There was a point not so many years ago that there were data plans from mobile providers that were unlimited data consumption. Then the Internet got big and apps came into being and suddenly the mobile providers were having their networks crushed under the onslaught of data being pushed to mobile devices. The solution was to limit the amount of included data or, in some cases, cap at a certain level. That is where an app like My Data Manager for Android comes in handy.
My Data Manager is an app that allows you to set your weekly or monthly thresholds on your data plan and keeps track of how much data you are using. But it even smart enough to monitor how much WiFi you are using (because there are places you still have to pay for that for some reason – you reading this airports and hotels of the world?) and even your roaming amounts which can be really expensive if you over use while abroad. It’s an impressive little app that is easy to use and configure and gives you alerts when you are getting close to your data limit. If you have a limited amount of data you can use each month, My Data Manager for Android.
When you first start My Data Manager for Android you will need to configure your data plans in the app so it can accurately keep track of your data usage against that plan. Obviously if you are still on an unlimited data and WiFi plan, you are somewhat missing the value of the app but can still use it to track just how much data you are consuming on a monthly basis. There are three areas to configure: Mobile Plan, WiFi and Roaming. To configure just enter your plan type (pre-pay or reoccurring), the time period and the start date each month of your plan. You then need to put in whatever your limit is for your plan each month.
So in my case, as you can see to the right, my plan with AT&T starts on the 6th of each month and I have a 50GB limit each month. You can also see at the bottom that I’ve used 64MB of mobile
data this month. My Data Manager for Android will only start counting from the date you install it on your Android phone so it is not going to go back to the beginning of the month in my case to look at how much data I’ve consumed. My point is that your first billing cycle with the app may not be accurate depending on when you start using the app and when your billing cycle ends/begins.
Configuration of WiFi and Roaming plans are identical to the Mobile Plan in My Data Manager for Android. In my case I’ve set WiFi to be unlimited as 90% of the time I am on free WiFi be it at home or at work. It is this level of configuration that makes the app stand out. Effectively you can measure any data mode and keep track of your costs without having to do complicated maths to try to sort it out yourself.
From a UI perspective My Data Manager for Android is elegant and fluid. You can swipe left or right on the main page of the app to see your data consumption across all three modes and they are presented in a nice meter with the amount of data you have consumed and how much you have remaining at the top. Below the bar is a Days Left counter and your usage for the day and forecasted usage. If you have set up an unlimited account (like on my WiFi) you will see a doughnut chart show how much
you have used and the percentage of time that you are on WiFi versus mobile data.
The clean UI of My Data Manager for Android is appealing. It’s uncluttered and intuitive which gives the app, albeit completely utilitarian, a draw to use it and view it regularly. Frankly I hardly gave my data usage a second thought until I started this review and now, mainly because of the great configuration and UI of the app, I check it regularly.
From the Menu in My Data Manager for Android you have several options including being able to set alarms for when you are approaching your data limits, using a stop watch function to measure how much data you consume in a measured period of time, view of a map of your usage points and graphs of your daily, monthly and yearly usage across all your data modes. The maps and graphs are particularly interesting data as you can see how much you are consuming as you roam & with the graphs you can see how much you are consuming over time. This could be a great tool for you to see just how much mobile data you are using and if you are paying for data you never use. For example, if you are paying for a 4GB per month limit but see you are using less than 1GB per month in My Data Manager it gives you the confidence to go to your provider,
lower your data plan and know that you won’t cross the expensive overage border.
Finally, My Data Manager has the option to put a banner in your notification area on your phone to let you see at a glance how much data you are consuming and where you are within your data plan without actually having to open up the app. This is the kind of information that notification areas were built for – to provide quick information.
Having used My Data Manager for Android for a few weeks now I have to say I’m impressed with it. It provides you a rich amount of information on how you are
consuming data on your iPhone and what modes you are consuming it. But it also gives you a visual and audible indicator of this and lets you know when you are approaching the end of your data limits for the week or month. Best still though is that Mobidia Technology, the developer behind the app, has built an excellent UI for the app that makes what could be very confusing information easy to read and understand.