Make Cellular Data Stats Easier For Users To Find

Posted on 2009-09-24 22:53 UTC by Jason Carter. Status: In development, Categories: Internet & Networking.

In Maemo 5, cellular data statistics (transmitted and received) are hidden away deep. Users must go through the following to find their usage information:

1) Open Settings from the Task Manager button.

2) Click on Phone.

3) Scroll down past the numerous phone settings.

4) Click on Data Counters button.


Seeing as the N900 is the first of the internet tablets to have a built-in cellular radio, users are going to be compelled to use a lot more data than they might have usually. In a lot of areas of the world, unlimited data plans just do not exist, opening users up to lots of potential overusage charges on top of their data plans.

The solution must be in a place that is easily accessible by the user and easily visible in places where the user tends to spend a lot of time.

Optionally, alarms could be set to allow the tablet to warn the user whenever they are within a certain percentage of the maximum data use allowed by their provider, set by the user.

Potential programmers/widget makers, you can retrieve the data for the phone's data connection through /proc/net/dev. The connection name whose data we are interested in is named phonet0 within /proc/net/dev and is accessible without root.

Solutions for this brainstorm

Selected solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #1: Put stats within a desktop widget

Posted on 2009-09-24 22:58 UTC by Jason Carter.

A desktop widget would be excellent for the job as it is visible to the user and can be placed anywhere he/she desires. An ASCII example of a decent desktop widget is below.

| Cellular Data Connection |
| Transmitted:     45.43MB |
| Received:       443.92MB |

This is most likely the easiest solution as most Maemo programmers could whip this up within a day or so.

Not selected solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #2: Put stats within the drop down status area menu

Posted on 2009-09-24 23:09 UTC by Jason Carter.

Pressing your finger on the status area  in Maemo 5 pops up a menu giving more detailed status information on everything shown in the status area. The current cellular data statistics should be listed there, near the Internet Connection button.

Since the status menu buttons support only two lines of text due to their size, it should be arranged like so:


Cellular Data Use

Rx: 122.32MB Tx: 22.19MB


Clicking upon the button should pop up the same Data Counters dialog box that comes up when clicking on the Data Counters button within the phone options. The button to reset the counters is within that box already, allowing users to quickly reset the counters without worrying that they will do so accidentally.

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