Google launches Datally, a mobile app that helps users save on data usage

Google has introduced Datally, a simple Android app that helps smartphone users understand, control, and save mobile data. Datally works on all smartphones running on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and the subsequent higher versions. It is available on the Google Play Store globally.

Speaking during the launch, Charles Murito, Google Kenya Country Manager, noted that most internet users in Kenya feel constrained by the cost and availability of data. He noted that managing and controlling data may feel daunting, and that where data goes could seem like a “black box”.

Google found during extensive user research around the world that many smartphone users worry about running out of data. This is an especially acute problem for the newest generation to come online, known as the “Next Billion Users.” Not only are these smartphone users constantly thinking about data balances, but they do not understand where their data is going, nor do they feel like they can control allocating data to the apps they really care about.

“Datally is a solution to the data constraints and is aimed at helping users be connected everyday by increasing transparency on how data is used, enabling more control over their data usage to get the most out of their data plan, and finding good free WiFi,” said Murito.

Datally empowers users to solve these problems with four key features:

Data Saver – Apps frequently use data in the background for updating content and information. Datally’s Data Saver feature lets users controldata on an app-by-app basis, so that data only goes to apps they care about. People testing the app saved up to 30% of mobile data, depending on the way they used Datally.

Data Saver bubble – Once Data Saver is turned on, Datally’s Data Saver bubble will appear when a user goes into an app. Whenever that app uses data, the Data Saver bubble will show the current rate of data usage, and users can easily choose to block that app’s data use if things start to get out of control. The Data Saver bubble is like a speedometer for mobile data.

Personalized alerts – Datally alerts users when apps start consuming a lot of data, and it allows them to see how much data they’ve used on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Wi-Fi finder – There are also times when users want to use more data than they have on their mobile plans, such as when they want to watch HD videos. Public Wi-Fi is an important access point for high-bandwidth connectively, so Datally’s Find Wi-Fi feature reveals the networks nearby, rated by the Datally community. Once connected, users can rate the Wi-Fi networks themselves based on their own experience.

Google tested Datally in the Philippines for most of 2017, and the insights from the product tests there shaped the final app.

“Datally is about helping users get the most out of their mobile data. With Datally, users can receive personalized recommendations and information for saving data, like recent apps consuming data in the past day, to reminders to turn on Data Saver when it can help most.” He encouraged users to try it out and save on their data to maximize on their use,” he added.

Another pain point for users in emerging markets is storage. Research says that ⅔ of Android devices have 1GB or less of space available which presents many challenges to users. Files Go, another app launched by Google, helps users get the most out of their phone in three ways:

  • Free up space. It makes smart suggestions of what to eliminate based on how one uses their phone.
  • Find files faster. It’s optimized for files and not folders.
  • Share files even when offline. Pictures, videos, documents, in a quick, free and simple. No internet access required. And the connection is encrypted end to end.

According to Farzana Khubchandani, Google Kenya’s Country Marketing Manager, Files Go is designed to help users manage their storage space.

“Users can clean up space on their phones by removing apps that aren’t used often and get rid of duplicate images,” she said. “Files Go is part of Google’s Android Go Initiative which aims to provide an operating system and apps for smartphones that are less powerful and have limited access to mobile data,” Farzana added.

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