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Evaluating the data used in VOIP apps
A lot of people are looking to use their Nexus 4 with TMobile's data-only plan (I am too), so I thought it might be useful to look at how much data the different VOIP apps use. Most of these apps have just been sitting on the phone unused (since I don't have TMobile service just yet - waiting for my contract to end) and since I've tried some of these on multiple devices, I should be able to offer some breakout of what's just idling usage and what's talk usage.
I have Skype on a few different devices (they offer 1 free phone call per device and I wanted to test it), and on only one of them did I make a long call.
The Data Usage
* Skype 8 days on device with 30-second call: Foreground: 642KB, Background: 1.72MB
* GrooveIP 8 days on device with 19m31s of calls: Foreground: 31.54MB, Background: 7.24MB
* SipDroid 8 days on device with 4m23s of calls: Foreground: 13.22MB, Background: 1.43MB
* Skype 2 days on device with 5m11s of calls: Foreground: 2.07MB, Background: 2.17MB
Also important is the amount of battery the apps use. If you have a VOIP app that makes your battery run down 2x as fast, that's not very useful. Skype is a huge battery hog.
The Battery Usage
* Skype 9 days on device with 30-second call: When signed in, idling 10-13%, signed out, idling 3%
* Skype 3 days on device with 5m11s of calls: When signed in, idling 7% (it's only been signed in)
* All other apps don't use enough battery to even show up
What data usage is everyone else seeing?