No more surprise bills with Fire Chest Usage for BlackBerry 10

Fire Chest
By James Richardson on 27 Jan 2014 06:16 am EST

Many BlackBerry 10 users will be on a plan where your phone calls, SMS and data have a monthly limit. There's nothing worse than going over that quota and getting a shocking bill from your network provider. Fire Chest Usage - which is available for all BlackBerry 10 handsets, and headless, will monitor your usage and allow you to keep an eye on things. 

Track and analyze calls, texts, and data usage over a 6 month window. Set alerts for your calls and data usage, including roaming data. Watch live data traffic to check for leaks, assess network integrity, and measure speeds

Once you use the app for the first time you'll want to jump into the settings where you can alter several categories - such as your monthly minutes quota, cellular data, roaming data and even when your bill date is due so the app knows to reset your allowances - clever stuff. 

All the important data is available from the home screen however there are a further three tabs at the base of the display if you wish to look at a particular category in more detail. These include:

  • Phone Calls
  • SMS
  • Wi-Fi

​You'll even get a nice Active Frame with Fire Chest Usage which will rotate between supplying information and the number of days you have left until your billing cycle is restarted - sweet. 

​It's still early days for Fire Chest Usage but I have a sneaking suspicion we'll see even more good stuff come from the app in the future. I nearly forgot to mention that the app is free - go and grab it and see what you think? 

More information/Download Fire Chest Usage for BlackBerry 10

Reader comments

No more surprise bills with Fire Chest Usage for BlackBerry 10


Great piece of app... looking forward to more native BlackBerry app like this one.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10SQN100-3/

Yes! Good thing CrackBerry picked up on this app to review. The dev was just asking in the thread on how to get it reviewed. Would like James to know that this app will be headless come 10.2.1 with more planned features to come.

Posted via CB10

I downloaded this app a couple days ago and it's a great quality app, especially for free! :) My only gripe is that it's not headless yet, but the developer has already said that he will implement that in the next release.

James thanks for the article but this is actually incorrect -

"Fire Chest Usage - which is available for all BlackBerry 10 handsets, and headless, will monitor your..."

Posted via CB10

Yes I wish we had this before my son racked up a cool £602 to his new girlfriend over 2months. With o2. Course they don't do an app for BlackBerry :( .

Via my spangly Z30 BBM#27

Many thanks for the article.

Oops! It's not headless yet! Please correct the article. Headless version is incredibly close to being released (1-2 more weeks?).

I think perhaps the app description is a little confusing in this regard and will correct it now.

As with any new release there are some bugs which will also be fixed in the upcoming update. Thanks for your patience.

Nice job but since I got you directly, let me tell few bugs I am facing right now, in call logs it doesn't identify the number it shows unknown, text messages also same issue shows wrong numbers whom I never texted in my life. Although the counts and duration are accurate.

Keep up the good work, bring the headless one faster please.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry API (application programming interface) doesn't allow apps to read the actual phone number to which a call is made. However it does allow apps to read the number to which an SMS is sent. This appears to be an oversight by BlackBerry and it explains why the calls screen is deficient (although we did try our best to make it useful). Hopefully it won't be long before BlackBerry fixes this issue and we will update the app accordingly.

We have to explore what's going on with the extra text messages appearing in the log. Someone else all reported this too. There are a few other bugs too that need fixing fast (remember this is a first release). We plan to release an update next week that fixes these issues.

Thank you for your encouragement and patience.

Now with your such a fast detailed reply I love the app much more. :)

Just a query if you can add bbm and emails and so on. Is it possible? This app will be one of the top most apps then.

Thanks for the app and waiting for your future updates.
You having any plans of more productivity apps please let us know. :)

Posted via CB10

Not sure about BBM and email counting. Something to explore at a later date.

We are currently working on getting the fundamentals right for this app. Then we will start adding layer upon layer of interesting features/options.

Yes more stunning native apps that address core deficiencies in the BlackBerry 10 ecosystem are on the way :)

I can't disagree more. There cannot be the all-inclusive OS. Three reasons for that:
1. There has to be a room for developers and competition between them.
2. OS would be massive to include all wishes - and I can't see the need for 16GB RAM phones to handle that big OS'.
3. OS has to address only options needed for all users, and this app has no use for all-unlimited users.

Androids have it built into the os, and yet we don't see them having a problem with apps

Posted via CB10

2. If android phones can do with 1 gig of ram why can't bb? If BlackBerry wants to be the best phone out there they must do everything they can to make it the best. For instance they didn't have email for the PlayBook so it shouldn't be included? Let the developers worry about it? Flashlight app they have in 10.2.1 built in was that a waste of time?

Unlike you I'm sure most ppl don't have unlimited data usage and would find it very useful if BlackBerry could include it in

Posted via CB10

Firstly: you jumped into conclusion that I have unlimited plan. Nope, I don't. But I have the skill to see from other people perspective, not just mine. Rare ability these days.

I pointed that OS should include options used by all smartphone users. Email is one of them. Email was the first and most sucesful feature of BB devices. PlayBook was a failure, we all know it, lack of email app was one of many reasons why BB had to write off so much in inventory.
I had the "opportunity" (more of a must) of using Android phone for two weeks. OS alone was using over 65% of 1GB RAM. Not the greatest experience.

