Author Topic: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"  (Read 1492 times)

geekette

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iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« on: January 04, 2023, 05:18:30 PM »
I have a 1GB/month data plan which is usually more than enough.  Twice in the last few months, though, I've run out of data due to insanely high push notifications, and I can't figure out what's using it, unless...  A couple times I've used that "share your ETA" on Apple Maps for the last 20 minutes or so of a drive, to let my SIL know when we're arriving.  She does the same for us when she drives here.  Could that really use a half a gig or more of data?  I just ran out of data this month, 20 days in, and my push notifications were at 900+mb, which is nuts, and there's no info on what, exactly, is running this up.

Push notifications are mostly off except things like calendar and reminders. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2023, 05:41:29 PM »
There's no good reason a periodic transmission of your location should use several megabytes per minute, but it's entirely possible the engineers behind this feature all have unlimited data plans and didn't bother with sending this information efficiently.


geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2023, 05:56:58 PM »
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201299#:~:text=To%20see%20how%20much%20cellular,it%20off%20for%20that%20app.
Unfortunately, push notifications is under System Services, just listed as "push notifications".  So I believe that means it's got to be something Apple related.

I paid $2 to get a bit of cellular for the next 10 days, turned off cellular data, and oddly have 233kb of push notifications already. Nothing else has used cellular data.  I'm home and on wifi!  Maybe it's not just maps, then.

JLee

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2023, 06:01:40 PM »
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201299#:~:text=To%20see%20how%20much%20cellular,it%20off%20for%20that%20app.
Unfortunately, push notifications is under System Services, just listed as "push notifications".  So I believe that means it's got to be something Apple related.

I paid $2 to get a bit of cellular for the next 10 days, turned off cellular data, and oddly have 233kb of push notifications already. Nothing else has used cellular data.  I'm home and on wifi!  Maybe it's not just maps, then.

Ahh, I see.  I managed to find someone else with what appears to be the same problem, but unfortunately no resolution was provided. The only other thought I have would be Apple support, but I'm not sure how helpful they will be able to be. :(

cool7hand

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2023, 11:52:11 AM »
Thanks for posting!

tawyer

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2023, 06:14:33 PM »
My phone has the same symptoms. I make a point of closing any apps that use location services so there is no chance of background refresh. It seems to make a difference.

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2023, 08:37:46 PM »
Itís still using cellular data even when cellular data is off and Iím on Wi-Fi. Some of the attached may have been when I went out briefly.

None of the data has anything to do with apps, just the system. I donít even use Siri!  And iTunes?  Really?  Iím going to contact Apple tomorrow. The phoneís under warranty.

dang1

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2023, 09:45:33 PM »
I'm on android, so not famiiar with iphones. I use No Root Firewall app on my galaxy to restrict specific apps from using data. Googling something similar for iphone, came up with: "How to Stop Apps from Using Cellular Data on iPhone & iPad" https://osxdaily.com/2021/11/04/block-apps-using-cellular-data-iphone-ipad/

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2023, 09:59:26 PM »
Can you try Settings > Notifications, then just set anything you don't actively use & benefit from to None?

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2023, 06:12:33 AM »
On the iPhone, you can restrict apps from using cellular data easily by toggling them off. Itís not apps, itís ďsystem servicesĒ, mostly unspecified push notifications, even though I have notifications also toggled off for almost everything.

NotJen

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2023, 07:03:02 AM »
Itís still using cellular data even when cellular data is off and Iím on Wi-Fi.

Is it your carrier sending data?  I would contact your service provider to try to figure it out.

I had to quit using Ting because of a similar issue - but in my case, the data amount was really low.  I typically was using 0mb of data per month (cellular data turned off all month).  They would forgive small data amounts sent by the carrier (I'm thinking it was on the order of KBs).  Then I switched my network over to Verizon, and they stopped forgiving small amounts, so I would get a charge for a "unit" of data even when I used none.  They refunded it the first month, but said it would continue to happen, so I switched to US Mobile - I haven't noticed any data use when I've had data turned off.

yachi

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2023, 08:52:29 AM »
I wish Apple prioritized low data use.  I seem to only get voicemails if I have my data turned on.  I'm not sure why that is.  I found someone here who seems to have had luck reducing Push Notification data use (or gave up?  hopefully not) by telling his iPhone to forget his Wifi, and then connecting back to it.

