In the age of smartphones, data plans are a mobile provider’s ticket to profits and margins. It works because we sign up for generic buckets of bits, without a clue about how much bandwidth we actually blow through in a month. Onavo Extend originally launched back in 2011 for iOS users with the promise of extending the power of typical data plans by up to 500%. It works by channeling a supported device’s data usage through a proxy server or middleman, which then exercises some nifty compression to minimize the size of uploaded and downloaded content. Now, after six months of success, Onavo has just been expanded to Android and CDMA/LTE 4G users — allowing the new iPad and popular Android handsets like the Galaxy Nexus to ride the data frugality train, on both Verizon and AT&T. Onavo Extend also tracks consumption by app and provides monthly usage reports so owners can easily understand, plan, and manage their oversharing habits. The app will even show you how much moolah it’s saved you, which should help offset the biannual phone upgrade cycle created by your butterfingers.
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