Living in South East Asia cell phone ‘plans’ are a bit different then they are in the States. Here you can buy ‘top-up’ cards for certain amounts for a set amount of data and use data on a continual basis as long as you keep ‘toping up’. This can be quite convenient and easy to use and cheaper than set plans. However, its somewhat difficult to track data usage without calling a 3 digit number all the time. This is where the phone app comes in.
Two apps that I’ve stumbled upon recently are Data Widget and Data Usage Pro. Both apps are $1.99, but I happen to get them for free. (Data Usage Pro currently is still free at the time of this writing).
Data Widget is the first app I am trying. It’s a pretty simple app to use and configure. Its main screen simply shows you how much data you’ve used, a percentage, and a simple time line that shows how many days you have left. The settings page is easy and simple and lets you set a plan type, start date, data cap, and adjust current usage if you set it up in the middle of your current data usage, or forget to reset it. You can also set alerts, which I haven’t seen yet as it problem alerts closer to the 90% current usage range. There is a Usage History page, but don’t see any data there yet.
That is all there really is to this app – simple and clean – but doesn’t offer too much detail as it seems a tad pricey – had I paid for it – but doesn’t give much trending or projected data use, etc. like Data Usage Pro does.
Data Usage Pro I just downloaded yesterday and am currently also trying out. This app is certainly more feature rich. On its main screen it shows days remaining, data remaining, and average use per day. It also gives how much data was used today, projected usage, whether it thinks you will go over your current limit, and how much was received and sent. This app also tracks Wifi data usage, but this seems a bit useless as I often am using various different WiFi networks. This app was a little trickier for me to set up, and perhaps it was because I was distracted doing something else while I was trying to figure it out. It has settings for Billing Cycle Quota, Data units, and adjustment for current usage like Data Widget does. It also lets you set Billing reset periods, or add a custom one. This app also lets you setup different counters, which might be handy if you are trying to track data usage for business rather than personal use. So far I think I like this app a bit more for the data points it give you.
If you would like to track these apps and wait for them to be free, you can do so at appshopper.com (registering an account is required).
[Update:] After some time of using Data Usage Pro, it seems that the app has reset itself and has lost all previously used Data. I’m not sure if its because I rebooted the phone or what, but it seems flakey. Perhaps it will be improved in the future.