Which apps chow down on your data plan?

The new site KnowMyApp.org reveals how much cellular data is used by such popular apps as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Netflix.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

You can now find out how much data is used by certain mobile apps before you download them.

Served up by CTIA - The Wireless Association, a Web site dubbed KnowMyApp.org tells you how many megabytes -- or gigabytes, even -- are chewed up by key mobile apps during a typical month of use. The site calculates its figures by measuring someone using the app three times a day under certain scenarios.

For example, a person using Facebook would post five comments, like five posts, view one embedded video, view three embedded photos, scroll through the Timeline, check-in once, and upload one photo. A person using Netflix would search for TV shows, watch a TV show for nine minutes, add a TV show to the favorites list, pause a video, turn on captions, rotate the device, adjust the volume, rewind and fast forward, and finally view a specific category.

The site focuses specifically on iOS and Android apps and shows how much data each one carves out of a typical 2GB data plan per month. Only a smart portion of all the apps on the market are covered, but you will find details on some of the most popular ones.

So how did certain apps fare?

Facebook consumed an average of 433MB per month, Twitter ate up just 67MB, and YouTube snagged 1,294MB, or around 1.2 GB of data. But Netflix maxed out on a typical 2GB data plan with a whopping 4,227 MB, or more than 4GB.

The site is a handy guide for anyone who likes to use mobile apps on the go but doesn't want to trip past their monthly data allowance.

Tags:
Mobile
About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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