AT&T is smart enough to know that mobile applications are becoming increasingly bandwidth-hungry and that means more of its subscribers may be at risk of going over their monthly data limits. With this in mind, AT&T is taking the proactive step of encouraging app developers to make their applications use less data. Re/code notes that AT&T last week handed out fliers to developers who attended its CES developers’ summit that gave tips for making apps that use data more efficiently and thus pose less of a risk when it comes to draining users’ monthly data supply

Among other things, AT&T says developers should compress their images and text files, cache their content and avoid using redirects. The carrier is also pitching its own application resource optimizer (ARO) to developers that it says “can help you optimize your app for mobile.” Whether this initiative actually creates apps that consumer less data is certainly an open question but it’s nice to see that AT&T is looking out for its subscribers’ interest, even though it’s not just scrapping data caps for smartphones as Sprint and T-Mobile have done.