Skip to main content

Google’s Triangle app gives you full control over your apps’ data usage

google triangle app img 8968
Jane Goodall Institute
Not all data plans are created equally. Some charge an arm and a leg for slow service. Others make do with aging, unreliable infrastructure. And still others serve markets where free alternatives, like high-speed public Wi-Fi, are plentiful. Point is, plenty of folks do not want or need background apps chipping away at their capped plan’s data bucket. That is where Triangle, an experimental new app from Google, comes in.

Triangle, which launched in the Philippines in late June, is a data-saving app that gives you precise control over your phone cellular activity. It provides an overview of your device’s data consumption, and an itemized list of the apps that have accounted for for the largest share in a given time period. If you subscribe to a carrier that is partnered with Google, like Globe or Smart, you will see other useful stats like your prepaid data balance.

But Triangle’s real benefit is letting you drill down to the application level. You can specify apps’ data usage in increments like “10 minutes at a time,” “30 minutes at a time,” or “Always.” If you have a plan with Globe or Smart, you can accrue rewards by minimizing your data usage and gain access to download sponsored apps and files that do not count against your data cap.

Triangle has yet to launch widely. Google began testing the app in April, according to TechCrunch, and debuted a beta in early June, but it has been coy about Triangle’s future.

“We’re currently doing tests in the Philippines on ways to help users better manage their mobile data,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We have nothing further to announce at this time.”

Broadly speaking, Triangle’s part of Google’s ongoing effort to address data-constrained markets. Years ago, it introduced Data Saver for Chrome, a feature that taps Google’s servers to reduce web browsing data usage by up to 50 percent.

Google followed up those efforts with a software suite aimed at developing markets. In late 2016, it rolled out YouTube Go, a low-bandwidth version of the YouTube app with support for sharing via Bluetooth and faster playback on slow connections. Alongside Go, it introduced a lightweight version of Google Play and an optimized News and Weather app for low-power devices.

But Google’s aimed its development crosshairs at infrastructure, too. Last year, it broadened its free Google Station public Wi-Fi program to more than 400 train stations across India. And it continues to expand AMP (accelerated mobile pages), its open source platform designed to streamline phone-optimized web pages.

“We believe everyone should have fast and easy access to information online. However, many people still have slow and costly mobile connections,” Google said in a blog post. “Faster [connections] help publishers and advertisers reach new audiences.”

Editors' Recommendations

Kyle Wiggers
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyle Wiggers is a writer, Web designer, and podcaster with an acute interest in all things tech. When not reviewing gadgets…
Google Play improves privacy, payments, and subscriptions 
Person holding Samsung Galaxy smartphone showing Google Play Store.

Google is introducing several new features that will help game and app developers to engage and grow their audience while further improving privacy and security.

At this year’s Google I/O conference, the Google Play team is focusing on new initiatives to create an even safer app ecosystem for users and developers alike while also adding new tools for developers. These include new custom store listing options, increased flexibility in pricing models for in-app subscriptions, and more. The Google Play team outlined these new initiatives during its What’s New in Google Play session at Google I/O 2022.

Read more
Google is killing off its lightweight YouTube Go app
Three phone screens showing the new Android 12 Go Edition.

Google is killing off its lightweight YouTube Go app, an app designed for phones with low storage and limited access to robust LTE and 5G networks. The company cites improvements to the mainstream YouTube app that rendered this service redundant. The app will remain available for download in the Play Store until August. The app boiled down YouTube to its essentials and stripped away things that weren't necessary like commenting, posting, or creating videos.

"When we launched YouTube Go in 2016, it was designed for viewers in locations where connectivity, data prices, and low-end devices prevented us from delivering the best experience in the main YouTube app. Since then, YouTube has invested in improvements to the main YouTube app that make it perform better in these environments, while also delivering a better user experience which is inclusive of our entire community," the YouTube team said.

Read more
Google Play Store helps find the apps invading your privacy
Instagram app on the Google Play Store on an Android smartphone.

Google has implemented a feature that requires app makers to disclose what data their apps are taking from users. Starting today, Android users will be able to see specific information about their apps' data collection through the Google Play Store. The data is accessible in the Play Store via the "Data Safety" tab listed in the information section for all apps.

With Google's announcement that the feature's rollout is live, the company notes that not all apps will be showing what privacy data they collect immediately. App makers have until July 20, 2022, to provide the Play Store with privacy information, making the feature something of a gradual rollout. It's likely that apps that take more types of data (like social media apps) will take longer to post the required info due to the sheer number of data points they collect when compared to something simpler such as an offline game.

Read more