As a carrier-specific blog, we normally don’t delve our attention to many apps unless they are useful to international GSM users and help you get the most out of your service. Onavo is one of those apps.
Onavo is a free app currently available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. It was specifically designed to help you keep tabs on your data usage and lower your overall data cost. Since international SIM cards such as Maxroam and Truphone are prepaid (and Truphone in particular has yet to release any data plan bundles for their SIM users), the usefulness of this app is mainly in helping you discover your monthly data usage so you can budget your plan to fit your needs. This can help you save money on your data and has been shown to help reduce data usage over time. In the long run, this will be a benefit even if/when Truphone does release their data bundles, as it will help you pick the plan with the most value to suit your personal needs.
The iPhone version includes data compression as well.
Wi-Fi is an obvious way to lower data usage, especially when using services such as YouTube and Netflix, though most customers tend to avoid using these services on a data pay-per-use basis anyway. Switching your data sync to “manual” and turning off background data also helps greatly reduce your usage.
You can even set your own data cap!
Onavo gives tips and more right in the app. Yes, some are obvious, but many of us don’t think about what we’re using, and that’s the overall point of the app: to help us watch our own usage. Their reports are very easy to read. The app shows you how to shut down apps that use your data. In short, this app is a must for any budget-conscious international traveler and business customer, whether you’re overseas or not. Onavo says that their 80% data compression claim equates to data savings in the 30-40% range. Now that truly is a big difference!