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Google's Got a New App to Help You Save Mobile Data
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Google's Got a New App to Help You Save Mobile Data

Patrick Lucas Austin, Gawker Media

Image credit: Google

Android: Whether they're front and center or lurking behind the scenes, nearly every app is taking a nibble (or a huge bite) out of your mobile data. You could comb through your phone's stats and see which app is using the bulk of your data plan, or you could install Datally, Google's new data management app. It's able to see how much data your phone is using to stay connected, and alert you to apps that consume more than the amount with which you're comfortable, granting you the ability to cut their access off with a single tap.

Datally shows you how much data you've used over the course of your day, week, or month. It relies on your phone number to check how much data you have left in your plan, and uses a VPN to manage what data is allowed or restricted.

If you're not entirely aware of how much data you're using, seeing the amount front and center might serve as a wake-up call, or help you determine when you should (or shouldn't) be streaming She's Gotta Have It on your morning commute. You can configure Datally to show a tiny usage bubble over your app, giving you a real-time display of how much data it's using (and the option to easily cut off its data access). Of course, if you're using a wireless carrier like T-Mobile, which offers free unlimited music and video streaming through Music Freedom and Binge On respectively, that data you're using won't count against your data cap.

You can manage apps individually, granting some access to your mobile data while restricting data use in other apps. That way you can stream Netflix videos, or check your Facebook messages, without worrying about an app like Spotify downloading tracks using your cellular data. There is also a built-in Find Wi-Fi feature that lets you know about nearby Wi-Fi hotspots that could help you save a few megabytes.

According to Datally, Google is only seeing how much data is entering and exiting your phone, and claims to be unaware of what exactly is being transmitted. Whether you believe it or not, based on Google's history of secretly collecting user data in the past, it's sensible to be somewhat wary of the data-saving app. Want to download the app? You'll need a phone running Android 5.0 Lollipop.

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