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

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 THE DOG'S BLOG


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.
 
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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:
 
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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

What’s new in 3G Watchdog 0.38.7

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

Device support

The support has been improved for the following devices:
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500 and GT-I9505)
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos (GT-I9082)
  • Samsung Captivate Glide “R” variant
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
  • Nexus 7 tablet with 3G/4G.

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Richard

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.21.1

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a bug fix release.

Galaxy S4 GT-I9500

Fixed Galaxy S4 GT-I9500 variant not counting mobile usage when advanced option “Use pre-froyo…” is checked. People with the default setting (option unchecked) were not affected.

Updated Danish translation

Opdateret Dansk Oversættelse
 
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Richard
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.21.0

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

Time Zone support

The main novelty in this version is that 3G Watchdog Pro now allows you to specifiy a Time Zone for your local/domestic and roaming plan (in 3GW Settings > Your Plan). This is the reference Time Zone for the dates used by your operator (billing date, day, week, month). It defaults to your current TZ at the time this parameter is first set, but you can still change it later. Note that the chosen TZ applies to both the local and the roaming plans (i.e. the two plans share the same TZ).

3G Watchdog pro

 The interest of specifying a Time Zone is that if you happen to travel and switch Time Zone, 3G Watchdog will still be able to calculate correctly the dates using the reference TZ. When you are in a different TZ than the plan’s one 3GW will display the date in the plan TZ at the top of the section(local or roaming) for this plan in the usage report (main) screen. This will remind you that the date is different from the date in your current TZ:

3G Watchdog Pro update May 2013

Restrict background traffic to WiFi for ALL applications at once

 
Previously you could only specify one application at a time to have its background traffic restricted to WiFi. This was done in the “Usage by application” screen by selecting the “Restrict background data to WiFi” option in an application contextual menu:
 
3G Watchdog Pro May 2013 update pic 3
 
Now you can apply the same restriction to all applications (for which the operation is applicable) in one single operation. Bring the usage by app screen menu up and select “Restrict all apps to WiFi“:
 
3G Watchdog Pro May 2013 update pic 4
 
 
Conversely you can lift the restriction for all applications via the screen menu option “Allow all apps on mobile“. 
 
Reminder: the restriction to Wifi applies only to background traffic, not to traffic occurring when you are visiting the application user interface.

Clearer warning level configuration

 
The alert conditions (in Settings > Alerts) were a bit ambiguous. The formulation has been improved to make it clearer:
 
3G Watchdog Pro May 2013 pic 5

Device support

 
The support has been improved for the following devices:
 
– Samsung Galaxy S4
– Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos (GT-I9082)
– Nexus 7 tablet with 3G/4G on JellyBean+
– Motorola RAZR i XT890.

Bug fixes

– Fixed mobile data switch widget icons not visible on some (rare) devices.
– Fixed incorrect condition testing for reenabling the mobile network.
* Minor bug fixes.

Feedback email

The email sent via the feedback function (3GW main screen > Menu > Feedback) now includes more information about your configuration (nothing private!) to help us to diagnose problems if needed. The information sent is visible at the bottom of the mail before you send it.
 
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Richard
 

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.20.0

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

Please update if you are using version 1.19.3!

Improved swipe gestures

3GW now uses smoother let and right swipe gestures to switch from one period (Plan / day / week / month) to the other. This applies to the main report, history and usage by application screens.

Bulgarian translation

Thanks to Gorchy who contributed the translation alone.
 
March5

Data widget improvements

  • In widget configuration dialog (at widget creation time): allows to select “time bar” even when the usage bar is unavailable. This is for people with unlimited plans but who still want to know the progress of their plan period.
  • When showing roaming usage: fixed time bar showing local plan period instead of roaming plan period.

Raised maximum % threshold for network auto-disabling from 200 to 1000

This is primarily intended to be used as a security limit on daily recommended usages. These may be low so a maximum disable threshold of 200% may be not enough in case it is admissible that on one particular day the usage exceeds the recommended usage. 

Increased Pro usage graph right margin to avoid overlap when close to end of period

3G Watchdog Pro

 

Richard

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.19.4

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is a bug fix release. Please update to 1.19.4 if you are using version 1.19.3!
 
* Fixed crash on phone start when plan does not reset on midnight AND expires while phone is off (affects only 3GWP 1.19.3).
 
* Updated Italian and Greek translations.
 
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Richard

3G Watchdog Pro 1.19.3 released

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is mostly a bug fix release.

