Monitoring your smartphone’s mobile data connection can be a bit of a hassle. Apps such as GlassWire, give you real time monitoring but cannot control data usage. In light of these problems, Google yesterday announced an app called Datally. Its purpose is simple: to manage the data usage of your Android smartphone.
When first installing and launching Datally, the app asks for a number of permissions to be granted. These include usage access and access to your dialer/phone. You can also agree to help Datally improve your experience with the app by sending your app usage data and SMS to and from your mobile operator to Google. If you don’t want to, there’ a “No Thanks” button as well. Once all that is done, you’re ready to begin using Datally.
The main screen of Datally shows you how much of data you’ve used today. Below that is a slider to enable or disable the Data Saver mode. Just underneath that are options for both managing your mobile data and also to find a reliable Wi-Fi network.
This immediately takes you to a graph which shows you your mobile data usage with an accompanying timeline as well. You can select the time period (today, this week, this month) and you can also see a list of apps that have recently used your mobile data. Apart from that, you can also see other apps that are using data as well.
If you haven’t already enabled the data saver feature for mobile data, you can do so from there as well. Once enabled, a persistent notification will appear on your status bar with the list of apps that Datally is blocking. Swiping down from the notification pane on your Android device will show you how much data the current app is using.
From there, you can press the “Manage” button and completely block background data usage by that app if you feel that it is hogging all your precious network resources.
This was a feature that we found intriguing. It essentially gives you a list of all Wi-Fi networks in the area. It also tells you how far away they are and if they’re password protected or not. If you see a public Wi-Fi spot, you can select it and it will give you directions via Google Maps.
Here too, you can enable a data saver mode where Datally will save mobile data on Wi-Fi. If you’re confused about that, what it means is that Datally will prompt you to connect to a Wi-Fi network in order to save your mobile data.
Does it work?
Well, of course it does and it does so quite well. Now the concept that Datally brings to the table isn’t new. In fact, if you’ve been an Android user for quite a while, then you would probably know that the features Datally has are already baked into the Android operating system.
The key point here is that while these settings are hidden behind their fair share of menus and submenus, Datally brings all these to the front and presents them to you in a very simple manner: to save data or not to save data. That is indeed the question. Having a separate app would help you in setting up restrictions for data usage as well.
Datally is actually a part of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative which is focusing on making products by Google more usable to countries and regions with limited mobile connections and lower end hardware as well. We’ve seen examples of this in terms of the Android One project as well. The app itself takes up only 6MB of space which is minuscule compared to other apps.
If you’re already on a unlimited data plan, then Datally would probably be of no use to you whatsoever. Restricting your background mobile data actually can be a problem as apps that require mobile data cannot refresh their content unless the app is manually launched and refreshed. You will also not receive any push notifications as well.
But on the other hand, if you’re on a limited data connection and you want to track your data usage and make sure that only the apps you specify are using your precious data, then you can go ahead and give Datally a go by clicking here.