Yes, IMO flashlight app built into OS is a waste of company resources. How many hours were put into the project? How much did company pay for it (considering free apps in BB World)? I'd rather put those resources to option of scrolling in browser using volume rockers. I would back up my selection by amount of time people are spending on browsing web vs. flashlight usage.

Next thing about data tracking in OS is how much extra energy does it take to run that thread and whether or not it can be switched off. If it draines 15 minutes of my battery a day and I have no control over it's status I don't want that on my phone.

See unlike you I think it's a waste of resources to make the volume as a scroll up and down. It creates problems
1. You make wear and tear on those buttons what happens if it gets stuck?
2. How will you control multimedia volume then on the browser?

As with all things it should be an option to be able to turn the data usage app on or off. BlackBerry was known for bis and to conserve data this would be in align with them watching your data limits.

I give kudos for the developer to make this app. Obviously it fills a void BlackBerry left. Like you I was also able to use an android phone for 2 weeks the nexus one to be exact as a loaner while my z10 was getting fixed from a volume issue and button volume issue which they fixed. So I have hands on experience why that wouldn't work.

Posted via CB10

Well, I wrote "option of scrolling". Evolution Browser did it as optional feature. It works, and works well.

Answering your concerns from point #1: this same wear & tear occurs with physical keyboard on Q5 and Q10, probably even greater. Do you question a sense of existence of these phones? Yes, they can be useless for some, but not for everybody. What happens if the letter "L" is stuck on my Q10 and I won't be able to type my password? Well, I'll send it to repair. I have 10 years old Nokia for my travelling abroad and it doesn't have touch screen. And all buttons work well after all these years. Someone made something to last longer that the warranty period.

I'm thinking big picture while talking about BB OS, not only "my device approach". I use my phone for: 95% communication, 5% entertainment. Others' split is exactly opposite. OS design has to accomodate both approaches and everything in between.

Since I have a smaller screen to acommodate keyboard I don't want to cover it with my finger to scroll through text. I use "Reader Mode" in browser a lot, because I appreciate written text more than pictures or videos. In that mode no media are displayed.
I would gladly see an OPTION of scrolling by using media buttons in that mode.
Would that suffice to answer your concerns indicated in point #2?

Well, I feel sorry that you had to have your volume button repaired, but
if my usage patterns will make BB design volume rockers as good as physical keyboard on my old Nokia that will be better for all users.

Apps like that MUST be headless. Everytime thinking about starting apps. Why can not pin apps do that they run automatic after phone restart?

Come on BlackBerry we have 2014

Ericsson GF198(GSM900) im D2 Privat Netz

And why are such important data (calls, data usage, sms) not in the OS itself?

Ericsson GF198(GSM900) im D2 Privat Netz

Can someone please let me know if this always needs to be running to work?

Also, why are permissions to shared files and texts be required? I know the app needs access to phone for obvious reasons but why texts, contacts and shared files?

Yes it's a BlackBerry. If you have something bad to say... speak to Easton!

Nice app, but it doesn't stay running on my Z30.. I'll have it in an active frame and it will stay there for a while, but then at some point, I'll unlock the device and the frame is gone and I have to restart the app.. I normally have Battery Guru running as an active frame and it generally stays running for weeks on end, only occasionally closing, so I'm thinking there's a bug in that app..

I miss the old Alt-L-G-L-G key sequence under BBOS that brought up the system logs so I could see the error messages from crashing apps..

Woah! Nice app! I won't need it personally as I have unlimited everything with T-Mobile. Plus my bill is only $20 or so a month.

Posted via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA  ‎BlackBerry Q10...SON!

Great app for sure, and the dev is very active and supportive in the forums. I don't know how useful this would be for those of us on shared/family plans though as you wouldn't be able to keep track of other lines as the account manager. Still, a step in the right direction.

Nice, very promising. There are some features that can be implemented (differentiating incoming and out going calls, for example) but overall this is great, especially given that I've been using Data Check Pro less and less now because of it being such a memory hog.

Thanks for the app!

With regards to phone calls the app only counts and clocks outgoing calls. The idea is that it tracks things that will cost you money. For example, you wouldn't find incoming calls on your phone bill.

If there is a bug and I am wrong, please let me know.


That's perfect for me since I do have unlimited incoming!

Having said that, in North America incoming calls usually isn't unlimited so I'm going to assume that many people will ask for that to change in the app. :)

We also have plans where calls are unlimited at a certain time and/or days (after 5pm on weekdays and all weekend, for example).

If you plan on adding customizations like that in the app, that would be pretty awesome! Either way, it works really great now and thanks for your work!

I can 'berrily' keep up with all the BlackBerry deliciousness showing up these days. New useful apps and updates showing up constantly. And another impending OS release. This is sweet!

Posted via CB10 on Q10

Funnily enough this comes about a week after I decided I was so sick of the rubbish data monitors available in BlackBerry World that I started learning Cascades just so that I could program my own.

I guess I'll need to think of something else to code now.

EDIT : Well it doesn't count how many text messages you've sent. I guess I still have a market. ;p

Gr8 work developers.. but my request to you and BlackBerry make app supported in background also not only in active frame.. big weakness it is..

Posted via CB10

Very nice app!
The only thing I've noticed is the RAM usage grows as days go by. At one point it I had to close it and open it again.
If you go headless make sure to check on the RAM accumulation