing the "Home" button should kill the app, rather than leaving it running in the background and listed in the "double press Home button" screen.
4) The Notification system should be used locally to alert the user that an application or the whole system limit is being breached.
5) An improvement on #1 would allow a cellular data quota to be imposed on a per-application basis, which would kill the app if breached.
6) All of this is really annoying from a usability point of view. Consequently, I recommend that when configuring a new iPhone, the defaults for current and new apps should be set according to the data plan. Aggressively for low data plans like mine, less aggressively for more generous plans, but the hard limits should automatically disable cellular data if it about to be breached.
These are both very urgent. You will lose customers to Android if you do not tackle the usage problem, now that ISPs are limiting cellular data bandwidth. I have been a happy Mac and iPhone customer for many years, but I have to admit that this sudden usage problem (which I have STILL not managed to diagnose successfully) is really, really annoying. I have no problem paying for bandwidth that I have chosen to consume. But not being able to dictate limits on apps that have been imposed on me by my ISP reduce the value of apps hugely because I cannot trust them.
I have never used iCloud. I have MobileMe (actually it was originally .Mac) though, but only use it for email and "Find my iPhone." Nothing else. Also, I have not changed this configuration since I first installed it on my iPhone 1 (then 3GS and now 4S).
So my problem is not caused by iCloud unfortunately. But your advice is good for those who do have it.
I have a very similar issue.
Our company has just got a batch of 20 iPhone 4s handsets to replace Blackberrys.
My IT manager was the first to get his (for testing purposes) and he noticed within an hour or so of receiving the handset, he'd used around 1.5Mb and had barely used the phone.
We're in the process of troubleshooting to nail down whats causing the high data usage on his handset, using a combination of both his 4s and my personal 4.
4s is running 5.1
My 4 is running 5.0.1
If I have WiFi turned on and connected to a network, the data stops going up (as you'd expect)
When the 4s is the same, the data is still going up, slowly but surely.
It's a strange issue.
So far we've turned off Siri and iCloud (apart from find my iPhone, but location services are disabled to save battery...) yet it's still creeping up 5Kb every couple of minutes.
Unfortunately there is an issue with my itunes resetting several times a month and all my music and apps being cleared out, so icloud is my only option to store my stuff and not lose it. So far no one has been able to help me with the itunes problem, so I'm stuck with both issues until I get a new phone :-(
Actually it does have something to do with this thread because the complaint was that icloud is causing high data usage rates. Since my itunes keeps clearing itself out icloud is the only way I can access my music and I am stuck with the high data usage problem. So having the itunes problem perpetuates the high data usage problem with icloud. Maybe instead of posting a snotty reply to my comment above (that you obviously have an issue with), you could have simply asked what it had to do with the original topic instead of being snotty about it. And FYI, I did post several times about itunes and NO ONE is able to help me.