Onavo, the app that dramatically cuts how much data your smartphone uses to cut down on data roaming costs, is now available for Android phones.
However, unlike the iPhone version that can actually cut data usage by up to 85% by compressing data before it gets sent over the mobile network, the Android edition only tells you how much data your apps are using; it doesn't actually shrink your data usage.
The app for Android is called Onavo Lite and can be downloaded at the Android Market free of charge.
Onavo co-founder CEO Guy Rosen explains why the Android app doesn't yet compress data: “The flip side of Android’s openness is that apps are free to use up mobile data without any accountability."
"Just power up your phone and a hundred apps could spring to life and eat up your data plan.
"Onavo Lite makes it easy for you to finally understand – and have a say in – what gets to use your data plan.
"Even without compressing data – a feature which is coming soon – we felt Android users urgently needed the control offered by Onavo Lite.”
The Onavo Lite app helps control data usage in the following ways:
- Alerts and warnings: when an app is hogging data in the background, when you are approaching your cap of pre-purchased data, or when travelling
- Data hog blocking: you can opt to block certain apps over 3G, or 3G data in general once you exceed your data cap to avoid any additional costs
- Tracking: Real-time data plan tracking and early alerts when usage reaches certain limits.
- Advice: Tips on best value data plans based on your actual usage
The app also gathers statistics on how much data each program on your phone is using and submits it to a central database. The de-identified info is then analysed to identify the biggest 'data hog' apps, to provide pre-emptive warnings to users if they install one of the apps.