Mike's NBC-TV stories

Keeping Track of Your Data Usage

Let’s face it – having to pay overage charges for using more minutes than you get with your smartphone’s data plan can go way beyond irritating.

Luckily, there are some apps that can help you quickly and easily keep data use – and costs – in check:

DataMan Next is an iPhone and Apple Watch app with a super easy interface that’s especially user-friendly. DataMan checks your usage at any point from any screen simply by reviewing your iPhone’s notification center. DataMan can even forecast usage to help you stay within your data cap. It costs $1.99.

My Data Manager is for iOS and Android and helps monitor data usage on one device or several, which is especially useful for a shared plan. You also can set it to send notifications when you’re getting close to your data usage limit. The app also tracks historical consumption to ensure you are using the right mobile data plan. It’s free.

Onavo Extend takes data management further by compressing images and texts so that you don’t use as much data. Onavo also gives you a breakdown of how much data individual apps are consuming. Onavo Extend is free for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.