Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Android Data Diet (Postscript)

Last week, I blogged about how, after accidentally burning through my monthly data allowance in one day, I configured my Nexus One to use minimal data, and how I started using a couple of apps to measure and limit that usage. Yesterday was the beginning of a new billing cycle, so I was able to see the damage from my excesses and gauge how successful the ensuing diet was.

My extra data charges for this month: $5.60. Phew, not too bad!

At 5 cents/MB, that means I used 112 megs beyond my 500 meg limit. But 87.6 megs of that was on the day I exceeded my limit and the day after, before I realized what had happened. Once I put my phone on the diet, it only used 24.4 megs over 20 days (1.22 MB/day on average), costing me just $1.22.

I'd say the diet was a resounding success! I managed to keep my data usage very low while still staying relatively well connected. I was manually syncing my mail and contacts, but at least I could check them when I wanted to and look up things on the Web. I did miss having my Twitter and Facebook feeds kept up to date, though.

Now that I have a full month's data available again, I have happily re-enabled all my data-hungry settings, like auto-sync and Twitter notifications. I did leave the unfortunate Wi-Fi sleep policy disabled, and I'm continuing to use 3G Watchdog to monitor my data usage. I have increased my daily quota to 30 megs, which should give me lots of room to do whatever I want, but prevent any more runaway data use in the future.

On an unrelated Android note, Google has rolled out free turn-by-turn navigation to Canada, along with 10 other countries. This is a killer feature of Android, and it's great to have it available here. It also gives us something new to play with while we're waiting for the FroYo update.

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