3G Watchdog app for Android monitors your 4G/3G/Edge/GPRS data usage

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What’s new in 3G Watchdog free 0.39.2

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

Real Time Traffic Display screen changes

Clicking on the traffic graph now alternatively expands / collapses the graph. When expanded, the righmost part where current speeds are displayed is hidden, given more space for the graph:
 
rtt-graph-collapseddrtt-graph-expanded
 
– In the Mobile traffic graph (“Mobile” tab), when currently roaming the title of the graph changes from “Mobile” to “Roaming”:
 
rtt-roaming
 
– A footer now displays the total usage corresponding to the sum of all listed app usages:
 
rtt-footer
 

Ads display policy

Ads are displayed less frequently (and as before only if you use and visit the Real Time Traffic Display screen). They are now shown on app (main screen) exit, instead of when leaving the Real Time Traffic Display screen.

Android 4.4 support

Support of Android 4.4 (KitKat) is still in beta stage. Please report any problem with details (preferably via the 3GW main screen > Menu > More > About… > Feedback function).

Device support

Support for the Sony Xperia ion LT28 AT variant has been added.

Mobile network disabling

On a few devices the built-in (3G Watchdog) mobile network disabler apparently requires the extra permission WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS and would crash since this permission is not given to 3GW. The vast majority of the devices only require the WRITE_SETTINGS permission (granted to 3GW) or no permission at all, and therefore work correctly. This affects both the “Auto-disable” feature, the “Mobile data switch” widget, and the “Disable/Enable mobile network functions” in 3GW main screen menu.
 
We elected to not request the WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS permission for now to avoid scaring users (the word “secure” may sound ominous). 3GW tries now to detect this case, automatically disable the functions using it, and inform the user via a notification in the status bar.

New permission

The permission to read the WiFi state (ACCESS_WIFI_STATE) is now requested by 3GW. This helps to better track changes in the state of the WiFi connection.

Bug fixes

Minor bug fixes to improve stability. 
 
3gpro-icon-72x72
 
 
Richard
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog free 0.39.1

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a maintenance release. 

Ukrainian translation

3G Watchdog is now available in Ukrainian, many thanks to Andriy Bandura. To switch to Ukraininian in 3GW, go to Settings > Misc > Language, select “Українська“, validate (OK), exit the application and restart your phone to be sure that the change will fully be taken into account.
 
3gwp-0.39.1-ukrainian
 

Ads load policy  (Real Time Traffic Monitoring screen)

Ads are not loaded if your montly quota is < 200 MB. Other conditions for loading an ad (not roaming, mobile usage < 90% quota) still apply.
 

Bug fixes 

This release fixes a number of problems related to the introduction of the new Real Time Traffic Monitoring feature in version 0.39.0
 
3gpro-icon-72x72
 
 
Richard
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.23.3

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a maintenance release.

“Unstoppable application” notification

If you have selected the “Restrict background data to WiFi” option for an application (in the usage by app screen) then 3G Watchdog attempts to terminate this application’s background process ASAP if it detects that this application is having some background mobile data traffic.
 
However, as mentioned in a previous blog, some “rogue” applications such as Facebook may defeat this strategy by respawning immediately their terminated processes. Previously 3GW would silently fail in this case. Starting with this version (1.23.3) 3GW now issues a warning notification in the status bar if it repetitively fails to terminate the application. If this happens the application is probably unstoppable, and you should consider unselecting the “Restrict background data to WiFi” option for this app since it is useless and you risk to receive too many notifications.
 

Minor bug fixes

As usual a few code changes for improving application stability and experience.

3gpro-icon-72x72
 
 
Richard
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog free 0.39.0

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

Important note: this version will be progressively released starting from Oct 16, 2013. If your current update is to a prior version you will be notified when version 0.39.0 becomes available on your local Google Play store.

Android 1.5 and 1.6 no longer supported

The minimum version of Android supported by 3GW is now 2.1. Android 1.5 and 1.6 users will not be able to upgrade to 0.39.0 and future versions, but of course can still continue to use older versions of 3GW.
 

Real-Time Traffic monitoring

This version introduces an entirely new feature, real-time monitoring of local and WiFi traffic. To access it from 3GW main screen, press this button:
 
RTT-button-0.39.0
 
 
The Real Time Traffic screen will show you a graph of the current traffic and (on Android 2.2+) the corresponding list of consumer applications:
 
RealTimeTraffic2-0.39.0 
 
This feature is supported by ads. You will occasionally see ads when exiting the “Real Time Traffic Display” screen, and only there.  Ads use a little bandwidth, so 3G Watchdog will not display them if you are roaming or if your usage has reached 90% of your Plan quota.
 
