GO exec how to use WhatsApp

How to set up your phone to save data using WhatsApp

Jon Bilger avatar
Written by Jon Bilger
Updated over a week ago

Warning - Excess Data usage may occur using WhatsApp

WARNING: WhatsApp is not optimized for data usage on a Satellite connection. You may use a lot of data with Whatsapp. Please exercise caution and monitor usage!

Update - 9th August 2023

Iridium has released a new GO exec App version which includes new Firmware for your GO exec, version 1.0.10. The new Firmware includes two new WhatsApp profiles, WhatsApp Full and WhatsApp Text.

These two new profiles significantly improve from the old default WhatsApp profile. They are much more effective in restricting your device's data usage to WhatsApp only and limiting background data transfers.

PredictWind recommends using the WhatsApp Text Web/App profile only and time-limiting sessions to 15 minutes. Carefully monitor the Data Usage meter in the GO exec App or on the device touchscreen when connecting with any WhatsApp Web/App profiles, old or new.

Please see this help article for steps to update your GO exec if you still need to do so. The new GO exec App versions are iPhone 1.0.6(40) and Android 1.0.7-33.


Using the WhatsApp profiles on your GO exec, unmonitored, you may use a significant amount of your data allowance, either actively or unintentionally. This may cause bill shock. In 15 minutes on the old default WhatsApp profile, you could easily use 5-10MB, or more, even with little use of the App.

WhatsApp is always active on your phone, even in the background, constantly checking and updating your and your contacts' status and receiving updates from any groups you are part of. The larger your contact list and the more groups you're a part of, the more data it will transfer in the background.

Important Note: Using the old default WhatsApp Web/App profile or the new WhatsApp Full profile available in the Iridium GO exec App opens a connection to all services from the company called Meta. Meta owns Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram.

If you have any of these Apps open at the same time as using Whatsapp, they may also consume a large amount of data from the Facebook & Instagram Apps, even if you do not use them.

WhatsApp via Text or Full profiles will not work via a laptop, only a mobile device, e.g. iOS or Android.

How to connect using the WhatsApp Web/App profiles

The GO exec has two new built-in Web/App Profiles for WhatsApp. To use them:

Iridium GO exec device

  • On the device's touchscreen, tap the white Globe to open Internet.

  • Tap Web/App Profile.

  • Tap WhatsApp Text or WhatsApp Full. PredictWind recommends WhatsApp Text.

  • Tap Connect to start a data session.

GO exec App

  • Tap the white Globe to open Internet.

  • Tap the Web/App Profile and select Whatsapp Text.

  • Tap Connect to start a data session.

Important Notes: When connected, below the Connect button on the GO exec App and the GO touchscreen, you will see the Data Usage.

Carefully monitor this usage when using the WhatsApp Text or WhatsApp Full profiles to ensure you do not experience bill shock or exhaust your Unlimited PredictWind Plan Any App Data pack.

When a data session is in progress, the active profile can be changed at any time from the Iridium GO exec device or in the Iridium GO exec App. This may work; however, from testing, we have found it better to disconnect, change the profile and reconnect. You may also need to force close your App and reopen it.

WhatsApp Web/App Profile Descriptions

WhatsApp Text

This profile allows text messages, emoticons, and audio calls. It does not support sending photos, media attachments, voice notes or stickers. When using this Web/App profile, sending your first text message may take around 15 seconds. After that, it will be near real-time.

WhatsApp Full

This profile allows full access to most WhatsApp features, including sending photos, media attachments, voice notes and stickers.

For sharing photos, your GO exec will upload 22Kbps and download 88Kbps. Sending large photos, even when compressed, may be slow. We recommend sending photos via PredictMail or downloading an App to resize and compress images before sending.

WhatsApp (old Firmware)

This profile allows full access to most WhatsApp features, including sending photos, media attachments, voice notes and stickers.

When using any of these profiles, please ensure you have closed Facebook or Instagram and do not have either open in the background when using this profile. You may need to force-close the App and reboot your phone to ensure this is done.

Recommended device settings and use of WhatsApp

To further limit data usage, please refer to all the additional optimized phone settings below to enable low data mode, disable chat backup and media auto-download. In addition:

  • Delete all unnecessary Chats from your WhatsApp by swiping left on the chat, tapping More, and tapping Delete Chat.

  • Avoid swiping down your WhatsApp contacts list. This will trigger the App to re-check the status and download new icon images for old contacts.

  • Ensure your GO exec is in strong coverage and consistently displays 4-5 bars of coverage. If your coverage is poor or intermittent, you will use more data. Please buy and use the Iridium GO! exec LITE Antenna Kit to achieve the strongest signal.

Enable Low Data Mode / Treat as metered

Restart your phone and ensure no Apps are running in the background. Open your Wi-Fi settings, then:

iPhone - Low Data Mode

  • Tap the Iridium Wi-Fi, e.g. IRIDIUM-62341

  • Tap to enable Low Data Mode.

  • Please also tap to disable Private Wi-Fi Address and Limit IP Address Tracking, which may prevent the GO exec App from connecting to your device.

  • Tap Save.

  • If you have successfully enabled Low Data Mode, it will display No Internet Connection - Low Data Mode under the GO exec Wi-Fi network name when connected.

Android - Treat as metered

  • Tap the Iridium Wi-Fi, e.g. IRIDIUM-62341

  • Tap Advanced

  • Tap Metered network and change it from Automatic to Treat as Metered.

  • Tap Save.

  • If you have successfully enabled Treat as Metered, it will display Metered/Internet may not be available under the GO exec Wi-Fi network name when connected.

Disable WhatsApp's automatic backup

To do this in WhatsApp:

iPhone - Disable Automatic Backup

  • Tap the Settings wheel.

  • Tap Chats.

  • Tap Chat Backup.

  • Tap Auto Backup.

  • Tap Off.

Android - Disable Automatic Backup

  • Tap Settings.

  • Tap Chats.

  • Tap Chat Backup.

  • Tap Backup to Google Drive.

  • Tap Never.

  • Share images using PredictMail, not WhatsApp. PredictMail automatically compresses and resamples images to reduce their size.

  • Set up WhatsApp to receive only text messages and send photos in Data saver mode. To do this in WhatsApp:

iPhone - disable media download & activate Data saver mode

Please note you may no longer see the Media Upload Quality setting in newer versions of WhatsApp to enable Data Saver. The Media Auto-Download setting still exists.

  • Tap Settings.

  • Tap Use Less Data for Calls.

  • Tap Storage and Data.

  • Under Media Auto-Download, tap to change Photos, Audio, Video and Documents settings from Wi-Fi and Cellular to Never.

  • Tap Media Upload Quality, then under Photos tap Data saver.

Android - disable media download & activate Data saver mode

  • Tap Storage and data.

  • Tap Use less data for calls.

  • Tap When connected on Wi-Fi, and tap No Media.

  • Tap Photo Upload Quality, and tap Data saver.

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