In the past few years, smartphones have been providing the luxury of constant connection to millions around the globe. With the introduction of the iPhone and Android phones, the mass market – not just business types, have adopted smartphone technology. But all these amenities can come with a hefty price.
With constant access to the internet and features like Facebook, YouTube and Google Maps, even those with a 3G subscription service still end up paying high phone bills as a result of the massive amounts of data the accessed. Those who travel frequently while remaining connected to a roaming network have all experienced the mind-blowing and unexpected telephone charges on their return. And while there are solutions to excessive telephone charges when abroad, such as purchasing a local sim-card, these don’t provide access to the internet.
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Onavo, a new Israeli start up company, has launched a smart-phone application they say will compress data received by the device, leading to a significant reduction in phone bills. Since most 3G subscriptions are based on file size, the less data your phone uses, the less money you pay on that data.
“Onavo is a simple, easy-to-use application that basically allows you to use your iPhone abroad with up to 80% savings on data charges,” Dvir Reznik, Onavo’s marketing director, told NoCamels. Once Onavo is installed on your smart-phone device, it works as a proxy that routes all the incoming data from your 3G network through a cloud server. According to Reznik, “This is where the shrinking magic happens.”
In the next few days, Onavo will launch its application on Apple’s iPhone, with a version for Android coming soon after. “We have the technology to cover the basic apps on your iPhone, but we also have special add-ons to cover the crucial apps that you can’t live without like email, Facebook, and Google Maps,” Reznik said.
Onavo was founded by six friends who met in an elite intelligence unit in the Israeli Defense Force, named “8200”, after returning from the Global Mobile Congress exhibition in Barcelona last year with an “outrageous” phone bill.
Even though its original use was meant for traveling abroad with a smart-phone, Reznik said the product will provide similar savings for domestic carriers.
The application is currently in its private beta phase, but upon its official release for the iPhone, it will be available for free. The company plans to profit on special add-ons that can focus savings on specific applications.
Onavo offers a limited number of closed-beta invitations for NoCamels readers. To enter the beta, browse on your iPhone to www.onavo.com/nocamels and follow the instructions.
Photo by cloneofsnake