I'm trying to limit the chance of me accidentally using mobile data when I don't want to, and one of my techniques was going to be turning off the "Background data" option for most of my third party apps by individually toggling the setting under System > Apps & notifications > {app}. However, while testing this toggle, I noticed that it appeared as if Spotify was still downloading and playing music while my screen was off.

At first I thought maybe it was playing some cached music, so I decided to force stop the app to clear all memory usage, turn off my cell data and wifi, record the amount of background data the OS claimed it had currently used (25.00 MB), attempt to launch the app an play a song, background the app (bring up the home screen), and hit play on my headphones.

As I expected, Spotify didn't play anything when I relaunched the app w/o any radios on, but when I backgrounded the app and turned mobile data back on, it started playing music.

To make sure I wasn't being tricked by cache again, I checked what the OS recorded for background data and it said 25.92 MB (or, more than before I started - 25.00 MB).

I don't think I've conducted this experiment incorrectly, so is my understanding of the "Background Data" toggle incorrect, does this not apply to music (and third party streaming apps such as Spotify), or is there perhaps something wonky with my mobile device?

  • IIRC, the "background data" setting is not enforced – it's just a hint the app should (not must) honor. Unless I confuse something, that is. – Izzy Nov 6 '17 at 22:25

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