You may not be aware of this but Vodafone have released a number of apps including Fieldays NZ 2010 and the Vodafone NZ Music Awards app. Well yesterday Vodafone released their latest app ‘My Account for iPhone‘ to “help keep track of your Vodafone account details on the go”. Continue reading to find out more about what this app can do for you…
Now in my opinion all of the providers should have one of these apps for their users, for both iPhone *and* iPad. Vodafone being the only “official” iPhone supplier should have had one a long time ago and to be honest I am surprised it has taken them this long (after all they have been selling the iPhone since the days of the 3G).
I am also surprised it is iPhone-only, with more and more people buying iPads they need a better way to check their balance, top-up and generally manage their account and this kind of app would be ideal but alas unfortunately for now, as I say, this is iPhone only (although as per the image below it does run on the iPad).
When launching the app for the first time you are presented with the login screen that has a few options at the bottom which you can use without logging in. ‘Account Help’, ‘Store Finder’ and ‘More’.
Account Help takes you to a page which gives you two options, “I don’t have an Online ID” and I’ve forgotten my password”. Tapping either these takes you to another page where you can then either select to set up an Online ID or retrieve your password.
Now you would assume that pressing either of these would allow you to do either task but unfortunately not. After pressing either one the app advises you that you are going to be taken out of the app. I find it a really strange omission that you can’t do these tasks from within the app, and I was immediately disappointed. I want the complete iPhone experience and it then becomes a hassle to me.
Store Finder is pretty self explanatory really, you get taken to a page which has Google Maps and a search filter to filter your location.
Under the more tab you can view the ‘Network Issues’ forum (via the Vodafone site), see contact information for Vodafone and tell Vodafone how fantastic you think their app is. All of these things are essentially portals to an iPhone styled Vodafone site, again it was a bit disappointing that these were not better embedded into the app. Also using the Network Issues forum may be an issue if there is a network issue.
Once you have signed into the app using your Online ID (I recommend getting this set up before going into the app) you are presented with one of two screens (depending on whether you are OnAccount or Prepay.
Prepay customers will see their current balance, how much they last topped up with and when their credit is due to expire. OnAccount customers get to see a whole lot more than this. If you are OnAccount you can see your allowances for PXT’s, TXT’s, Minutes and Data. It shows you how much you have used and how much you have left for each item. It tells you when your billing month ends and how much you have spent since your last bill. I am unsure as to the reason why you don’t get this detailed information with Prepay and again it is a bit of a disappointment. Being able to track your usage by way of the OnAccount system is what makes this app worthwhile and as a Prepay user I don’t get that privilege.
Along the bottom you have the same buttons for both Prepay and OnAccount (with the exception of the ‘Pay my bill’ button and the ‘Top up’ button). This option allows you to either view and pay your outstanding balance (for OnAccount) or Top up your Prepay SIM card.
The payment can be made with any of the usual credit cards and as you type the credit card number, depending on which one you use the card type will light up (or the others dim, however you want to view it). It’s kinda of a cool feature in case you inadvertently started to enter the wrong number or pulled the wrong Gold Card out of your wallet .
The My Plan button will give you information on, well, your plan and whether on Prepay or OnAccount you can view your calling rates and roaming rates. I was hoping that you would be able to change your plan from this screen but alas no option exists.
‘Store Finder’ and ‘More’ have basically the same function as mentioned earlier however you also have an ‘Auto sign in’ toggle under the more tab, meaning you don’t need to sign in every time you want to use it, or on the flip-side for security purposes can make you sign in every time.
One last thing that I found interesting when using the app is you don’t have to be using your Vodafone SIM card to use the app. As you can see in the image above I am using my XT SIM, but I am looking at the account details for my Prepay Vodafone SIM. This could actually be very handy. Why? Well if I used a Vodafone SIM in my iPad and was with XT for my iPhone, I can top up or check my iPad’s balance from my iPhone. I know I know why would you have one carrier for your iPad and another for your iPhone… well what if your company paid for you phone and you had to pay for your iPad, it does happen.
Overall this app does what it says on the tin, it will give you your account info, allow you to make a payment / top up, and give you access to your calling rates and the current network status via the Vodafone Forum. The imagary used in the app, particulary the icon and splash screen look fantastic on the iPhone 4′s retina display and is a real a credit to the devs.
Unfortunately it does lack a number of features such as allowing you to sign up for an Online ID from within the app, retrieve your password from within the app and change your plan. Also as a Prepay user I am unable to see how many PXT’s, TXT’s, Minutes and Data I have used.
At the end of the day if you are a Vodafone user then this is still going to be a must have app for your iPhone and although it is a good start (albeit a late one) I will be looking forward to version 2.
Download using the link below or text APP to 898 on your iPhone to receive a direct link to the App store