Google's New App Stops Your Android Phone From Sucking Up Too Much Data

With all the streaming, Instagramming, and everything else people are doing on their phones, your monthly allotment of data just doesn't last as long as it used to, especially if you're on one of those family plans with a shared data pool. And while most phones have some rudimentary tools for tracking how much internet you're downloading, Google thought it could do better, so it created Datally.

Image: Google

Datally is a free Android app (for Android 5.0 and higher) that breaks down how much data you are using individually and across all your apps by the hour, day or month, and it lets you control how much bandwidth each services should or shouldn't be allowed to use.

The app is available today and setup is dead simple. After you install Datally from the Play Store and accept the relevant permissions, the app starts automatically recording how much data each app uses and breaks it down into a handy chart.

Next, if you really want to conserve your data, you can turn on the data-saving function, which monitors your traffic to prevent apps from sucking up too much bandwidth in the background. From there you can decide which apps should be allowed to continue sucking up bandwidth by hitting the little lock icon next to the app. And for those times when you don't want to blow up your data cap, Datally has handy feature that points out all the nearest free Wi-Fi hotspots.

However, after using Datally for a short stint, the one thing I wish it could do is also track Wi-Fi traffic, as this would give people a more comprehensive picture of their overall data usage. But as a tool to manage your bandwidth, Datally is a nice step up from the default data tracking feature in Android and whatever app your carrier may have come up with. As for iPhone users, don't expect Google to release a version of this app on iOS any time soon.



    Sneaky Google finding new ways to learn more about you.

    Why isn’t this just built into the OS, or am I missing something blatantly obvious, here...?

      There's data saving built in to Android.

      Depending on the network you're on there's data breakdown too. I've got the MyOptus app that breaks down all my usage for me.

      Because OEM's often implement their own crappy versions of things or don't ever update devices. This way Google can roll it out to every device now and not rely on a manufacturer to think about putting it in 2 years down the line

    It creates a VPN to somewhere, and routes all your traffic through it. Pass.

      That's already a feature in Chrome when you turn on data saving. However I am quite sure your statement is false. There is no need to use a VPN to capture data use.

        @darren. It does indeed use a VPN whether or not it is required. I don't see any way to turn it off either.

        Given you don't need the VPN, then what do you think are they might be using it for?

          Probably the same data saving as Chrome then. Compressing stuff.

    I don't see the point.

    I started the app, turned on Data Saver. Told it to block all data usage for an app. I then turned off Wifi, opened the other app and immediately got served an ad from data and the data usage went up for that app. Sooooo...., what is the point?

      This is exactly what I installed it for. To block advertising in apps individually rather than turning mobile data on and off all the time. Hopefully it was a cached ad i your case.

        @rubik Nope. the data usage went up for the app. So the Google app let it through. Again, I do not see the point!

    iOS has a data monitoring as to how much usage under settings > mobile. Can't dictate how much to limit but at least it's not snooping via a VPN.

      iOS has a data monitoring as to how much usage under settings > mobile.

      Android has the exact same function in settings along with custom alerts once you reach custom data limits you can set yourself. You can also tell it when your plan resets so the monitoring goes back to zero

        Exactly - I don't see the sense in getting this superfluous app if Android and my carrier already manage/alert my data usage...

    It's becoming impossible to keep Google out. I would have never guessed this had a VPN built in.

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