At anytime you can disable or enable the feature entirely in your settings via the “Enable this feature” checkbox in the new “Real Time Traffic Display” section. When disabled you won’t see the monitor or any ads.
 
settings1-cropped-0.39.0
 
 
The Real Time Traffic graph gives you a visual hint about the traffic during the last minute. It shows the received, sent and total traffic as 3 curves (orange, green and white, respectively). While you are in the Real Time Traffic Display screen the traffic is automatically refreshed every two seconds by default (this can changed, see below) and up to one minute (2 minutes in some cases) of traffic data is displayed.
 
RealTimeTraffic5-0.39.0 
The dashed (—) line shows the maximum speed displayed, while the dotted (…) line shows the average speed. Gaps in the curves are possible when traffic measurements are not available for a period of time.

 
The list below the graph (Android 2.2+ only)  shows you the applications currently generating traffic. For each application you will see from left to right its icon, its name, its total usage for the period represented on the graph, and – only if this app consumed something during the last (2 sec) refresh –  the usage for these 2 secs.
  
Long pressing a traffic graph will reset (clear) the graph and the list of consumer applications.

Settings

While you are in the Real Time Traffic Display screen, 3G Watchdog automatically updates traffic data with a far higher frequency than usual. This consumes more battery, and a few parameters in the new “Real Time Traffic Display” settings section are available to help set up the right balance for you:
 
settings3-0.39.0
 
 
By default 3GW will update traffic measurements every 2 seconds. You can change it to a value between 1 and 5 seconds. 5 seconds will take the least battery but the graph will look very still 😉 Conversely a 1 second refresh frequency will make the graph more lively, but take the most battery of all values. Note that selecting a value of 4 or 5 seconds will extend the time span shown on the graph from 1 to 2 minutes.
 
When 3GW is not visible but still running (another app is in the foreground, or you have returned to the device home screen), it will continue to measure traffic speed for a certain time, so if you return to 3GW before this time is elapsed there won’t be any gap in the graphs. You can choose how long 3GW will continue counting, from 0 (stop immediately) to 5 minutes, with a default of 1 minute. Of course the longer the time the more battery used.
 

New permissions required

3G Watchdog requires two new permissions:

Internet access

This permission is required exclusively for the new Real Time Traffic feature (see above). If you disable this feature 3GW will not generate any traffic by itself.

Write settings

This permission is required on some devices to provide the “disable mobile network” feature. It will be used only for that purpose.
 


Bug fixes and minor changes

 
3gpro-icon-72x72
 
 
Richard

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.23.2

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a maintenance release.

Real time traffic monitoring enhancements

A few things have been improved on the graphs:
  • Better placement of max and average speeds on the graph (avoid overlapping in some cases).
  • Less “gaps” in the curves (but there are still conditions where the gaps are justified).
  • The orange and blue colors (received and sent traffcs) have been slightly darkened in the “light” theme to make the text easier to read.

Device support Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 not counting mobile usage

Improved Nexus 7 LTE vs. non LTE support on Android 4.3
 
Minor bug fixes

As usual a few code changes for improving application stability.

3gpro-icon-72x72
 
 
Richard
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.23.1

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a maintenance release.

Ukrainian translation

Thanks to to Andrei Bandura, Sergiy Gorichenko, and mbm for the new Ukrainian translation (which was ready earlier but unfortunately forgotten in the previous release).

Fixed Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 not counting mobile usage

Global mobile usage was not longer counted by 3GW on Android 4.3. This was caused by a change of network interface in this version of Android, and 3GW has been modified accordingly. 

Minor bug fixes

As usual a few code changes for improving application stability.

3gpro-icon-72x72
 
 
Richard
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.23.0

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

Real-time traffic graphs

This version introduces real-time monitoring of local, roaming and WiFi traffic. Traffic is shown as a traffic graph in each section (Local, Roaming, WiFi) if you have enabled it via the “Speedometer” toggle button (right of the “Table” button on the image below):
 
pro-1-23-01
 
 
Each graph shows the received, sent and total traffic as 3 curves (orange, blue and black, respectively). While at least one graph is enabled, traffic is automatically refreshed every two seconds by default (this can changed, see below) and up to one minute (2 minutes in some cases) of traffic data is displayed.
The dashed (—) line shows the maximum speed displayed, while the dotted (…) line shows the average speed. Gaps in the curves are possible when traffic measurements are not available for some time.
 

