It’s one thing to hear praise for an app from geeks, it’s another when you hear it from ‘normal folks’. Onavo falls in this category.
The free data-shrinking app which we’ve praised in the past runs quietly in the background and dramatically reduces data consumption. I myself keep it running all the time, and on a recent trip abroad to San Francisco it helped me save in the neighborhood of 75% of my potential data consumption. Seeing as I was running on a roaming plan, this meant I could email, tweet, and use mapping apps with far greater freedom.
Today, Onavo is announcing it’s first venture into the Android waters. Now before you get all excited, Onavo for Android is actually a ‘Lite’ version. It’s not data-shrinking ready quite yet, but it does however give users impressive visibility and control over app data consumption on Android devices.
I sat down with Guy Rosen, CEO, who explained that unlike with iOS, it’s pretty much a wild-west in terms of app data consumption on Android. It seems that apps can launch in the background and run tasks, such as updating, on their own accord, without having being launched by the user.
With Onavo Lite, Android users are alerted when an app suddenly consumes data at a disproportionate rate, or at improper timing, for example when traveling. Onavo makes it easy to block particular apps from running on 3G, or disable 3G completely at certain data consumption caps.
A really neat feature, taken from Soluto’s play book, is advanced warning on data-hogs. This is a crowd-sourced feature that provides users information about the data consumption characteristics of an app, as soon as it’s installed.
Just like for iOS predecessor, Onavo Lite is free and can be downloaded here.