Every year, mobile technology improves on what came before. Indeed, smartphones are some of the most efficient devices around. But cellular service, for all its benefits, is always hit or miss. Different providers offer different coverage areas and some are more conducive to clear talk than others. There are a number of tricks savvy smartphone users apply in order to achieve the strongest signal possible, from adding signal boosters to using their devices in the middle of an intersection, where there is more chance of a direct signal.
But these methods can b e expensive and prohibited. These days, there is an app to help with nearly everything, including the improvement of smartphone reception. Here are just a few good options.
Fresh Network – free, Android
This option searches for the best signal in the area and automatically connects to it. The best part about the app is that it clearly and concisely walks the user through the entire process. From resetting the mobile network to searching for a new cell tower to radio calibration, the user will always know what is happening with Fresh Network. It also immediately lets the user know anytime there is a better signal in the area.
OpenSignal – free, Android
This app is useful because not only does it provide concrete info on the whereabouts of strong signals, but it does so in a visual fashion. Billing itself as the “ultimate Wi-Fi and signal finder toolkit,” OpenSignal offers a virtual compass that points the user right in the direction of the strongest cell signal. It also offers maps that locate nearby public Internet networks. There is also a speed-test feature that shows the user the exact speed of their connection.
Coverage – free, iOS
This app is ideal for travelers, as it takes carrier coverage maps from the four main cellular providers and overlays them so users can get detailed comparisons. The app can also be used offline, which is good for those users who are in the middle of trying to find a viable signal. One other feature is that users can view the coverage options in terms of 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE.
RootMetrics – free, iOS/Android
This app functions partly as a signal testers, but it also offers much more. RootMetrics takes data points from coverage maps and compares the strength of the current signal with that of the competition. It even offers comparisons based on user reports from other carriers.
Network Signal Repair – free, Android
Those smartphone users who don’t want to deal with overlaying maps and status bars and signal meters can opt for this straightforward option. With the simple tap of the touchscreen, users can find the best signal in the area. Once it finds one, it reboots the phone in order to connect to the strongest signal from the nearest tower. The interface is user friendly and there are almost no settings to worry about.
Between these options, smartphone users should be able to find one option that consistently improves their mobile’s signal. And because all of the above options are free, there’s no reason those suffering from poor signal strength shouldn’t make a quick download.
Scott Johnson is a tech blogger and iPhone aficionado. He writes on behalf of Internet insurer Protect Your Bubble.