Space, memory and data usage are the three key system functions that you must monitor on your iPhone and iPad. The question is, what is the best way to do it? Here is a great free widget that does the job nicely.
If you run short of space, storage space that is, you will not be able to install apps, add music, shoot photos and videos, and so on. It cripples the iPhone and iPad, and so it is important to keep a watch on the amount that is remaining. Then when it is low, you can do something about it, such as transferring photos to your computer or online storage and then deleting them off the iOS device.
The amount of memory free is not normally an issue, but in extreme situations where you are running a lot of memory-intensive applications at the same time, it can become in short supply. The result is a slow iPhone or iPad as iOS swaps apps in and out of memory.
Every phone comes with a data allowance and exceeding it can result in unexpectedly high bills. The amount that is used and how much remains are therefore two important figures you must keep an eye on.
Although there are apps that can track the space, memory and data, Usage Widget is different and it runs entirely on the Today screen. After downloading and installing it from the App Store, pull down from the top of the screen, select the Today tab if it is not already selected, and scroll down to Usage Widget. It is a live display of the key attributes you need to follow.
It shows the free memory and free space as coloured bars. Don’t worry if the memory usage shows little free (the green bit at the start), this is normal and it is usually followed by a blue bar, which is inactive memory. The green and blue bars show free memory and the orange and red bars show used memory. As long as there is some green and blue, your iOS device is OK.
The free space is green and used space is red. When the green bar shrinks to nothing, you’re in trouble. Delete some photos, videos, music or apps to free up space.
Underneath it shows the internet connection, such as the Wi-Fi speed – upload and download in kbps – and there is a live scrolling chart showing the peaks and troughs of data transfer.
Some features are only available with an in-app purchase and it is so cheap it is a no-brainer. Pay $0.99 / £0.79 and it unlocks several features, such as the all-important data usage monitoring. You can see the data used, your allowance, and the renewal date. These can be easily configured in the settings and are included on the Today screen in the widget. You can also display your IP address and battery status, with the talk time, standby time, Wi-Fi time and so on.
The only issue I have with Usage Widget is the text size. It gets smaller and smaller with each line of information. When you get down to the battery info it is so small some people might have difficulty reading it. The text size needs to be increased.
I like Usage Widget and as a free widget it is fine. The upgrade cost to unlock the extra features is so low your may as well go Pro. This is recommended for the iPhone and iPad.
Title: Usage Widget
Developer: Roberto Ghizzi
Size: 2 MB
iOS: 8.0 or later
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 25 May 2015