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2023, 09:49:23 AM »
I tried just forgetting my wifi and reconnecting, but that didn't help.  Then I reset network settings (losing all saved wifi passwords <groan>).  Since the reset, it now uses no data while cellular is off, and minimal data while cellular is turned on and I'm on wifi. 

I'm still surprised it uses cellular data at all while at home, but as long as it's not sucking multiple megabytes per day, I'm okay with that.  I'll be watching it!

BTW, this is via Red Pocket on ATT towers.  We just ported DH's number from Airvoice to Red Pocket as well.  Airvoice doesn't seem to respond to port out requests from the new provider, nor did anything happen after I called and they "sent the info to the port out department", but seconds after DH sent a FAX, of all things, his phone was in SOS mode (meaning no carrier).  He got the esim up and running in a few minutes.  Airvoice really went downhill over the last few years, but I've been with Red Pocket now for a couple years, and they've been very responsive to questions.

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2023, 01:20:15 PM »
Still chewing through 100mb in less than a day for unknown reasons.  I'm chatting with Apple (again) and they're pushing me off to the carrier. I'm afraid I'm going to have to toggle cellular data on and off, which is a PITA.   It shouldn't be this way.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 01:33:31 PM by geekette »

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2023, 03:35:49 PM »
The saga continues.

I got a free 7day trial from Mint. Downloaded and activated the esim for Mint and turned off the esim for Red Pocket.

After a burst of 250kb when I turned on the Mint esim, itís only used 1kb since. So thatís interesting.

Something is very odd with Red Pocket using 75mb of cellular data overnight while I was asleep.

dang1

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2023, 10:04:43 PM »
one thing about about Mint- uses T-mobile's towers. https://www.tomsguide.com/us/mint-sim-faq,review-5030.html

pretty good signal in the cities, but still generally not, outside of cities

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2023, 08:37:04 AM »
Mint (yes, TMo towers, which are...okay...around here) used very little system data over a couple days.  I talked to Red Pocket yet again, switched back to the Red Pocket eSIM and things have actually improved - greatly!

In the last 40 hours, System Push Notifications are around 9MB.  Still more than Mint, but as long as it doesn't start to climb again, I can deal with that.

I still don't know what caused the extreme data usage or what ended it, but by briefly switching to another carrier, at least I could determine it wasn't something I was doing, and that there's nothing wrong with my phone.  If it happens again, Visible has a two week free eSIM trial.

yachi

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2023, 11:22:45 AM »
I had read a suggestion elsewhere to try a different SIM and then go back, but it looks like I didn't share it here.  There was something about resetting the association of your SIM card to your phone with the carrier. 

dang1

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2023, 02:01:47 AM »
"Push Notifications Suddenly Using Tons of Cellular Data" : "..bug from the iOS 14.6 update.." https://discussions.apple.com/thread/253010087

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2023, 09:43:20 AM »
"Push Notifications Suddenly Using Tons of Cellular Data" : "..bug from the iOS 14.6 update.." https://discussions.apple.com/thread/253010087

Thanks.  I'll read through, but dang, we're on 16.2 now!  Mine is still under control since the Red Pocket/Mint/Red Pocket eSIM swap, but DH has yet to turn his cellular back on. He may have to do something similar to what I did, although I hate to take advantage of Mint like that.

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2023, 12:57:55 PM »
Spoke too soon.  Once the Mint trial was over, Red Pocket was back to sucking data, even though it had been behaving more or less normally when I turned Mint off.  WTF.  Over 150mb in 16 hours, and I never left the house.  No apps used data - just the dreaded Push Notifications and a smattering of other system services.

