We've already written about how Australians are spending an extra $300 million a year on their mobile data, due to going over their monthly allowances. Thankfully, this isn't per person, but it still represents a significant cost. However, a new app from Google could help to end this.
Datally is a free program that allows you to track the data you're using in real-time. Of course, it doesn't just show you which apps are eating through your monthly allowance; that wouldn't be much use. It also gives you the ability to cap the amount each of your phone's apps is allowed to use, or even prevent them from accessing the internet at all.
Technically speaking, not much of this is new; many of these features are already available on Android phones. However, they are split across several different areas of the phone, whereas Google's app groups them all together for ease of use. It also keeps a lookout for WiFi signals your phone can connect to, allowing you to save even more on your data.
Datally therefore gives you enough visibility over your data use each month that it allows you to effectively prioritise how you want to use your phone. If you aren't bothered about checking your email on the go, for example, you could turn data off for that app and be able to use Facebook or Twitter that little bit more.
Josh Woodward, a group product manager with Google, said that when the company was testing out the app it found that users were happy to have their data used up by “apps they really like”. He added: “The visibility gives users more confidence to use those apps.”
The app comes as part of Google's Next Billion Users division. This part of the company is focused on the emerging markets of the world, in an attempt to make the internet more easily accessible for people living with slower or less-affordable tech infrastructure. Rural Australia certainly counts in that case!