The graph gives you a visual hint about the traffic during the last minute. To determine which application is currently generating traffic, tap on the graph. This will launch the usage by application screen directly in “Change since last refresh” display mode. Look at the “Change” column and you will easily see which app consumed data in the last 2 seconds (“TuneIn Radio” and “OS services” in the screenshot below):
 
pro-1-23-02
 
 
The “Usage by application” screen has also a “Change since reset” display mode, which shows you the accumulated usage (not speed!) since you last reset it. Tap on the header (where “Change” and “Total” are displayed) to switch to the “Change since reset” display mode. To reset the counter, use either Menu > Reset change… (not “Reset usage…”!!) or long press on the traffic graph in the main report screen. 
 
Long pressing a traffic graph will reset (clear) the graph, and – as just mentioned – also reset the custom usage by app change counter.

Settings

While at least one traffic graph is enabled and visible, 3G Watchdog automatically updates traffic data with a far higher frequency than usual. This consumes more battery, and a new section “Real Time Traffic Display” is available in the Settings, with two parameters to help set up the right balance for you:
 
pro-1-23-03
 
 
By default 3GW will update traffic measurements every 2 seconds. You can change it to a value between 1 and 5 seconds. 5 seconds will take the least battery but the graph will look very still 😉 Conversely a 1 second refresh frequency will make the graph more lively, but take the most battery of all values. Note that selecting a value of 4 or 5 seconds will extend the time span shown on the graph from 1 to 2 minutes.
 
When 3GW is not visible but still running (another app is in the foreground, or you returned to the device home screen), it will continue to measure traffic speed for a certain time, so if you return to 3GW before this time is elapsed there won’t be any gap in the graphs. You can choose how long 3GW will continue counting, from 0 (stop immediately) to 15 minutes, with a default of 3 minutes. Of course the longer the time the more battery used.
 
Since each section (Local, Roaming, Wifi) may have its own traffic graph, and each of the 4 period tabs (Plan, Day, Week, Month) have these 3 sections, there may be a maximum of 4 x 3 = 12 graphs open. This makes rather difficult to close them all, and that’s why there is a main screen Menu > “Close all speed graphs” item.

Readability improvements

Usage “Pro” graph: the usage summary displayed on the gauge now uses a more contrasted color, easier to read. More over the font color changes with the background:
 
 pro-1-23-04
 
In the above screenshot the first part of the text “8.6 MB used (” is white text on green background, while the rest of the text “3.0 GB left)” is black on light grey background. This is more readable than the black font used for the entire text in previous versions of 3GWP.
 
Usage stats table: when option “Use white text in usage graph” is checked (in 3GW Settings > Look & feel), all texts in the table headers will be white on green. Previously some texts were in black on green:
 
 
pro-1-23-05
 
Note that the traffic graph (and associated texts) also use dark grey or black instead of colors when option “Use white text in usage graph” is checked. 

 

Bug fixes and minor changes

 
– Fixed discrepancy in some cases between roaming usages shown in the stats table and the widget.
– Fixed rare “unparsable number” crash in usage history graph with German and French locales. 
 
… and other minor changes.
 
3gpro-icon-72x72
 
 
Richard

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.22.2

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a maintenance release.

Fixed usage by applications not working on Android 4.3

People who upgraded their Nexus 4 to the latest version of Android (4.3) reported that usage by application was not counted any more in 3G Watchdog Pro. After investigation it turned out to be caused by a bug in Android 4.3 stats functions used by data monitoring applications. This bug has been reported to Google, but until Google fixes it in a future release a workaround has been implemented in this version of 3G Watchdog. The only drawback of this workaround is that it is slightly slower than the original, but this should remain unoticeable in practice.

If you have upgraded your device to Android 4.3 please upgrade to 3GWP 1.22.2!

Handled SQLite disk I/O Error crash

Some Samsung devices owners (mostly Galaxy S2 and Note N7000) with Android 4.1.2 and 4.2.2 have reported some crashes caused by a “disk I/O error” in the database management software (SQLite). While the ultimate cause of this error is not clear – some versions of SQLite were found to exhibit a related bug in the past – in the context of 3GWP this error occurred only in a place and context where it can be safely ignored, and that’s just what 3GW does in this version.

However we can’t be 100% sure that the database is not affected/corrupted by this error, so please report any database crash or suspicious database state.

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.22.1

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a maintenance release

Settings: “Exclude time period” billing rule range extended

The maximum hour range for the “Exclude time period” billing rule was from 16:00 (4 pm)  to 10:00 (10 am). It has been extended to 16:00 (4 pm)  to 12:00 (noon) to match some new use cases.

Settings: improved SMS addresses input and validation

Previously the SMS recipient addresses for alerts, daily reports or new password were considered as numeric and checked only for minimal length. As a consequence it was not possible to enter a phone number starting with +.
 
