During my short 16-month jaunt on VZW’s network, the MyVerizon widget pictured above was always on one of my homescreens. Sure. There were other options; some were better looking or more feature rich. But for what it did/does, it’s perfect — until it was yanked shortly after Verizon announced their new shared family data plans. Many speculated that the way in which data is counted on the new plans was the primary reason for the widget’s removal.
It all appears to be water under the bridge, though, as a new version of the app has just hit the Google Play Store. But there’s one big change — the displayed data usage on the widget face itself is not updated in the background. You have to manually tap and refresh the widget if you want to know the data usage.
This minor change is pretty troublesome, regardless of how minor (and easy) it is to simply tap the widget. Before, quick glances at the always up-to-date widget made many a customer feel more in control of their digital lives in monitoring data usage. The new update, however, removes some of that control and opens the door to people glancing over the widget and forgetting it is no longer displaying current, updated information. Someone could go days and not even notice the old data, while at the same time blowing by their data cap and in turn, earning VZW a few extra bucks in the process. Furthermore, tapping to refresh opens up the actual app instead of just refreshing the widget which is a step backwards in our book. It seems like Verizon went out of their way to make checking data usage with a previously helpful tool harder and more cumbersome. Then again, considering this is geared towards people on limited data plans it’s easy to see why Verizon would do this.
Several other sites have speculated VZW’s change to the widget was more-so for financial gain than any technical limitation with the new plans and we’d have to agree. We can’t fathom why the widget went from automatically updating to manual. Surely the battery life of the old widget wasn’t anything to get upset about. Updating a couple of lines of text consumes next to nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Is this just another case of VZW trying to nab a few extra bucks from your pocket each month? Sound off in the comments below.