Image courtesy of Mobidia

With all of the U.S. mobile carriers imposing some form of a data bandwidth cap on their mobile broadband, combined with faster speeds, it is becoming important to monitor data usage. While it can be pretty straightforward to find out how much data you have transfered within a billing cycle from the carrier, figuring out exactly which apps are using the most bandwidth can be a challenge.

My Data Manager is a free app in the Android Market that tracks the data transfers of individual apps and displays that information in a variety of graphs. One the first things you want to do after installing the app is configure it for your data plan. Tap Menu, Settings, Plan Settings, to open a wizard that guides you through the process of specifying what type of plan you have (Pay monthly or Pay-As-You-Go), the amount of your data bandwidth cap, and the day of the month in which your billing cycle begins.

My Data Manager begins collecting data as soon as it is installed on your phone. When you start the app, it displays the top apps that are performing data transfers and their data usage in a bar chart as shown in the screenshot. You will also see a running total of how much of your data bandwidth has been used within the billing cycle. If you prefer, you can tap a button at the bottom of the screen to see the information in a pie chart. Once you know which apps are transferring the most data, you can make decisions on how you want to use them so that you decrease the amount data used if necessary.