Mobile phone plans can be quite complicated to manage, depending on your carrier and subscription. Take my own example: I’ve used unlimited data plans in the US and France for a couple of years now and never monitored anything but my data consumption, which was usually capped at 3GB.
But I recently moved to Singapore and found that local plans were a little more traditional, with an actual limit on the minutes, text messages and data you could use each month. Tracking these figures manually was a pain, as there’s no easy way to check how many minutes and text messages I have left on my plan — data consumption on the other hand is fairly easy to keep an eye on. Thankfully, Dodol Phone makes it incredibly easy to track all of this information in a remarkably effective way. Like the article? You should subscribe and follow us on twitter.
The first step you’ll have to go through before you can use Dodol Phone is to set up your phone plan. The process is extremely intuitive, as you’re guided through the few steps. You’ll be asked for information on your country and specifics about your plan itself, such as the number of minutes, text messages and data that are bundled in your plan, as well as your plan’s reset date.
Dodol Phone’s Main screen is a very user-friendly summary
The application is particularly exhaustive, as you are given the option to exclude incoming calls and messages from the measurements, which is a useful option in most countries outside the US. You’re also given the chance to add exceptions for specific calls and messages, such as toll free numbers or unlimited calls to a preferred number. However, exceptions can only be set for messages and calls, as implementing it for data would have been somehow intrusive and complicated.
Monitoring Your Consumption
Checking what you’ve used up is extremely easy with Dodol Phone, and can be done either directly from the app, through a permanent notification or a widget.
The last two options are fully customizable, and can be set to look the way you want thanks to the various themes available. You can also select the content to be displayed, as you can choose between displaying used or remaining minutes, data and messages, or show them as percentages. You can also select not to display the superfluous metrics — if you have an unlimited data plan, for example — and keep the relevant information available at a glance. As for the widgets, they’re also fully customizable and even come in various shapes and sizes, so you can pick the one that fits your homescreen!
A combined view of the notification and the widget, customized differently
Dodol Phone is a simple and useful application that comes with a lot of smart and useful features, so you can really track your consumption the way you want, and according to the way you’re billed. Nevertheless, it seems the application doesn’t distinguish MMS messages, which may cause problems, as they’re not always billed as SMS messages. It’s true that these messages are particularly unpopular, but it’s surprising the developer didn’t think of it. Similarly, the app doesn’t have an option to exclude international numbers automatically, although you can define a rule to ignore numbers starting with a specific country code.
Furthermore, while the app is brilliant when it comes to tracking your usage, it’s not so good at letting you know about it. Indeed, there are neither alert settings nor blocking options to avoid additional charges. Lastly, I had an issue when selecting my reset date, as the app always ignored my input. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to fix that in the settings menu.
Dodol Phone is a great, user-oriented and complete application. It’s very well thought and promising, and I’m sure its few drawbacks will be fixed quite soon, to make it even better. I personally use the widget on a daily basis to monitor my consumption and rarely have to open the app. It’s simple and efficient, just what you need in an app of this kind.