Review: SPB Wireless Monitor for Android!

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header1-thumbIf you are using PAYG [pay as you go], or Pre Paid as we call it in Australia, you often have limits to data, which once topped out, will cost you a fortune in excess charges. SPB Wireless Monitor is one of those applications that will watch your data usage, and inform you when you go over limits you set within the app itself. Until now it has only been available for Windows Mobile devices, So it’s nice to see it come to Android. For the purpose of this review, I’m using the final release candidate, so installation was through the .apk file which I emailed to myself as an attachment, and installed. Normally you would go to the Android Market and download it from there. It has a very small footprint on the device.

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The User Interface [UI] is very clean, and spaciously laid out, allowing for easy finger friendly use. I was testing on the Desire, which is not the biggest screened device, but it was easily used with one hand.

Of course Wireless Monitor does just what it says, watches your wifi and mobile data usage, and as you would expect, the application settings relatively simple. You can set the day that is the start of the week, the start screen to show you monthly, weekly or daily stats , and decimal or binary data figures.

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You can view data use by application, which is a very nice touch, and also a heads up, see in the screen shot above, footprints used 6.5Mb of data, that’s a bit of a shock, as I haven’t used the app once. It was working in the background, and actually used up quite a sizeable chunk of data. I wouldn’t have known that otherwise. You can also specifically monitor what it costs you when you go over your monthly allowance, although you will have to contact your carrier for specific prices. SO seeing the shot above right, monthly spend, data allowance, off peak, if their is a capped daily price, and overspend can all be entered and calculated within the app, and an alarm set for when you go over, once set, you will be notified if you go over.

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Localisation s also impressive, besides all of the major local carriers like Optus, Telstra, Three and Vodafone, there is a very long list of minor Australian carriers included, some I’d never heard of even. That’s an attention to detail that I felt indicated the quality and solid feel of Wireless Monitor. Another feature is the ability to export the data from Wireless Monitor, why though would you need to do that. Obviously when you get a phone bill, you might want to compare it to the data from your device, so being able to send it off to yourself to be accessed from a PC, and or printed out, is a nice touch. Now it seems to be able to take advantage of apps already on the phone, like Dropbox and Evernote for this function as well as email, and you can set a default way to handle this. I’m assuming that if you have other sharing services set up on the phone that they will be detected as well.

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Overall SPB Wireless Monitor is well thought out and rally easy to set up and use. especially if you’re on a budget, alarms sound as they should, and it runs in the background, being your little wireless watchdog. What’s more there’s even a smart widget, that will allow you to access your mobile stats directly from the desktop of your phone.

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The widget lets you get as much info as you need for ongoing usage without having to drill down deeper into the program. Wireless Monitor is an application that ticks a lot of boxes for me, basically it’s an app that does one thing and does it very well, and looks good doing it. Also the fact that it’s Tablet compatible, in one small package seems to future proof it a bit, as we see the rise of Android tablet devices.

** Main features **
– Per application traffic reports or time-based reports
– Daily, monthly, yearly or custom period cost reports
– The reports can be viewed on the screen, shared or exported as CSV files
– CDMA, GPRS, 3G, and Wi-Fi connection supported
– Peak and off-peak tariffs support with 300+ different service plans from various countries
– Notification data usage alarm
– The home screen widget

It’s available here at SPB’s site for $9.95 USD, or use the QR code below from your phone, to get it directly from the Android Market

 

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