Data hungry appsAugust 30 2012
When you’re traveling overseas the last thing you want to do is to spend a fortune and half on staying connected, that’s why we‘ve put together a list of rules of thumb (and practical advice) that can help you identify apps that will not ruin your vacation budget:
Data plundering apps and services
When you’re overseas and you’re using your home carrier to communicate, there are a few types of apps that you might want to avoid.
- Apps that use a lot of video content (Youtube, Vimeo, Netflix, online-TV etc.) will all consume data faster than you can imagine.
- Apps that use a lot of audio streaming (Pandora, Jango, Last.fm, etc.) will do less damage than video apps, but still enough to cause a serious “bill shock” when you get back home.
- Video/Audio chatting apps like Skype, Viber and Fring will all save you a lot of money on your communications expenses, but you will still need to pay for the data they consume overseas. These charges can easily add up to thousands of dollars.
- It obviously depends which content you consume online, but the types of websites you visit will influence your data usage. The more rich content there is on a website, (flash, video, high-resolution images etc.) the more you’ll data you’ll end up using = the more money it’ll cost you.
- When you’re navigating in a small area, your GPS navigation app (like Google maps, for example) won’t use a lot of data. But if you’re traveling far, your nav app will need to download lots of maps to continue navigating – and this can end up costing you a bit. If your app allows you to pre-download maps of a certain area and store it, we suggest using this option as it will save you the need to download this over 3G data.
Data monitoring apps
From apps that burn MB we’ll move to apps that track your MB. Because a wise person once said – awareness is key.
- Data Usage – This little app tracks your data usage from the background, allowing you to get some control and see the big picture. Though this app is really useful overseas, its mostly built for people who are using this service with their home carrier.
- Data Monitor – What the name says, that’s exactly what it does – it monitors your data. Available on iOS and Android devices.
- My Data Manager – What’s unique about this app is that besides tracking your data usage like all other tracking apps, it is also able to breakdown the usage to individual apps. So you can get a list of the apps that have been using data, and how much exactly they’ve been using. Really handy when you are looking for culprit that’s responsible for your data drainage. Available on iOS and Android devices.
Data saving apps
Besides being able to track your usage, we’re sure you’ll welcome the idea of saving data while preforming the same things you do anyway.
- Onavo Extend – This is one of our top 10 favorite apps (we’ve never actually compiled this list, we’re just sure that Onavo will be in it). Not only can it help you track your data usage like other data tracking apps, but it can reduce the amount of data you consume by almsot five fold, without changing your routine. Available on iOS and Android devices.
- Opera Mini – Opera mini is a browser, and like Onavo it also compresses your data on it’s own servers before reaching you, as a result you’re able to do exactly the same things you’re used to, but with a much smaller data footprint.
Though we might be slightly impartial, we did build our company for the sole purpose of helping our customers save big on their data needs overseas. If you’re looking to enjoy your vacation (rather than obsessively count megabytes), we’ve got truly amazing offers that will save you hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars on your communication needs overseas. Check out our offers. We guarantee a 100% satisfaction, or your money back.