5 Best Cell Phone Control Apps
While we less and less use our phones for calling and texting directly, relying on messengers, clouds and social networks, we still pay our phone companies for data we use, for calls we still do make, and for services we order and use… or do not use. Controlling your bills is an important part of your mobile life, as important as the money gets.
Cellular providers usually provide their own tools for checking your balance and selecting plans, but not all of them have rolled out decent apps. Mostly we still use awkward USSD codes for checking our money, minutes and megabytes left; they are always available, but they need to be remembered, and the wrong code can activate a service you actually don’t want. So, third-party apps are usually a better solution; they track the data locally, so you just need to tap the right buttons to know your stats.
We decided to offer some apps for cell phone management that can help you optimize your phone expenses. With any of these apps, you’ll feel in control of what you consume and what you actually pay for. If you max your plan frequently, may switch to a more expensive plan, harder to overdraft. On the contrary, if your service consumption is low, it may make sense to switch to a cheaper plan to avoid overpaying.
My Data Manager – Data Usage
This app by Mobidia Technology is constantly tracking the Internet traffic on your device. With all due permissions, it separately counts your cellular and Wi-Fi data, with roaming tracked separately.
Knowing your plans and limits, you can set up alarms, so the app warns you when you approach the safe limit. This knowledge can save you money and shock, so, if you still do need more data, you better pay in advance for the optimal plan.
The app supports shared plans, including family options, or joint stats across multiple devices on the same plans. Its stats store the info on your earlier periods, so you can track your data consumption vertically and see how much more or less of it you consume now than you did last month or year.
The app itself consumes neglectable volumes of traffic, works in the background, and virtually doesn’t slow down the system or other apps. There is only one weakness: the app isn’t meant to access phone calls and SMS, so they won’t be counted.
Tracfone is the biggest virtual cellular provider in the USA, and it’s one of the best options for those eager to keep full control. Renting the LTE network at the biggest providers, Tracfone sells its prepaid plans and offers new generation planning. Selecting Tracfone, you get the best the big 3 can offer; physically the network you are using may be AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, but the operator you deal with is Tracfone.
Its official app lets you select the prepaid plan you need, refill your plan with your credit card, purchase fixed airtime or data volume, check how much is left, or contact Tracfone customer services if anything goes wrong. The app tracks your data and calls in real time, working in the background constantly. Unlike third-party tracking apps, this one authorizes your device to contact billing centers, so its figures are rather exact than approximate.
Tracfone also offers deals on smartphones and rewards for active users. But its greatest money-saving feature is flexible planning that lets you define data and call volume you are ready to pay for. By entering Tracfone promo codes you can pay for phone services without spending actual money.
It’s more than just an app for checking your phone balance now. The idea of the app initially was checking the balance after each call you make or SMS you send, so you always get the most up-to-date info directly from your provider. It also stores call logs and tracks the data you consume. If your provider supports this, you can recharge right within True Balance app.
Now it offers much more than just handling phone billing. With True Balance app, you can earn points for refilling your balance and use these bonuses for further refilling. It redeems its gift cards you can buy for yourself or other people and activate with the special section of the app. With the True Balance, you can also buy phones, pay for gas and electricity (if your provider of these amenities enabled this feature), or postpone your payment for up to four days.
This is one of the most mainstream apps for data plan tracking, made by Google. Its features include direct stats on amounts of data used for certain periods and smart tracking tools as well. You can see trends of your data usage visually: the apps that consume most of your data and the share of each app, the trends of your data usage during months and even years, and so on.
It also automatizes some routine operations you may forget to perform. For example, the app recognizes the time you go to sleep and turns off mobile data for the night. It helps you set daily limits for cellular data and warns you when you approach or reach them. When you’re sharing your data to friends via a hotspot, it tracks these megabytes separately to include them as a special part of overall stats.
Covering virtually anything you need to know about your data usage, Datally isn’t truly versatile; it misses calls and SMS completely. So you’ll need another app to make your cell phone expense management complete.
Data & Call Plan by Trecone
The versatile app by Trecone Solution does exactly what it says on the tin. It tracks your data and talks on your phone, with detailed stats on each sort of consumption. Separate counters let you track your SMS, talk time, and cellular data. If you enter your daily or monthly limits, you’ll get warned when you approach or reach them.
Unlike Datally, D&CP handles calls and SMS properly. You’ll need to enter your limits manually, but the tracking is automated, and it constantly compares your actual consumption to the prepaid limits. It even provides you with forecasts on how much data and talk time you will probably spend to the end of your cycle, so you can adjust your manners to optimize the results. The app is free, but it shows ads that consume mobile data too (but not too much of it).
And Some More
Though we said that apps by providers often lack a lot, we still recommend you installing the official app by your cellular provider. These cell phone apps usually have all the USSD codes embedded, so instead of entering them manually you just need to tap the right button. Or you even don’t have to tap, as all the data is constantly displayed in special sections. Combining native and versatile third-party apps can provide the best result if you take some time to figure them out and set up.