Data Cruncher, Money Saver

iPhone apps can do all sorts of things: help you stay organised, help you pass the time, help you take photos. But how about saving you money?

Not so much, normally. In fact, we never knew how expensive owning an iPhone would be because of all the money we spend on apps. So it's nice to see that an app has come along that could actually reduce, not increase, the cost of iPhone ownership.

Onavo is its catchy name, and the cost it targets is data charges. If you're on a contract, you might have a deal for unlimited data each month. But if you're on pay as you go, you're probably paying £5 or £10 or even £20 a month for a data package. You could reduce that amount if you install Onavo - if you're running an iPhone 4 or 3GS.

You see, Onavo compresses the data your phone uses. Or rather, it directs all your internet use through Onavo's own servers, which compress it before sending it back to your phone. So, for example, if you visit Digitaledge on your iPhone normally, all 500k or so of it gets pushed to your phone. But if you visit it with Onavo installed, your phone's request to the site gets redirected to Onavo, they produce a compressed version of the site, and that gets sent to your phone instead.

By all accounts you can't really tell the difference in terms of the data you get, with one big exception - heavily compressed images. And it doesn't just work with web browsing, but all data flowing to and from your phone. This could let you switch down to a much smaller data package. So why not give it a go?

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