Google News is reportedly chewing up huge amounts of data on Android devices. According to The Verge, Google News is affected by a bug that is causing the Android app to download large amounts of data in the background. The report states that Android users have complained about the issue since May, and note that the app has been downloading gigabytes of media data in the background.
The problem was acknowledged by a Google community manager in September, and some Android users have reported the app chewing as high as 24GB of data. This has even led to excess charges amounting to several hundreds of dollars in the case of some users. The worst part is that the app has been downloading data even when it was set to “download via Wi-Fi only”, according to some users who have complained about this issue.
— Kyle Poole (@kylpo) September 30, 2018
Google News app on my Android phone used 6,50GB of background data in the last month… only 1,50GB yesterday! WTF!? Let’s see if it worth keep it without background data… otherwise byyyyeee
— Pascal Like (@PascalLike) October 10, 2018
“The Google News app is randomly using a ridiculous amount of background data without users’ knowledge. The app burned through over 12 gigs of data on my phone while I slept and my Wi-Fi had disconnected. It lead to $75 in overage charges,” a user told The Verge.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this issue has caused to our users. We are looking into this and at how to remedy the problem,” a Google spokesperson told Mashable.
As a method to prevent Google News from consuming large amount of data, some users have reported turning off background data for the application. It is recommended that you do the same if you have the application installed on your Android smartphone. Another alternative solution is to uninstall the app and switch to web version of Google News, available on every major web browser.
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It is unclear what is causing the Google News app to download such a large amount of data in the background. It only becomes worse when you look at the timeline of the issue being first raised in May and a community manager acknowledging the same in September. The fact that Google is still looking into the issue shows rather slow response to this problem.