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Summary:

DeviceScape’s app for Android gains a new name and additional features: What used to be called DataBooster is now DataSaver. The free software helps users manage their 3G and 4G data usage while making it easier to connect to DeviceScape’s more than 8 million Wi-Fi hotspots.

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Devicescape’s mobile app for Android has gained a new name and additional features. What used to be called DataBooster now goes by the name DataSaver, and the free software helps users manage their 3G and 4G data usage, while also making it easier to connect to Devicescape’s more than 8 million Wi-Fi hotspots.

I installed the app on my Galaxy Nexus and it works as advertised. I found it easy to set up my monthly data limit — unofficially 2 GB with a Straight Talk SIM — and there’s an integrated speed test function for both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connections. You can view data usage by connection type and by historical time: Last day, 7 days, 30 days and since you installed the Data Saver app. The software is supposed to offer data saving suggestions at the end of a billing cycle but since I just added the app, I can’t speak to what it might say.

Included with the app are two optional widgets. One is the same speed test feature found in the app, while the other is a data savings meter, showing how much data you’ve used in the current cycle. All of the information found in the widgets are readily accessible in the app, but the widgets provide quicker access for those that want it.

That aside, the app will also connect you to a Wi-Fi hotspot on Devicescape’s virtual network if you’re in range of one. You can enable this to be an auto-connect or simply a notification of network availability. And the app can store Wi-Fi network credentials for hotspots you connect to often, i.e.: at work, school or on the road.

Overall, DataSaver looks handy, but I question the long-term viability of it. Why? Mainly because with Android 4.0, introduced in October, Google added a native Data Usage feature that replicates much of what DataSaver offers. Granted, few Android devices are running 4.0 today, but new devices are coming with the latest Google software and we’re finally seeing a roll out of Android 4.0 to older devices.

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  1. if only there was one for the pc

    1. Just wait! Devicescape has struck a deal with Intel this summer, to be bundled in with the wifi on their processors.

      http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/30/intel-teams-up-with-devicescape-for-automatic-public-wifi/

      1. absolutely brilliant

      2. absolutely brilliant

  2. Derek Kerton Friday, July 13, 2012

    “but I question the long-term viability of it. Why? Mainly because with Android 4.0, introduced in October, Google added a native Data Usage feature”

    Kevin, while that is true, the real value proposition of the DataSaver application is NOT in the reporting of data use, but in the fact that it actively shifts more of your data to wifi hotspots, thus actually helping you reduce your cellular data traffic.

    Devicescape connects people to a network of over 8 Million public wifi hotspots, and gets users on seamlessly. You won’t find that in the Android 4.x feature.

    The visible DataSaver features that overlap with Android ICS are just the visible portion of the iceberg that is DataSaver. That’s the reason for the new name, it’s really about Saving cellular data.

    (Disclosure: I am a strategy consultant for Devicescape)

    1. That’s a fair point, Derek, but if a consumer has Wi-Fi enabled on their phone today, it’s likely that they’ll be notified of open hotspots. That’s not the same as an automatic switch, of course, but consumers are generally becoming more aware of their data usage based on their carrier plans. The other aspect in my line of reasoning is the upcoming Passpoint initiative from the Wi-Fi Alliance: http://gigaom.com/mobile/why-connecting-to-a-wi-fi-hotspot-is-about-to-get-easier/ Seamless hotspot roaming will make a huge difference for cellular offload IMO.

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