Not too long ago, we went over some of the best apps available for monitoring how much data you useper month on your smartphone. On that list, we featured My Data Manager, which was a fully featured and well designed data monitoring tool. Just a few weeks ago, My Data Manager was updated to version 4.0, bringing a brand new interface and several new features that give you more control over how you keep up with your monthly usage. Since it was a pretty big update, we decided now would be the perfect time to give My Data Manager an in-depth review.
Tracking data usage is the backbone of My Data Manager, but it really shines when it budgets out your data usage for you. When you first set up the application, you’ll be prompted to input your plan and how much data you have. You can choose between prepaid and postpaid plans, and set plans ranging from megabytes to gigabytes. Once you set up how often your plan recurs or when your billing cycle resets, My Data Manager will keep up with that and reset itself each day that month, so you really can set it and forget it.
Once you’ve entered how much data you’re working with, MDM handles the rest. The main summary page of the app gives you a visual indicator of how far into the month you are and tells you how much data you’ve used and how much you have left to use. Seeing the information laid out in a summary like this makes it much easier to digest than simply seeing that you’ve used 600 megabytes on a 30 day prepaid plan. Below the usage counts, MDM displays a data “budget” for you to follow. It suggests a daily budget (on a 1 GB plan that would be roughly 35 megabytes) to follow, as well as telling you exactly how much data you’ve used that day and what your forecast usage for the month will be. All of that information makes it extremely easy to track just how much data you’re using and how much data you will have consumed by the end of the month.
Building on the usage summaries, My Data Manager has a few great features that let you see exactly what apps are data hogs and when they’re chewing up the most data. You can check out a full summary of peaks and valleys of your data usage over several different time frames, ranging from daily to monthly usage. This is great for checking when the most data usage is happening, so if you’re running into your data cap each month, you can specifically start turning off your mobile data (or finding a WiFi hotspot) when it’s happening.
Plus, you can check out what apps are consuming the most data with My Data Manager. This is useful for checking out what apps are consuming the largest amount of data (typically video and music streaming apps) but it can also help you diagnose what apps are using up tons of data in the background. If your note taking app is using 500 megabytes of data every week, you know where your problem is.
For the users that just can’t seem to stay under their data limit each month, MDM has a setting that works with your monthly plan to shut off your data once you reach a certain limit. Typically your mobile carrier will send you an alert or text message when you’re nearing your data limits, at least with contract carriers, but they’ll gladly let you use extra data to charge overages. My Data Manager takes that one step further by not only sending you alerts at customizable limits, but you can set it up to shut off your mobile data once your usage hits a certain amount. Not everyone will want to do this, but many people would be happy to live without 4G for a few days if it meant they didn’t have to pay an overage fee on their next bill.
To help you keep an eye on how much data you’re consuming, the app also sticks a small widget in your notification bar. This widget tracks you data usage across the month to give you a small indicator of where you’re at without having to delve into the main application. Being able to take a quick glance at your monthly data usage is a great tool to help you decide if you should download that new game on 4G or if you should wait until you can get to WiFi.
For those of you that deal with WiFi data caps or roaming data charges, My Data Manager offers tracking for both of those networks. It automatically detects when you’re on WiFi or roaming and tracks those usage counts separately. Also, while you’re viewing data usage across a time frame or by individual apps, you can check usage across all three networks or with any combination of the three.
With the 4.0 update, My Data Manager got a complete user interface overhaul that makes it one of the most compelling data usage tracking apps on the Play Store. When we reviewed the app a year ago, it used a fairly dark interface, but no there’s a fantastic white, minimalist design all throughout the app. It’s picked up a functional pull out side bar and plenty of sliding navigation, and all of the bars and meters have been flattened. The result is a much, much cleaner design and makes the application significantly easier to use.
If you need a tool to help you keep up with how much data you use each month, it’s hard to find anything better than My Data Manager. It’s extremely functional and has an excellent user interface. Plus, it’s completely free; no in-app purchases and no ads. Hit one of the links below to give it a test drive.