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Summary:

Don’t ask me how I’ve held out from getting a MiFi, but somehow I have — even after this great review. Like James, many of you have purchased one of these little 3G devices that creates a Wi-Fi hotspot bubble around you. And because that hotspot […]

mi-fi-for-iphoneDon’t ask me how I’ve held out from getting a MiFi, but somehow I have — even after this great review. Like James, many of you have purchased one of these little 3G devices that creates a Wi-Fi hotspot bubble around you. And because that hotspot supports multiple devices on one 3G account, that 5GB bandwidth cap can loom in the back of your mind. If you use an iPhone or iPod Touch to leverage that 3G connection, a free app I read about at GottaBeMobile should help.

The software (App Store link) is called Mi-Fi and it serves a few purposes. First, it monitors signal strength and your 3G throughput — both upload and download traffic — so you have a feel for how much bandwidth you’ve used in a session. The Mi-Fi software also taps into your MiFi hardware to display your IP address and, more importantly, the battery charge of the portable hotspot.

Maybe Santa will bring me a MiFi for Christmas, and if he does, I’ll surely be adding this app to my iPhone. I would like to see the software tap into the monthly bandwidth usage data in the future though. Session info is good to have, but if I could see usage since my last bill, that would be great. Setting an alert when getting close to the 5GB limit would be even better. In the meantime, folks can always get their monthly usage directly through a carrier app or the web.

  1. I’d hasten Santa along. I got my Mifi last week and took it travelling on a recent trip. Fantastic piece of kit, instant wi-fi everywhere.

    The iPhone app looks good, I’ll have to give it a try.

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  2. The MiFi is wonderful and this app is nice.

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  3. Random iPhone Developer Friday, October 23, 2009

    I wrote my own app to do this very thing; unfortunately, I found I had to do a lot more to make it meaningful. The sad secret of the MiFi is that the cell providers calculate data usage the same way they do minutes — they always round up. And for data, the process is particularly opaque since about all they say is that they round up to the next KB, with no hints as to what timeframe they do it on.

    The stats built into the MiFi are handy to look at and easy to get, but if you are worried about your cap you need to look at what your carrier is actually calculating with their math. From what I’ve seen so far (on Sprint), that number is 30-40% higher, which means you could lose a GB or two of that 5GB to carrier billing tricks.

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  4. I recommend rooting an android and installing wifi tether. It is almost more useful to me than being able to make calls. It allows you to white list computer or give them a single session.

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  5. That is one great development,at least it still keeps us mobile.

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  6. Yeah, I saw this on UneasySilemce the other day. I appreciate my MiFi, but I’m not sure what value this really provides without pulling our web quota as you say.

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    1. I find it to be a good way to keep an eye on the battery life. The only way to track usage is to access the account on Verizon and I don’t want this app to access my acct.

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  7. It is a nice idea but it doesn’t work! Not for me with the UK version of the MiFi anyway (model 2352). I get a split screen with the same information on both sides. Neither has the graphics for the signal and battery strength and the whole thing flickers. Clearly not how anybody would have released the software so, I guess, some compatibility issues with the different versions of the MiFi. Pity as it’s a great initiative. Here’s hoping for a version 2!

    If the developers are watching I’m happy to test new code for them.

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  8. Eh? Why not use internet connection sharing on a windows XP/vista/7 UMPC?

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