PSA: WP7.8 update can cause huge data usage

| February 3, 2013 | 10 Replies

counters

It took a while, but the 7.8 update to older Windows Phone is finally rolling out. Everything isn’t as it should be however with reports coming in of very large data usage since the update.

Apparently WP7.8 changes a few values regarding live tiles and the way that they update. The one who discovered it, WP7 Root Tools, has done some investigating and it appears that when an app makes a request to a server for an icon used in app or some other data and that particular site or address is unavailable it starts an endless loop to try and get the data that is requested. What it does is continuously be browsing the web basically.

In WP7.5 this process was interrupted by the OS and ‘told’ the app to try again in 30 minutes thus putting a stop to the loop of requests. Although it doesn’t appear to be a bug per se in WP7.8, as it comes down to apps making requests to non-existing addresses, but the OS should be handling these kind of exceptions since a server that is temporarily down could also cause the problem.

Mind you, this problem won’t affect all phones. It will only happen when you have a ‘bad’ app. The problem is, you won’t know you have one unless you keep track of your data.  So, for the time being; be aware of excessive data usage and keep track of your data usage with the Nokia Counters app.

Via: WP7.nl
Source: WP7RootTools

Category: Nokia

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  • Just Visiting

    Thanks for this info! I haven’t updated to 7.8 yet (although it is waiting for me in Zune) but I will certainly keep this in mind.

    • ashu

      dnt update !!! output volume thru speakers/headphones is too low.. i’ve downgraded mine by flashing again.

      • beefiron

        I updated and I’m not experiencing this. I’ve used the headphones, the phone speaker and a Play 360 since updating my Lumia 800 and there has been no issue.

        What’s your phone? Is your update carrier specific?

  • migo

    So this would also kill battery life?

  • Peter

    Wau, is there anything MS can get right the first time! Good thing I never bought that crap. Sad though since Nokia has great innovation. The only thing that sucks about them now is the one thing they have zero control over, WP.

    This year there might be a chance Stephen ‘call me the general’ Elop will be fired and Nokia will abandon or reduce its resources on this disaster. Not eager about android either but a Sailfish or Ubuntu Nokia would be perfection.

    This strategy has been a textbook case of mismanagement and now Nokia is competing for position 10 in the biggest smartphone manufacturer with a Chinese brand, Ylong (or something like that). And these guys have zero innovation but developer supported OS.

  • efekt

    Luckily, I myself have an unlimited data plan… I’m updating my Lumia 900 to WP7.8 while writing this reply ;)

  • Hypnopottamus

    I have updated to 7.8 also with my Lumia 900. I haven’t noticed any more battery drain than before the update. As was said above, this won’t affect all phones. Second, I want to address what Peter above said. Everytime there is an update (to ANY platform) there is a risk of something not being right. Let’s not blow this out of proportion. This isn’t soley a MS problem. This has happened to Android numerous times.

    • JGrove303

      Yes, but we’re butthurt and require perfection for out perceived loss in being early adopters! Even though we knew the road would be untravelled, we were sure it would be paved, with candy canes for road signs and licorice guard rails. 😉

      Serious though, everyone stop bitching and moaning already. We knew what we were getting our selves into. Be happy there’s support. Be happy about the fantastic hardware. Be happy whole months aren’t missing from the calender! Must importantly, enjoy watching our platform grow (or hope it does).

    • http://twitter.com/haranguemnb Harangue

      Exactly, this is a product of software development unfortunately. As long as humans write the SW errors will inevitably occur. This being one of them, although I do feel that something like this shouldn’t occur.

      As I wrote in the post, this is an isolated problem that so far only occured with 1 app, although it wouldn’t be impossible to be reproduced by other apps. From the data available it only happened with apps that have a live tile. Apps that don’t have a live tile won’t be affected, there is a slight chance that apps that can run the background might be affected too.

      All in all, this isn’t a particularly large or fundamental problem. For all we know the live tile behaviour is as MS intended it, we just don’t know right now. I didn’t post this as a SW problem but as a Public Service Announcement to be aware of possible excessive data usage with WP7.8. A lot of our readers aren’t on unlimited data so we’d like to watch out for them and bring to their attention.

      • JGrove303

        And a righteous service you’ve provided.

        Being on AT&T, I too gave up my unlimited data I used with my N8-00. That immediately changedf my data gobbling habits.

        I have nearly all of my apps blocked from running in the background, and have my email set to sync once every half hour. My syncing only happens once I’m at home on WiFi while charging. I suppose I’m a little too conservative, as I haven’t even broke 2 GB usage in a billing cycle (we get 3 GB for $30)