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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Google Datally: How to save your mobile data – Tips to monitor and control data usage

Is it possible to save some mobile data from your plan without too many compromises? We find out.

Written by Tanmay Patange | Updated: May 8, 2018 12:17:12 pm

Is it possible to save some mobile data from your plan without too many compromises? Simple answer – yes. Mobile data is of paramount importance to many of us, thanks to the ever growing presence of 4G-enabled smartphones these days. However, overall internet penetration in India still appears to be in nascent stage (10.1% of the population, says Google, at the time of writing this) despite widespread adoption of 4G and related services, thanks to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio. But mobile data still happens to be an expensive affair in most parts of the country.

So as consumers, we often look for ways to save those extra few megabytes of our mobile data by either reducing our usage or simply switching it off altogether. You may not need to go to those lengths anymore to conserve your mobile data as search giant Google has announced a new app called Datally that helps users track, control and monitor their app data usage. So in this article, let me take you on a quick tour of the new app and discuss some easy techniques to save your mobile data.

Getting started with Google Datally

Setting up Google Datally is pretty easy. I believe you’ve already installed Google Datally on your phone. If you haven’t, go to Google Play Store, search for Datally and hit install. Keep in mind Google Datally is currently available only for Android users.


Once you’ve installed Google Datally on your Android, simply start by accepting Google’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Hit ‘Continue’ to get started. It also seeks permission to make and manage phone calls, send and view SMS messages and access device’s location.

How to save mobile data usage using Google Datally

Most of our mobile data is often consumed by processes running in the background. These processes are mainly handled by apps that are installed and accessed by different built-in services like Calendar, Camera, Contacts, etc. Switching on Data Saver blocks background data and lets users fully control which apps use data.

Step 1: Once you have set it up, you’ll come across a Data Saver option. Once enabled Data Saver option, Datally will request you to allow connection since it requires a VPN (Virtual private network) to block data. This way, it’ll set up a VPN connection. Tap ‘Allow’ option at the bottom of your screen.

Note 2: Setting up VPN connection allows Datally to monitor network traffic. App icon will appear at the top of your screen when VPN is active.

24204912_1734655443240958_2144946337_nStep 3: Datally shows a graphical representation of total mobile data being used in real time, which in my case was 64.9MB. It also shows app-wise data consumption, i.e., YouTube, Instagram, Chrome, etc. Since I was connected to my office Wi-Fi, I ended up saving around 21% mobile data. You may find different results, though.

Step 4: Tap a lock icon next to an app name to allow or block it from using mobile data. It also gives an option to see the number of apps that don’t access mobile data.

Another way of saving data

In addition to Data Saver, Datally has another feature called Find Wi-Fi. It shows Google Maps directions to nearby Wi-Fi and public hotspots. This way, you can connect to these hotspots and save a significant amount of mobile data. Additionally, you can also suggest your connected network to Datally. If you are using Android, you can also limit your data consumption by navigating to Settings > Mobile data usage and set a data limit. Upon exceeding, your data will automatically be turned off.

24257347_1734655123240990_1172489943_nA word of caution

Do keep in mind that connecting to unknown public Wi-Fi hotspots also involves a risk of your data and sensitive information ending up in the hands of cyber criminals. What’s more, blocking certain apps from accessing data in the background will also restrict them from interacting with you via updates and notifications. So choose your methods wisely.

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