You don’t really need an unlimited data plan. What you need is a data plan with a conscience. Or in other words, a good tracking app that will track your iPhone data usage so you can be within the limits of your data allocation.
The iPhone provides a default way of looking at how much 3G/4G (Cellular) data you’ve used. Go to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Cellular Usage and you’re most likely seeing the most-updated and accurate amount of data you’ve used over cellular.
While this may be good enough, it’s not great. I mean, I want to set data budgets so I don’t have to constantly keep doing high-school math to figure out if I’m safe with data limits. I want to automate the task so when I hit the danger levels, I want warnings shot right at me.
Interestingly, “there’s an app for that!”
1. DataMan Next
Probably the best app ever for data monitoring that’s fantastic. There are no bells and whistles here. All you get is an interface that shows your data usage (as a percentile of total allowed). Work with all carriers, tracks both cellular and Wi-fi usage and comes with four alerts that change hue according to the value. Really simple, really cool.
One of the best of the lot but only if you’re into a clean, minimal and interesting interface.
DataWiz is great if you have your cellular enabled all the time. It “predicts” your usage based on patterns you’ve showed over the week and that’s kind of useful if you’re looking to change data plans. Simple, intuitive and great but I hear it slacks in accuracy if you turn-off cellular data to conserve battery.
3. Onavo Extend
Price: Free (for a limited time)
Onavo Extend is a smart, intelligent app that helps you save data while also letting you track it. The selling point is (even though the app is free right now) that Onavo works like any other data usage tracking app but gives you a birds’-eye view of data usage of individual apps along with how much you’ve saved (because Onavo compresses all data like images, text etc. (not videos or audios though)
Data Monitor is a very decent app. It’s good especially when you want to know – quickly – how much data has been used on cellular and Wi-fi separately. Nothing “woohoo!” about the app but that’s where it strikes gold: perfect example of a normal app that lets you take control of your data usage.
5. My Data Manager
This one was actually one of the finest apps in the store garnering 5-star reviews. With the latest update (2.5.1), they removed per-app usage stats. Nevertheless, if you’re not much after per-app tracking and need just a good overview of how much you’ve used, how much is left and how much you use off your daily budget – My Data Manager is perfect.