Today was supposed to be the start of my next year with Red Pocket.  I'm trying to get a refund (like that will happen) and switch to Visible's $15/month unlimited plan for the next year.

dang1

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2023, 10:25:26 PM »
cuz of this thread, I'm actually more closely monitoring my Red Pocket usage (I have the $10 1GB, 1k mins talk, unltd sms). so far, no data leakage

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2023, 08:55:05 AM »
cuz of this thread, I'm actually more closely monitoring my Red Pocket usage (I have the $10 1GB, 1k mins talk, unltd sms). so far, no data leakage

Similar plan, but the yearly one they offer on eBay.  Since I'd been with them for 5 years, I thought that it was worth the savings over the monthly plan.  Sadly wrong, this time.

Just as a data point - what phone are you using and whose towers?  I started noticing it when I got an eSIM on ATT towers on an iPhone 14.  Prior to that, I was using a physical SIM with Verizon towers on an iPhone 10R and had no problems.  I'm now trialing Visible, which is Verizon, and no odd data usage.  Same with using the Mint trial (T-Mo towers).

Red Pocket only offers eSIMs on ATT, and the iPhone 14 cannot use physical SIMs so I was stuck with that change. 

dang1

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2023, 12:07:54 PM »
galaxy s9+ on att

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2023, 01:30:07 PM »
Physical SIM or eSIM?

dang1

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2023, 04:01:17 PM »
physical

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2023, 04:04:53 PM »
So it could still be a problem with eSIMs only.  Dunno.  Wish I could fix this, because I don't like throwing away money.  Turning on and off cellular data is a pain, though.

yachi

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2023, 04:16:01 PM »
I believe all Push Notifications to Apple products travel through Apple's servers, so I've been trying to learn how Apple knows to send a push notification through wifi.  Steven Van Dinter, a Spokesman for Verizon, says that Push notifications always use data -- not Wi-Fi, "They (cell phone manufacturers) feel the cellular network is more reliable," he said. https://www.cleveland.com/business/2016/09/want_to_reduce_your_cellphone_1.html

But Apple's support site doesn't agree, and it seems notifications should be able to go through Wifi.  I would reboot your router and modem if it's been awhile (maybe upgrade them if they're 5 to 10 years old?).  Also have a look at Apple's suggested wifi configuration settings: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202068

My thoughts are if the wifi connection to Apple's servers isn't strong enough, it'll kick notifications back to the data network.

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2023, 04:28:57 PM »
That's another thing to try, but I don't know why it would be so different for MVNOs using Verizon and T-Mo towers.  I've been using Visible's free trial for over 24 hours.  Total used <35mb, Push Notifications, <1mb.

We have google fiber for our ISP for the last year or two, and it came with a couple pucks for wifi (one of which is upstairs by the bedrooms).  I don't think we have any additional routers in the network anymore, but I'll check.

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2023, 01:53:47 PM »
Interesting turn.  Actually several of them.

Last night, last gasp, did a factory reset of the phone, then restored.  Left cellular data on overnight and while it didn't gulp data, it still used over 2mb in a few hours.  Since it's been so variable, I don't think that counts as a fix.

Then I stumbled onto Apple's "Shortcuts", which I had previously dismissed as a useless gimmick.  I was wrong.  I created a location based automation shortcut that turns on cellular data when leave home, and a second one that turns it off when I arrive home. Nice!  Problem (mostly) fixed!

Then I got an email from Red Pocket's eBay store.  They surprisingly refunded me 11 months of my 12 month purchase.   Go Red Pocket! 

Also Red Pocket expects to be able to offer eSIMs for Verizon towers...at some point in the future.  I'm considering switching to Visible on their Month to Month plan for a while (since it's $15/month for a year) and see if Red Pocket actually does get Verizon eSIMs.  Since my current Red Pocket plan now ends mid February, I have a little time to ponder.

As mad as I've been at, well, everyone (Red Pocket, Apple, AT&T), this is a better outcome than I expected.

geekette

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Re: iPhone sucking data with "push notifications"
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2023, 03:13:52 PM »
Iíve been on Visible for over a week now. Total ďpush notificationsĒ?  About 5mb. Iíve even turned on cell access to many apps I used to restrict to Wi-Fi, now that I have an unlimited plan. Total usage, less than 150mb.

So, some combination of iPhone, AT&T MVNO, and eSIM was the root cause of the Push Notification data sucking problem, not anything I was doing.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!