If/When will Ting offer an Android app to track usage?
Answered

The question kind of says it all.

An app specially made by Ting would be pretty awesome.

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69 comments
  • I was looking into developing an Android app; this may be a good idea to see if I can make it work.

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  • We're working on it folks. It's definitely something we want/need. No official date set at the moment. Feel free to use this thread to tell us what you'd like to see in the app and I'll see what we can get worked into it.

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  • I'm not sure how difficult this would be to implement, but these are the things I'd like to see in a Ting usage app:

    1) Usage charts of minutes, texts, and megabytes similar to what is on the Ting website.

    2) A breakdown of the amount of megabytes specific apps have consumed.

    3) A popup notification when a certain, user-defined threshold has been reached. (It's like how Ting allows me to set a "marker" when to be notified whether by call, sms, or email when I've reached a certain limit.

    4) A widget to show the real-time usage of calls, text, and megabytes.

    5) Set the app to restart the counting of usage based on the billing period.

    6) Log all the past billing intervals in a neat and understandable format.

    I know number 2 would be difficult to implement, especially with how Android operates. By the way, thanks Ben for answering my question.

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  • I think Cathy has covered it pretty well.

    One possible addition that would be cool is to have the ability to block specific apps from using the mobile data connection and instead require them to use Wi-Fi, especially for background data that could wait.  3G Watchdog Pro has this ability although they say some background data might still get through.

    DC

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  • I set my phone browser to point to http://ting.com/account and that brings up my control panel

     

    basically same information an app would offer

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  • This might be a niche feature request but here goes anyway.  I use my phone partly for work.  It would be cool to be able to group phone numbers into groups and then have the usage graph color code my usage base on the groups.  Say I could have a work and personal group (kinda like google+ circles!).  Work numbers would show up as red and personal numbers as blue, for example.  Would be handy figuring out where the percentage of minutes are going without having to go line-by-line through my call history.  

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  • Tim: I like what you did and that should work for most people. I think we can provide a better experience with a custom Android App though.

     

    Jason: I like your thinking! We have a "Maybe Someday" feature that would allow you to customize the names of phone numbers you've called texted so that your detailed reports would have names you recognize rather than just phone numbers. Adding a tag (or "circle") wouldn't be that hard.  Still, I'm thinking you and I might be the only people excited about that idea. :) 

    A more practical approach that we ARE going to be putting into place this year is the ability to download your data as a .csv file so you can play around with it and parse the data any way you like. I think that will go a long way to helping people get the more obscure stuff they want to do with their phone data done and will give us more insight into what might be worth building in to the Dashboard or the Android app.

    Cheers,

    Ken. 

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  • If you do put together the downloadable data before an Android app, can you make it accessible without having to login via a web page? Still require authentication, but do it via basic/digest auth or some other kind of machine friendly mechanism. That way we could write our own apps that could do some clever things.

    In a perfect world, a proper API would be awesome. I've thought about trying to build a hacky page scraping thing, but I would prefer not to go that route.

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  • Interesting Brian. We've had a bit of interest in a Ting API for customers. I can't think of anything geekier (or more unique than a customer-facing API) so it's tempting. :)

    I've added it to the "Maybe Someday" list for now and we'll mull it over.

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  • I'd like to see the option to turn certain features on/off.

    When I switch I'm going to be controlling my data usage pretty closely. So being able to turn 3G off on my phone would be convenient at times.

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  • Ting is currently working on building their own Android app, but until it is ready, I have put together an unofficial one here:  https://help.ting.com/entries/21570097-unofficial-android-app

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  • @Cullen Webb: Which phone are you using?  I have the HTC Detail with Android 2.2 and it allows me to put Wigets on the homescreen that I can use to toggle on/off Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, & GPS.  To save battery life, I usually keep all but the Wi-Fi off.

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  • I have a set of python scripts that: 

    • logon to Ting
    • grab the "number of days to next bill"
    • grab all the details from the minutes, message & data pages
    • creates a XLS file with a summary tab, and an individual tab for each phone with minutes, messages & data details for that phone
    • uploads the file to a public folder on Dropbox
    • sends an email to all my family members on the account with the summary information and a link they can click on to download the XLS file to their local machine.

    You can see a sample of the XLS file at  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhLEYNiVBzJJdDF5MkNaSzdNQkU3NWVJUnE3U21pVHc#gid=0

     

    It seems to be working pretty well on Windows 7 & Ubuntu.  

    You would have to install Python 2.6/2.7 and a few libraries to use it as is. I could build an Windows exe too, if there were interest.

    NOTE: this program will only work with the current version of the Ting website. I understand they will be doing an upgrade sometime in the future and it will most likely break this program.    

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  • Brian Steere  added an "overview" screen to his android app.  You should check it out.

     

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  • I know this is a little bit of a necro on this thread but I just wanted to +1 the idea of a customer facing API. I honestly have no idea what I'd do with it... but if you build it, i'm sure the ideas will come.

    Plus, you'd have the extra cool geekiness factor built in.

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  • I know about the Android apps that track usage for the phone they're on, but here's an example of an app from a Swedish carrier, that actually looks like fun, and would fit right in with the Ting approach -

    http://allthingsd.com/20121015/wireless-carrier-tries-to-make-cell-phone-bill-fun/

     

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  • As far as API goes, intergration with ifttt or Zapier would be pretty cool.

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  • I didn't realize this thread already existed until now, but I also want to +1 the idea of a customer-facing API.  For us geeks who do a bit of developing of apps and web apps, it would be absolutely amazing to be able to access our data in this way, and maybe...just maybe....work it out for other people, too.

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  • Just so it is not lost, Brian Steere's unofficial Ting app for Android is in the Google Play Store. It is actually quite good,

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  • I actually just downloaded it, Bruce, and am waiting for it to finish parsing. It takes a while, so I haven't had a chance to see how the data is actually displayed.  But the API would save a lot of that processing time as well as allowing us to create our own ways of using the API.  Scraping a website, as Brian has acknowledged, is never a good way to get data. Brian had to change a lot in the app when Ting rolled out their new dashboard.  With an API to access, Ting can change their website all they want, and it wouldn't break someone's app.

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  • Steve: what kind of device do you have? It shouldn't take _too _long to parse everything but I'm running on a GS3 and have pretty minimal usage.

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  • Brian, I just DLed and used your app. Very sweet!!!

    Steve, I've got a GS3 and it took all of 7 seconds to parse my info. Pretty minimal usage though. 3calls, 143 texts, 111MB for this period.

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  • Brian, I just had a feature request pop in my head. Can you show the usage bar broken in colors by device, like the legacy ting dashboard?
    I see the breakdown in the devices list, but the color bars would look cooler. ;-)

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  • Can you at least check your usage on the Site? 

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  • Vic,

    If you're referring to the Ting website, then absolutely. Just log in to your account and it should be the first thing you see.

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  • The Play Store has an app called "Ting Usage (Unofficial)" authored by 3dgo.net and it displays a very simple dashboard from your account by polling the website.  It works quite well and doesn't take long to load--I reccomend it until Ting can get it's mobile site up and running for view on the Android. 

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  • Jeremy, in case you didn't catch it, that app is done by Brian Steere.  He's a poster in this topic.  The creepy snake eye avatar.  :-D

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  • Brian, nice app.

    Dragon eye?

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  • It's a drawing of a Dragon Eye that I snagged off of Deviant Art.

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  • Thank you Jeremy Dowd for the referenced "Ting Usage Unofficial" tidbit you found on Apps store.  Like you say.... it will work until the "Official" one comes out.

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