Easy to setup, clear alerts, intuitive interface
Ever since my first experience of bill shock – when I left a GPRS session open on my Nokia mobile in 2000 for eight hours for a cost of $90, while it was idle – I’ve been a bit of stickler for monitoring my data use.
So, although my current plan includes 4GB of data every month, there are months when I go over that limit as I use my iPhone as a Personal Hotspot. DataMan is a simple app that carries out one critical task – it monitors the amount of bandwidth consumed through your cellular data connection.
Once DataMan was installed to my iPhone I entered in a few details regarding my data plan. All it needed was the type of plan I’m on (monthly, weekly, daily or some other period), when the billing cycle starts, the data cap and any usage I’d already recorded if setting up the app in the middle of a billing period.
The app uses this data to forecast whether you’re likely to exceed your data allowance. The information is presented through the app, as a glance on the Apple Watch and on the Day screen that appears when you pull down from the top of the iPhone’s display.
The information is clearly presented with the display changing colour from green to red when you move from the safe zone to the danger zone. Tapping on the iPhone display reveals more information such as ‘wastage’ – the amount of data likely to be unused at the end of the billing period.
DataMan also provides usage alerts that you can customise. Although local carriers are now obligated to tell you when you hit 50 percent, 80 percent and 100 percent of your monthly data cap, DataMan lets you set four alert levels. I changed mine to 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent and 95 percent as that works in with the limits my carrier uses for alerts.
It would be great if DataMan included some historical graphs so we could track data wastage and long-term usage. That would be helpful when negotiating my next contract.
Correction: DataMan does include historical graphs but I missed them.
Swiping up on the main screen reveals hourly, daily and monthly usage. I swiped from too low on the screen and invoked iOS settings. But swiping up from the middle of the DataMan screen reveals the age stats.