Open Signal Maps the Wi-Fi and Cellular Signal Finding App
May 25, 2011 9:00 AM –
Open Signal Maps. The ultimate Wi-Fi and signal finding tool. Supports GSM, CDMA, 4G, 3G, 2G. The best toolkit for improving your cellular and Wi-Fi signal. Features: Signal direction, Signal graph, Map and radar views of cell towers & Wi-Fi routers, Detailed signal strength data, Save data to SD card, Widget (in beta). The simplest tactic to improve your reception is to walk in the direction of your signal. Not foolproof, but worth a shot!
Tested on: Samsung Galaxy Tablet, HTC Thunderbolt
Pros & Cons:
- Shows exact measurement of cell signal and direction of closest cell tower!
- Maps all user reported open Wi-Fi hot spots on a map, to find the closest open Internet to you!
- Allows you to graph your signal over time or as you travel!
- Very intuitive and easy to use application!
- Links to websites to purchase cell repeaters!
- Allows you to perform mobile data speed tests on your device!
- Not an application that you will often find a need for.
- No search radius for Wi-Fi hot spots.
Open Signal Maps is an application which allows you to monitor your device’s signal strength, the location of the closest cell towers, the location of local open Wi-Fi hotspots, and the speed of your phone’s data connection. It is designed to help you find locations with local data service, place cell repeaters effectively in your residence, and to compare your signal strength at a given location to another carrier’s.
Open Signal Maps Tower locator feature allows you to determine your signal at a given location, monitor the direction of the tower, and to position yourself in the place with best signal. The application does this by showing a signal meter with percent signal strength. Then it shows you an arrow which will point in the direction of the tower you are connected to.
Open Signal also maps out the location of Wi-Fi hotspots in your vicinity. This can be accessed by clicking on the tab in Open Signal labeled “Map.” This allows you to see hot spots in the area as an overlay on the map. While in “Map” mode Open Signal displays a mini radar which scans for hot spots in your vicinity and points you in their direction.
Another great feature of Open Signal Maps is the ability to graph your signal over time. This allows you to be able to monitor your cell coverage over time in a given area. If you went hiking you could view the graph to see at what points in the hike you had the best signal. This would also be a good way to monitor cell coverage in the area you live with a new carrier.
Finally, Open Signal Maps has the ability to run speed tests on your device to determine mobile network download and upload speeds. There is two options for testing “quick” and “more accurate.” I found that neither of the tests took an abnormally long time and the application worked the same as Speedtest’s application for Android. The phone uploads and downloads a file to a remote server then displays the speed at which the transferring took place.
Watch on Mobile
Open Signal Maps
Open Signal Maps Cell Strength and Tower Direction
Open Signal Maps Main Page
Open Signal Maps Cell Strength Graph
Open Signal Maps Speed Test
Open Signal Maps Speed Test Results
Open Signal Maps Data Options
Open Signal Maps Other
Open Signal Maps Help
Open Signal Maps is extremely useful if you are looking to place a repeater in the house. It allows you to pinpoint exactly which area in your house has the best signal and position the repeater accordingly.
It is also useful if you live in the city and are searching for open Wi-Fi hotspots. The mapping of hotspots is automatic if the application is running, so the database is easily populated. However, in the suburbs or country houses and businesses are few and far between. Also the hot spots are only mapped if someone is running this application, and at least in my area no one seems to know of it.
The nice thing about this application is that if you would never use it for hotspots and rarely to measure signal, at least it can be used to run speed tests. Normally this application would require a very niche user, but this feature is useful for everyone. If for no other reason I would keep Open Signal Maps for that feature.
Ease of Use:
Open Signal Maps is extremely easy to use. The application even presented me with a help screen to enable my GPS and Mobile Data when I first started it up. There are no complicated menus and the interface is clean and intuitive.
This application is one that you would use only occasionally, unless of course you were a network tester by trade. I have never needed to know the exact direction and strength of the nearest tower, but if you consistently need to place repeaters or test network strength this application is perfect.
If you don’t care about measuring network signal, then at least you can use this application to gauge the speed of your phone’s data connection, with the speed test option.
The interface for Open Signal Maps is clean, intuitive, and easy to use. There are plenty of options that make the application easier to use. I especially like the fact that it has separate help menus for each feature. If the application detects that you are missing out on some of it’s functionality it gives you a specialized help menu for that feature.
I also like that Open Signal Maps has an entire section of the application dedicated to explaining what the application does. It also has a section which takes you to a website to purchase a cell repeater if you wanted one. This application seems geared primarily towards people looking to place cell repeaters in their home, and it does an excellent job fulfilling that role.
One change they could make to the interface which would add a bit to the hot spot locator portion of this application would be a search radius for local hot spots. The application currently only supports showing hot spots in a radius of a few miles. It would be more useful for those of us in suburbia if it allowed us to set user defined search parameters like 5-10 miles. With the addition of this feature it would be great for finding coffee shops with free Wi-Fi!
Tags: Android App
, Android Apps
, AndroidTapp.com App Review
, Cell Coverage
, cell repeater
, Open Signal
, Open Signal Maps
, Tower Locations
, Wifi Hotspots
Categorised in: Communication, Tools, Utilities