The last time I covered Datally, the app Google launched late last year as part of its focus on data-conscious users of its mobile platform, Android, besides its Go initiative, I wrote: “In coming days, it will even be much harder to ignore Datally.”
That was just last month.
Fast forward to today and those “coming days” are already here with us.
Google is announcing four new features that are making their way to the Datally app. These are:
1. Guest Mode
Android users have been able to create multiple user accounts for almost 6 years now. The feature, which debuted with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7 tablet, is not one of the most widely used but it comes in handy in the event that one is interested in sharing their device with another party without losing control of the data on they have.
What if the same could be done when it comes to mobile data?
Guest Mode in Datally allows users to set a data limit before handing out their device to another party.
2. Ability to set daily limits
This is just what it is: Datally will allow users to set daily data consumption limits. When set, the user will get warned as they approach their set limit. Once the limit is reached, the user gets to decide whether to end things or continue.
This is a handy feature since under the normal Android settings, the timeline for setting data consumption limits and receiving warnings is a month i.e. a 30-day period.
So, if you are one of those who have subscribed to daily internet bundles like Safaricom’s 1GB data for Kshs 99 then you can set a daily limit of 1GB so that you’re in full control, even though the Data Manager and its annoying prompts, if enabled, will do the same thing.
It is worth noting that while this is good news to everyone using an Android device, some users, like those with OPPO smartphones, will be wondering what the fuss is all about. This is because ColorOS has had a similar feature for quite some time now.
3. Ability to monitor apps that are not in use
When you log in to Facebook, like a couple of pictures then exit to go and comment on a WhatsApp group, Facebook stays on, running in the background and constantly updating to keep you on top of what’s happening to your friends. While that is good and all, it can be costly. Resource-wise.
First of all, the battery drain as a result of the background activities of various apps is quite significant. Secondly, unbeknownst to many, apps they have previously used still continue sapping data and thus depleting bundles, long after the user last accessed them.
While there’s an option in the settings app of every Android device to keep background app activity in check and, as a result, save on data, it is mostly universal even though some device makers like OPPO customize their devices to enable users to disable specific apps and decide whether background data activity be restricted to when they’re on Wi-Fi or be turned off altogether. For everyone else whose device maker has not made such an effort, including those running stock Android, Datally will now take care of this.
4. Wi-Fi Map
There’s already been a similar feature on Datally so I am not exactly sure what’s new.
According to Google, “The Wi-Fi Map shows you all of the nearby Wi-Fi networks, so you can find the best quality network nearby.”