I’m sensing some sort of Essential Android Apps feature coming on. There are a number of apps that every Android user needs to have, and 3G Watchdog is definitely one of ‘em.
In anticipation of said feature, I’m about to give 3G Watchdog the full review treatment. Ready? Let’s do this thing.
Until very recently, I was on an ancient O2 tariff that offered a paltry 75MB per day. This is from back in the pre-iPhone days when we didn’t really use data; certainly not like we do now. That 75MB did me fine, as all I did was check Facebook occasionally.
However, I recently adopted an HTC Desire HD as my primary smartphone (woah, I sounded a bit like Elop there) and couldn’t believe how much freakin’ data I was going through.
Android apps and widgets guzzle an incredible amount of juice. But hey, in this “always connected” world we need our Facebook and Twitter feeds, news and weather updates, instant email, Words With Friends, Skype…
One of the first things I did on my HTC Desire HD was install 3G Watchdog, and it’s a good job I did. Without it, I could’ve easily gone over my allowance in a few days, never mind it lasting a full month.
3G Watchdog essentially keeps an eye on your data use. With it, I was able to manage my 75MB and avoid what customer service reps affectionately call “bill shock”.
The invaluable app – which is free, incidentally – displays how much data you’ve used from your current quota. For example, I’ve now got mine set to 100MB daily (on giffgaff). Puling down the menu bar shows me at a glance what percentage I’ve used. It also records how much you’ve consumed during the current week and month.
You can set a vibrating alert to warn when you go over a certain percentage. Even better, you can set data to automatically disable, though you’ll need APNDroid or JuiceDefender to take advantage of that particular feature.
Battery life is, of course, a huge concern for Android users. 3G Watchdog allows you to set the refresh rate for your usage. As the app explains: “More frequent => better “freshness”, but more battery used.”
- Keep on top of your data use
- Auto disable (with APNDroid or JuiceDefender)
- Potentially another battery drainer
Summary: If you have any concerns about your data use, 3G Watchdog is your best friend. Hell, even if you’re not concerned, it’s always interesting to see how much data you’ve used while doing next to nothing.
Developer: Richard Gruet
Compatibility: Requires Android 1.5 or later.
Price: free @ Android Market