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App Attack! My O2 for iPhone

O2 has launched My O2, an official iPhone app to monitor your usage, and see just how much money you threw away when you signed that 18-month contract

Your iPhone makes you the coolest cat in the wine bar, but even snake-hipped scenesters like you need to keep one eye on the finances. Enter My O2, the first official application on the iTunes App Store that keeps you on top of your O2 phone bill.

What does it do?

The My O2 app gives you access to the most useful parts of the O2 Web site while out and about. It has two useful elements: the first shows you how much of your allowance you've used, in both numbers and nifty little needle graphics. Cool as the textometer and minutometer are, the needles count down right to left, which is clearly arse-backwards.

Tap recent charges and you see your recent cost over and above your allowance. As well as checking your usage, this part of the app has useful reference notes such as your next bill date and amount. We paid our bill and within the hour the app had updated.

You can also see the date your contract ends, which, if you committed to an 18-month contract of £35 or £45 only to see 3GS users paying just £20, probably can't come soon enough.

The second useful strand of the app is a detailed help guide, which is stored in the app and doesn't require a Web connection. If your question isn't answered, tap the online help button, which takes you to the O2 Web site help section.

My O2

If you're stuck in a tube carriage, cellar bar or abandoned mine shaft, a fun game is to go through the iPhone help section looking to see how many questions have 'Yes' for an answer. Can I change from 24-hour clock? Can I save a draft message? Can I charge my iPhone with the power off? (Hint: they're all 'No'.) Hours of fun.

You may even learn something. We just discovered that the way to alter the number of rings before your phone goes to voicemail is by entering **61*901*11*NN# SEND, where NN is the number of seconds in increments of five, up to a maximum of 30 seconds. Ah, that old chestnut.

To use the My O2 app, you'll need login details for the O2 Web site. Once you've entered those details in your phone, you'll be prompted to set up a four digit PIN, and from then on when you open the app you'll only have to type in the PIN. Spiffing.

What's missing?

We hate to jump on the 'but why wasn't it there in the first place?!' bandwagon, but seeing as the iPhone has been exclusive to O2 for more than two years you'd think O2 could have done something like this sooner. Still, it does what it does very well. More detailed bills might be useful to some users, but we think it strikes the right balance. A clearer breakdown of the arcane science that is data charging would be welcome, however.

We would like to see a button that calls O2 directly -- and on the free 2302 number, not the pesky 0870 number. Remember you can call O2 free from your iPhone on that number, or 202 from other mobiles, even if you've been cut off.

App attack verdict

Simple, slick and useful, the My O2 app is an illuminating little app for iPhone owners.

Download: My O2 (iTunes link)
Cost: Free

Similar apps

Mobile Allowance (iTunes link)
Mobile Minutes Tracker for O2 (iTunes link)