Versatile devices like the iPhone and iPad are a huge part of our lives. We seem to be using the Internet endlessly with continuous email checking, tweeting any interesting thought and sharing intriguing tidbits, uploading hilarious videos to YouTube or Facebook, watching our favorite shows and movies on Netflix, listening to music through Pandora, and so much more. While most monthly usage may be predictable, sometimes things go beyond expectations so quickly that it’s too late before we notice a potential problem.
A number of ways exist to check our data usage, such as the usage counter built-in to the iOS Settings app, account management through your cellular service provider’s websites, iOS apps like myAT&T, or calling automated systems that send out free text messages with the details.
However, only the iOS counter is nearly instantaneous on reporting the statistics. Cellular service providers admit their usage reports can be behind as far as a few days, and up to a week if you were roaming away from their network. Although, the biggest concern with the iOS provided usage counter is the need to manually reset it when a new billing cycle begins.
DataMan Pro and VoiceMan are the answer, but they do require a quick configuration by entering your billing cycle end date, setting up allowances for different time ranges, and setting up thresholds alerts to be fully effective. Allowances are set for the current day, current week, and current month. The four threshold alerts are adjustable in 5% increments with the defaults being 50%, 70%, 90%, and 100%. You will be alerted by a push message once you pass each threshold for each allowance period.
In addition to the standard minute reporting, VoiceMan can readjust the totals by keeping track of those free off-peak minutes. More important abroad than in the States, VoiceMan also provides either per minute or per second billing plan calculations. Both of these are easily managed in the settings area, along with the previously mentioned options.
One final feature, accessible by tapping on the location drop pin the top-right of the main UI, is showing your usage in map view. I can think of a few compelling reasons for this feature. It’s a great way to see where you main phone usage happens and dispute arguments, such as those of roaming charges and call quality. If you wanted to, you could even prove that you were in the location you claimed to a concerned spouse — just be careful about showing off some other call locations.
DataMan Pro monitors both Wi-Fi and cellular transmissions in and out of your iPhone or 3G-equipped iPad, providing an immediate report on kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes used in total by all applications. Unlike Apple’s and most other built-in usage counters, DataMan Pro can reset the counters automatically and report the remaining days of your billing period.
Along with current usage, you can view further details about previous usage, selectable by date range. Within the Today, Week, and Month detail views, the action button in the top-right provides access to the export option, plus a way to display the information in map view or using a line graph by selecting the Chart option.
The export option is a handy way to send your detailed usage data to your desktop or laptop via iTunes File Sharing. The information is exported to a comma separated values format files, which is able to be opened in most spreadsheet applications.
DataMan Pro is compatible with iPad and iPad 2 with 3G running iOS 4.2 or later / iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 running iOS 4.0 or later. VoiceMan is compatible with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 running iOS 4.2 or later. Continuous use of GPS tracking can noticeably reduce battery runtime.
We’ll be giving away two packages. For iPad with 3G users, we will provide one code for DataMan Pro for iPad to each winner. For iPhone users, we will provide one code for DataMan Pro and one code for VoiceMan to each winner. To have a chance at winning one of three DataMan Pro for iPad or DataMan Pro and VoiceMan for iPhone promo codes, simply leave a comment below telling us which device you have, iPhone or 3G-equipped iPad, before Oct. 13 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Only one entry per person is allowed.