Don't go over

Cell Minute Tracker for iPhone gives you an easy way to keep from busting through your plan's minutes on AT&T, and from missing bills.

While there are separate ways to check the status of your iPhone minutes in the U.S. via AT&T, and pay for your phone bill remotely, the 99 cent app Cell Minute Tracker from Pageonce combines both functions in one. It's neither a complete nor flawless solution, but it's got promise. For many, the nominal price might be worth it to keep from busting through their plan's minutes on AT&T, and from missing bills.

After registering for a MyAccount log-in from AT& services aren't included yet--you can access much of that tracking service to bring you a native experience on the iPhone. You can certainly also get the information for free by visiting AT&T's site on Safari, or by finding a shortcut to this page in the iPhone's Settings menu. What the app's price point boils down to is convenience and an early warning system if you're about to go over your allotted minutes or are nearing billing time. If you've got limited minutes or are monitoring the usage of family on the same plan, seeing those details gathered in one place is a boon.

The same goes for those who frequently miss payment due dates; Cell Minute Tracker automatically flies a red badge when you open the app to alert you when you've hit 90 percent of your plan limits, or when your bill is due. In the future, the app will e-mail you this information. You're also able to pay your AT&T bills on the iPhone (or iPod Touch if you have an AT&T cell phone in addition to your Touch) from another tab, although the Make a Payment button is actually only a shortcut to AT&T's site, not an integrated feature. Cell Minute Tracker also employs 128-bit encryption to shield your details.

We'd like to see a way to view a detailed copy of your bill, and break-downs of call and SMS activity. Cell Minute Tracker gets its greatest value from bringing the summary to you in a pretty package, but when it builds in the additional features on our wish list, the application will appeal to even more U.S. users, and hopefully to more global iPhone owners, too.

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