Although auto-updating is a handy function, the simultaneous downloading of multiple apps can quickly eat up data, as well as slow the whole device down. This is especially the case for those that are always on the go, as mobile hotspots don’t always have the fastest connections. To answer this need is TripMode, an app designed by a team of three Swiss young entrepreneurs. It automatically prevents online backups, auto-updates and other cloud apps from consuming precious data in the background.
The app sits on users’ top menu bar — of their smartphone, laptop or tablet — and is as accessible as turning on airplane mode. Mimicking this mode, where all connectivity is prevented, it specifically targets apps that use the Internet. Once it is turned on, all apps are blocked, and the user can select which ones are allowed web access by ticking a checkbox in the menu. Preferences are also remembered from session to session. “If I’m writing an article on a train, for instance, I don’t need to continue downloading that game from Steam or synching up large Dropbox files,” TripMode’s website reads.
There is also an auto-activation function. When the app detects that a computer is running off a mobile hotspot, rather than regular Wi-Fi, a notification informs the user that app blocking is activated — it will then deactivate itself when users are back on regular Wi-Fi. TripMode also keeps track of each app’s data consumption, so users can evaluate their data needs.
Though the primary function of the app is to helps users save mobile data when they’re on the go, some have found it useful in increasing productivity. Blocking web access to apps such as email, social network and calendar notifications can help eliminate distractions that saturate most users’ devices.
Ultimately, this simple app can help save consumers money on data over prolonged periods. This is exactly the kind of lifestyle service that telecoms and financial service providers should be paying close attention to — and possibly incorporating into their own product suite. Only then can they hope to appeal to consumers who are increasingly looking for service providers with much more holistic solutions, acting as a helpful presence on a day to day basis.