In a perfect world, telcos would offer everyone unlimited data plans at reasonable prices with no bandwidth caps — not the case especially if you live outside the US.
If you were lucky enough to have snagged a decent plan (like the discontinued 6GB plan in Canada) it’s really unlikely that you’d be able to exceed the data, believe me I’ve tried. But let’s assume you wanted to tether your iPhone to the desktop for some heavy downloading while roaming. While you still might not hit the cap unless you were downloading movies, it might be something you’d think twice about doing when you take a look at the additional astronomical costs you may get hit with for going over the limit. And, from what we hear, it’s even more grim for users living in the UK whom are often relegated to 500MB on average.
DataMan will keep an eye on data for you by monitoring both WiFi and cellular usage in real-time. Users can control their usage by setting the monthly bill cycle and by assigning data allowances; daily, weekly or monthly and when the threshold is reached DataMan will let you know with an alert.
There are four alerts that can be customized to specify the percentage of the data reached, regardless of whether or not the app is open. For example, for the first alert, a user could set it to send a notifications when 10% of the data threshold is reached. This app supports all carriers and adds geotagging (with the date) to the usage which is viewable on a map within the app. This could be highly useful while traveling/roaming if you need to monitor the consumption.
The only drawback with this app is within the real-time reporting feature. Apparently users signed up with AT&T will currently need to wait between two to five days for the usage to show up, so it’s not really “real-time”. According to the developer, the newest version of this app (Dataman 3.0) is awaiting approval in the app store and promises a more precise tracking system with the added benefit of sending alerts the second you exceed.
DataMan – Real Time Data Usage Manager with Geotag is .99 and works with the Phone 4, 3GS and 3G. iPad support is coming in November. Get it! (iTunes link)
UPDATE: According to the developer, DataMan will update AT&T data in real-time, it’s the AT&T app that has the delay (AT&T’s own app myWireless). That app depends on AT&T updating its records.