5 apps that’ll make your internet bundles last longer

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smartphoneSo you have bought your first smartphone finally. The change in convenience is amazing and you’re wondering how the hell it took so long to upgrade from your former simple phone to this new world of information literally at your fingertips. You can’t put in words how significant an impact this has had on your life. But there’s something else you can’t explain; the smartphone feeds on your expensive internet bundles so much you’re almost certain that the mobile network is stealing from you!

The truth is they are not, and that you have more control over how much data you consume than you actually think. We have already shared things you can do on your phone to make it data lean. There are also apps out there, designed specifically to help you save data and we thought we’d share some of them here. Since Android and iPhones are by far the most used, we focused on apps that run on these platforms and those apps that are free.

  1. operaOpera Mini: Not all Opera browsers are made equal. There’s Opera Mobile and then there’s Opera Mini. That Mini there means savings and that’s what you want. How does it save your bundles? With Opera Mini your phone doesn’t download any internet pages directly; they are fetched and compressed in the cloud into the smallest possible sizes before they are delivered to your phone.
    Available for both Android and IOS.
  2. onavo countOnavo Count – This app monitors your phone’s data usage to let you know which apps are hogging your data. It also allows you to select which apps use your mobile internet bundles and which are only allowed to use Wi-Fi. So if you notice for example that the Google+ App is using too much data, you can restrict it to only use the internet when you’re connected to your work Wi-Fi network.  Of course there are myriad of applications (like My Data Manager and Traffic Monitor) that monitor data usage, but from the few we’ve used Onavo Count seems the most clean and intuitive one.
    Available for both Android and IOS.
  3. unnamedbiNudescribed by its makers as “Your smartphone in the cloud”, biNu takes the Opera Mini cloud-processing concept further by offering cloud apps. So whether you want to read news, Tweet, update your Facebook, or check the soccer league log standings, you have a ultra-lite biNu app to do it, delivering data at about 10x less that your usual smartphone app.
    biNu was designed to provide a smartphone experience to featurephone users by doing all the heavy processing that smartphones do, in the clouds and just delivering lean pages of app information to the user. On smartphones, biNu acts as a second and much leaner smartphone inside in your smartphone providing a lightning fast internet experience.
    Available for Android.
  4. onavo extendOnavo Extend – An app by the same company that provides Onavo Count, Extend saves you data in a different way; it connects your phone to Onavo’s content delivery network, in their words, “to provide you with a leaner and more efficient version of the Internet.” Onavo says the app can make your internet bundles last as much as five times longer.
    Available for both Android and IOS.
  5. on-offData ON-OFF – this is a simple app whose job is to just enable you to switch your data on and off with one tap on the screen. You can technically do this without an app but the nifty app just makes it way easier and direct by making a widget available on your home screen.
    Available for Android.

Have you used any of the apps listed above; how much saving do you think they have provided? If you also have other great apps that you use that we haven’t listed here, please share in the comments below. 


  1. Baradze

    That just goes to show you how far Nokia’s operating systems are lagging behind! The market is now awash with either iOS or Android apps. I am making a bold move to ditch Nokia for any Android powered smartphone. What say ye Nokia users?

    1. macdchip

      I used to swear by nokia, using there “high” end phones. Bt n8 was my last and ever since l moved to samsung, l just wonder how l used to love nokia.

      Go ahead, swap, you will never regret.

      The amount of apps you get on android!!

      1. Baradze

        Spot on mate!

    2. neville

      nokia yakatireera… but eish… baba hazikuda kukura sesu vana vavo… time to move on!

  2. Tao

    For a data switch, i prefer Juice defender it manages the battery and the data and also provides a nifty widget switch.

  3. Time

    Articles like this just make me sadder at the internet situation in Zimbabwe. Sure now pretty much everyone can access the internet but for our society and economy to really thrive we need to access the internet on far cheaper prices. How many kids in the rural areas do you know that enjoy youtube on a daily basis?..none as it would take them like $10 (which is alot to many) a day just to enjoy this globally ubiquitous service. If a kid wants to learn something from the internet, they can’t watch videos and download large tutorial files as they’ll need to conserve their precious bundles.

    I personally think that Zimbabwe will only begin to benefit from mobile internet when the pricing is more friendly. Maybe then will local developers application take off the ground as I don’t forsee many people downloading a Zimbo made app that could cost them their expensive data bundles. Even something like a local “youtube” will likely be a failure at the moment as the few people that have streaming friendly internet will be glued to the real youtube and the rest of the people will be contemplating whether that clip is worth the 10mb to watch.

    Sorry a bit off topic but just had to share my thoughts.

    1. thugged

      You are right the internet in Zimbabwe is way too expensive. $1 on Econet is like 10MB last time I checked and 50Ksh (kenya shillings = $0.58c) will give you 40MB. Why is ours so so so, expensive. Please we need cheaper internet whoever hears our cries PLEASE.

      1. Time

        Amen to that…but don’t hold your breathe on cheaper Internet…only until a real regulatory body operated not out of greed and insider favours will we begin to see the prices that will indeed allow the average citizen to use the internet in a way that they can be productive as they’ll be able to explore the web without clenching their gut at every 2mb image loaded.

        1. Farie

          So never then…

    2. PrinceD

      HOW TRUE!!
      our internet prices are exorbitant to say the least

    3. neville

      let’s invest in local data servers

  4. Farie

    Here’s another I just found out about called Greenify. https :// play.google .com/store/apps/details?id=com.oasisfeng.greenify

  5. KuraiMGT

    Should we trust these apps from the app store or whereeva? How can one assure themselves these apps arent doing some stuff in the background (like rogue apps). Have you ever wondered when you receive spam where the hell they even get your email add etc.? Off topic-ish but something I have always wondered abt

    1. Kakashi

      Generally speaking, apps from the official app stores are safer due to stricter vetting and significantly safer than ‘unofficial’ sources. Like most things they are not 100% but Apple, Google, Windows, BlackBerry constantly check their stores for malicious apps. Play it safe; check the reviews/ratings of apps, read the permissions (level of access the app has to phone features/network/personal information) and install a good antivirus for good measure.

  6. mduduzi

    Just downloaded Onavo Count:) Great app. Onavo Extend is incompattible with my Galaxy Pocket though:(

  7. neville

    this is a truly useful local website. keep it up!!

    p.s. how may we contribute??

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      you can contact us on admin@techzim.co.zw

  8. sikiş

    each time i used to read smaller articles that as well clear their
    motive, and that is also happening with this post which I am reading now.