Sunday, August 26, 2018

AT&T mobile app: A bug with data usage display and an unexpected feature

We share 6GB of A&TT mobile data between four of us [1]. Normally this is enough, but this month #1 son went over his quota. He pays for the overages, so it wasn’t a big deal, except that MyAT& on my iPhone wasn’t tracking the usage. “See all usage” showed we were using a total of 6GB of data even though we’d used over 8 GB:
IMG 1329
When you add the above numbers you get about 6.1 GB. Turns out there’s a bug in the app — it basically stops working when you hit your data limit. There’s a similar bug in a couple of places — “Change my plan” says I’ve used 6.00GB this month, in truth we used over 8GB.

To see the true state of things look down to the bottom of this screen (may need to scroll) and tap “See all my usage” (compare to “See all usage”, above). You get an embedded web page and if you scroll down you see the true current use.

Scroll further down that page and tap a link called “Manage data” (elsewhere it’s Manage my data usage”). You get some useful features I didn’t know existed …
IMG 1332
Stream saver reduces video streams to 480p, it’s on by default. This screen also lets you turn data off completely for an individual user; I didn’t know that was an option. It might be useful for working with an uncooperative dependent burning data, but it also disables Find iPhone and Find Friends. So it’s a bit of a mixed blessing.

With the data overages it’s tempting to pay $16 more (basically cost of one overage) and go to the 10GB plan, but typically we’re under the 6GB level and almost never go over 7. So it’s more economical to stay at 6 and buy overage GBs periodically. I have found everything is using more data so we might need to change in a few months.

[1] #2 son uses so little data he gets by on a @$50 a year H2O prepaid plan.