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Data Survival: 3 Quick Hacks to Slash Usage on Google Meet

13th July 2021

Some arguments never end, like which version of The Office reigns supreme (Steve Carell is just as good as Ricky Gervais, fight me). But there’s at least one thing we can all agree on: data anxiety sucks. Having 100GB with rollover on a Circles.Life SIM certainly helps, but it doesn’t hurt to know a few data survival tricks for keeping your monthly cap at bay. 

Apps like Google Meet can chew through data faster than a plate of chicken rice on an empty stomach. High quality video calls can devour as much as 2GB per hour, sometimes more. That’s a crazy amount for people like us who practically live on Meet for work meetings and catch ups with friends and family. But data survival is dead easy with these hacks for reducing data usage in Google Meet.

1. Turn on the built-in data saver

Legit, it doesn’t get any easier than this. Google Meet has been updated to include a data saving option that you can flick on to cut down usage during calls. This mode also saves battery power and puts less strain on the chip inside your phone, so there’s more than one reason to turn it on if you don’t mind a drop in video quality. The setting works on Apple iPhones, iPads and Android devices, so you’ll have no trouble switching it on. 

How to use Google Meet data saver on Android

Step 1. Open Google Meet.

Step 2. Tap the three dots to bring up the menu. 

Step 3. Choose Settings.

Step 4. Toggle on Limit data usage. 

How to use Google Meet data saver on iOS

Step 1. Open Google Meet.

Step 2. Tap the hamburger button to bring up the menu. 

Step 3. Choose Settings. 

Step 4. Tap on your account.

Step 5. Toggle on Limit data usage. 

2. Switch to audio only

The perks of a video call are probably the main reason you use Google Meet in the first place, right? Hear us out (no pun intended). It’s worth keeping audio-only mode in mind as a backup because it massively cuts down data usage when you need it. Even if you keep video switched on most of the time, you can toggle to audio only when you’re running low on data or for those extra long chats with your bestie. It also lowers the bandwidth needed for the call, which can result in better audio quality when you’re struggling to catch a word. It gets even better if everyone in the call switches their camera off, so spread the word! 

For both Android and iOS, you can turn your camera off at any time during a Google Meet call by simply tapping the camera icon. 

3. Track your data usage 

Okay, we admit this tip is a bit of a curveball. It won’t directly lower Google Meet’s data usage, but we stand by it! As seasoned survivors of the dark days of measly 1GB plans (or worse), we realized the easiest way to prevent any data dilemmas was by tracking our usage. It’s less of a big deal now that we have all these amazing data-loaded plans available for all the best Android phones and iPhones, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on your data as you go through the month. Thankfully it’s a piece of cake with the Circles.Life app, which comes with an all-in-one Dashboard that gives you a crystal clear view of how much data you have left. No more nasty surprises!

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