New text sizes for the big data widget

Two additional text font sizes (large and X-large) are available for the “big” data widget. “Large” corresponds to a 20% increase and “X-large” a 50% increase in font size.
 
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You may have to restrict the number of items to be displayed to fit the available widget space, which actually depends on devices and Android versions.

Restart automatically the 3GWP service after an update

Previously the 3GW service, which runs in the background and does the counting, was not always automatically restarted after an update, you had to launch the application to guarantee that the service was started. This should no longer be necessary with the current version. 

Fixed daily usage by application not reset when phone off at midnight

Strangely it had never been noticed or reported before! 

Other Minor bug fixes

Mostly related to Android system implementation errors that would crash the app on some devices in rare cases.
 
 

3gpro-icon-72x72

Richard

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.19.x

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

– Version 1.19.0 introduced a new “Holo” look.
– Versions 1.19.1 and 1.19.2 fixed size problems on Widgets.
– 1.19.2 also fixed a problem with the “data mobile switch” widget not longer being available on some tablets since 1.19.0.

New “Holo” look 

With time Android design guidelines have evolved and since version 3.0 (Honeycomb) the “Holo” style, including both visual and ergonomics recommendations, has become the official style.
 
Even if we (and many other users) liked the cartoonish style of the old user interface, we felt that it was important for the user experience to comply with these new rules, because consistency and the respect of some common rules help the user to navigate between the different applications.
 
A number of customers also encouraged us to move to the Holo look. This site came as far as to produce a mock up of how 3GWP would look with a Holo design. And actually this turned out to be our main source of inspiration, thanks to Ricardo Monteiro who designed the mock-up.
 
The Holo style is normally available since Android 3.0. By using a compatibility library we were also able to support Android version since 2.1. However older versions of Android (notably 1.5 and 1.6) are no longer supported. You can still use older versions (< 1.19.0) of 3GW on these platforms. Please note that on versions < 3.0 some visual components of the Android interface (buttons, checkboxes, etc…) will keep their old, pre-Holo look. Only the action bar (explained below) and tabs will fully behave and look “Holo”. 
 
This move also offered an opportunity to make the interface somewhat clearer and more consistent (without big changes to avoid getting existing users lost!).
 
So what changed in 1.19.x? Only the user interface. No function was added or removed.

Action bar & period Tabs

The first and most important change is the introduction of the Action bar.
 
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The Action bar is one of the pillars of the Holo design. This is the green band at the top with the 3GW icon. It is visible in every screen of the application and displays from left to right: 

– the application icon,
– the screen title (“Usage”),
– shortcut icons for the main available actions (“refresh” and “history” on this image). Previously in 3GW these actions were accessible via buttons at the bottom of the screen.
– the menu button (3 vertical dots, not visible on this image) to show the action menu – it will be visible only if your device has no physical menu button.
 
–> More details about the Action bar in this Google document.
 
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The period tabs (Plan /Day / Week / Month) will be consistently present in all 3GW screens, except the Settings screen. Depending on the size and orientation of the screen the bar will appear under (like in the above image) or in the action bar. How and where the tabs are displayed is dynamically decided by the Android system, not by the application.
 
As before, you can switch from one period type (tab) to the other by tapping on the tab or by swiping left or right on the screen. 

Themes 

3GW has been internally reorganized to use themes. A theme is a collection of visual elements working together to give a certain look to the application. 
 
Currently two themes are defined: dark and light. We will probably add new ones in the future.
 
Here is how the main report screen looks in light style…
 
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… and here is how it looks in dark style:
 
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Note that the settings screen is theme-independent and has always a dark look:
 
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The default theme is the light theme if you are a new user, dark if you upgrade from a previous version.
You can change the current theme in 3GW Settings > Look & Feel > Theme. Exit and relaunch the application to allow for the change to be taken into account.
 

Notification icons

The old notification icons:
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were too small to be readable on certain devices / versions of Android (e.g. Nexus 7 with Jelly Bean), so we redesigned them to be simpler and larger, here is the new set (may look smaller than old icons on this page, but they are actually larger when displayed in the status bar) :
 
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3GWatchdog191x7b
3GWatchdog191x7c
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(the last one represents an undetermined state)
 
This change applies only to devices running Android 3.0+. Devices with older versions of Android will still use the old icons.
 
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Richard

What’s new in 3G Watchdog Pro 1.18.2

Written by Richard. Posted in Blog

This is just a bugfix release:
 
* Fixed usage history incorrectly recalculated when manually setting Wifi usage.
* Device support: Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830 C and S5839i on Android 2.3.

Happy New Year!

3G Watchdog - Happy New Year

Richard

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