Have you ever looked at your phone bill at the end of the month and thought either you’ve overpaid for unlimited data usage, or been frustrated at how easily you went over your data limit, and wished there was a better way to go about getting internet on your phone? Well, good news. There’s an app for that.
Israeli-based startup Onavo has not only created an app that allows you to monitor your data usage on a day-to-day basis, but also works to compress the amount of data you consume when using your favorite mobile apps.
“During installation, the cellular device connects to a cloud-based compression service that Onavo developed,” writes Haaretz.com’s Inbal Orpaz. “Once the app has been installed, every time the user consumes content, the content is compressed in the cloud and sent to the user’s device in compressed, “lighter” form — allowing end-users to use up to five times more data and still remain within the limits of their package.”
Onavo, which is available for free download on the iPhone, essentially helps mobile customers go around mobile service providers and their data charges in a similar way to what popular messaging app WhatsApp does for customers who, for example, don’t have unlimited texting features on their phones.
The Israeli-based company has a product so good on its hands that it has attracted a big offer for acquisition, which was accepted on Monday. Numerous reports confirmed at the beginning of the week that Silicon Valley powerhouse Facebook had purchased Onavo for a price hovering around the $150 million mark.
So why, exactly, was Facebook interested in the app that is said to lower data costs by 80%? Besides the fact that Onavo does offer a great product, there is speculation that Facebook’s purchasing of the company is all a part of a larger plan to take over the internet so the social network can attract more traffic and, thus, advertising dollars on its site.
“Wider usage of the Internet, particularly on mobile devices, would drive more customers Facebook's way (it's desperate to accrue mobile users) and thus lead to more ad revenues for the service,” wrote Fast Company’s Kit Easton. “Facebook, thanks to initiatives like its temporarily paused "Home" system, would also love to be the portal most people use to get to the Internet--a homepage for the world, if you like, because that way it can serve up ads, gather more analytics, and decide where traffic goes.”
Regardless of what Mark Zuckerberg has planned for the future, though, what’s clear is that Onavo has developed a very good and extremely useful product-- one that is certain to attract even more users as it operates under the wings of one of the most popular companies in the world.
Top Photo Courtesy: Bless This Stuff