The My Vodafone app provides at-a-glance information on your data, call and text usage for the current calendar month, plus how much of your allowance remains. Those of us looking to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone - or any other smartphone for that matter - may find this useful in ascertaining what tariff is most suited to our needs. For example, I get 600 minutes free per month, yet I mainly use my phone for texting and browsing the web. For my next upgrade I could look to save money by receiving fewer free minutes. See also: Best Android Apps
If you are looking to upgrade, contract users will find details of their price plan and when they are due to upgrade on the home screen. You must still call Vodafone, visit its local high-street store or go online to upgrade, however. Pay-as-you-go users, meanwhile, can see their remaining credit and Freebee expiry date, and click to call the top-up line if necessary.
The price plan section also includes information on your last bill date and amount for that mobile. If you don't receive paper bills in the post, being able to tap on an app and quickly see your outstanding balance is much simpler than having to browse to Vodafone's website, log into your account and navigate to the relevant section.
My Vodafone app: what's missing?
What's missing, though, is itemised billing and the date on which this amount will be withdrawn from your bank account if you have a direct debit set up. It would be nice to have an option to add another phone number, too - I also subscribe to a Vodafone 3G dongle and have to log into my account to see the details of the other half of my bill. In fairness, this is nearly always a set amount, since I rarely go above my allowance.
A second tab at the top of the screen takes you to a Wi-Fi Finder. This appears to work well, displaying wireless hotspots in your immediate area on top of a Google map. You simply tap on a hotspot to get details of its exact location and, if necessary, directions to it. A button at the top of the screen forces it to find your location, but we couldn't get the text field beside it to do anything useful on our Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. You'll need to allow the app to see your location for the Wi-Fi Finder to be successful.
Note that account information is not available for business customers, the app is for suitable UK customers only, and that it is not exempt from data charges. Expenditure on your account can take up to 72 hours to appear, and the information is refreshed only once a day. As you near your monthly usage limit, this may not be sufficiently frequent to prevent you from exceeding your allowance.