Now you can enter any phone number considered by Android as a legal SMS phone number. This is a progress over the previous validation, but this is still not a guarantee of validity though, because Android may be lax in its validation. Furthermore when an attempt to send a SMS is done, there is no way for 3G Watchdog to know if the action was successful or not, so please make sure you enter a valid SMS address!
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.22.0

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

Optional password

You can now set up a password (in Settings > Misc) to protect access to settings and usage-modifying functions (restore, set usage, repair database).
 
This is useful if for example you want to install 3GW Pro on your children’s phones but don’t want them to be able to modify the usage numbers or the configuration.
 
image.png
 
Leave the “password” field empty if you do not want to use any password (this is the default). Otherwise be careful to memorize it, or you might have to reinstall the application to reset the password!
 
However if you have installed the 3G Watchdog Pro SMS extension you may specify a phone number to send a new (automatically generated) password to in case you forget the current one. Be sure to double check the number – you don’t want to send the SMS to the wrong person (e.g. your child)!
 
Once you have set up a non-empty password, access to the settings and important functions becomes protected:
 
image2.png
 
If you check the “Do not ask again for password…” option, the authorization will last for 10 minutes (the password will not be asked again during that time). Otherwise (option unchecked) the password will be asked again every time you try to access protected functions.
 
Note that the option to send a new password via SMS will be visible only if you have installed the 3G Watchdog Pro SMS extension and specified a recipient number in the settings. 
 
Also note that the “Enable/disable mobile network” feature is not password protected, because this is a shortcut to the system switch otherwise accessible via the Android settings (Settings > Wireless and networks > Mobile networks > Use packet data / Data enabled), so protecting it in 3GW would be useless.

Two new alternate prediction methods

3G Watchdog usage prediction capability is one of its most useful features. It is important for the user not only to know her/his current consumption, but also to anticipate its usage by the end of the current plan period or day so she/he can take corrective action if necessary.

However usage prediction is not an exact science, and there is no way to predict usage with 100% accuracy. Different strategies may be implemented, and as of version 1.22.0, 3G Watchdog offers the choice between 3 prediction methods:

  • Standard (aka “Amnesic”) method:  this prediction is based on usage since the beginning of the current period (day or plan), and is a simple linear extrapolation of this usage. Usage history before the beginning of the current period is not taken into account (hence the nickname “amnesic”). A drawback of this method is that the prediction is unavailable at the beginning of each period until enough usage data can be collected to get a significant prediction. Even after enough data has eventually been collected to supply a prediction, this prediction strategy still tends to amplify your usage in the initial part of the period: for example if you had exceptionally high consumption in the first hour, the prediction will be very high too, which can be disturbing. Nevertherless the prediction will become more smoothed and accurate as time passes.

  • Moving average [since 1.22.0]: this prediction is based on the average usage from the last N days (N configurable, default: 30). This strategy tends to smooth the prediction because past usage (before the current period) is taken into account. It works well on a large period such as a monthly plan, but may produce strange results with current day prediction, as the importance given to past usage may outweight the actual usage for the day.
  • Mixed [since 1.22.0]: this prediction is based on a dynamically weighted combination of the two above methods. More weight is given to the moving average prediction (based on past usage) at the beginning of the period (reflecting the absence of actual data), but as time passes and more actual usage data becomes available the balance shifts towards the amnesic prediction (reflecting the fact that actual data is more important than speculative one).

No method is perfect. You might want to experiment in order to find which one best matches your usage pattern, but if you have some usage history I recommend you give the Mixed method a try. You can freely switch from one method to the other.

Go to 3GW Settings > Prediction to select the prediction method:

Inline image 2

Current and remaining usages shown inside the Pro Usage graph bar

If you selected the “Pro” usage graph style (rather than the “free” graph style – remember you can switch between the two with a long press on the graph) in 3GW main report screen, you will notice that the actual current usage and the usage left are now displayed inside the bar, on the left:
 
Inline image 3
…in the above example, it reads “19 MB used (3.0 GB left)”

Improved Samsung Galaxy S3 support

The Galaxy S3 has many variants with (unfortunately) sometimes divergent behaviors when it comes to usage counting. This release of 3GW should improve the way mobile usage (and WiFi tethered usage in particular) is counted across all variants.

Samsung Galaxy S4 support

If you own a Galaxy S4, make sure to leave the “Use pre-Froyo…” (in 3GW Settings > Advanced) option unchecked. Checking it would result in 3GW counting incorrectly your mobile usage.

Error reporting tool

A new error reporting tool has been included in this release.  If the application crashes a dialog will appear offering the user to send a crash report email. This report will include technical information about the context at the time of the crash (3GW Settings, state of the phone…) and will help us to identify the cause the problem and fix it.
 
You will be able to review the report mail in your mail client before sending it.

Misc bug fixes…

 

Richard

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