Antennas in action

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If you have been keeping up with news in the tech world lately, you might have noticed something of a debate concerning signal strength. Antennas looks to do away with the simplistic "bars" measure of signal strength by letting Android users know what towers they are connected to, and roughly where they are. The app uses your phone's GPS along with data collected from the antenna and puts both up against Google's antenna database.

CDMA users (That's you, Verizon and Sprint) will have less succes, as the Android OS prevents connecting to more than one tower. This causes only one tower, the strongest, to be shown and requires Android 2.x to work. Everyone else in the world on GSM will have the best results by turning 3G off and allowing the app to run on EDGE/2G. [Panix via LifeHacker | AppBrain]


Reader comments

'Antennas' app locates your carrier's towers, puts 'bars' to shame


I didn't like it for my DInc. Tried it earlier in the week. Even after closing it kept my GPS going. Battery drain. Unintalled.

tons of comments in the market about it keeping gps on, draining batter, force closing etc. worth trying now or better to wait for bug fixes? hmmm

I've had this app for a while and never had that problem, so I'd say you should go ahead and check it out. You can always uninstall it

Where's the screenshot from? Germany? I'd hate to live on Rustenschacherallee Road.... or Hundertwasserhaus.

If you look closely at the text on the bottom, it says "T-Mobile Austria". I would assume the dev lives there.

Nice app. No wonder my 3G connection sucks compared to EDGE, I only get 1 3G tower that's a few miles away, yet I get 3/4 towers around me when on EDGE.

It seems most of the towers nearest to my house are somewhat far, which explains why I get such a weak signal in certain rooms of the house. I do live next to one big-ass hill next to a military base too, seems the only towers I get a signal from are on the opposite side, not surprisingly, heh. I might start putting it into airplane mode while it charges at night...

Airplane mode is for reducing power consumption when cell signal is very weak. But if it's on the charger, then what's the point?

Just because it's hooked up to the charger doesn't mean it's actively charging, 'SPECIALLY if you leave the phone hooked up overnight as most people do... At some point the battery will reach full charge and it'll stop charging, and it won't charge again at all (not even trickle charge) 'till it reaches a certain percentage, I dunno if it's 90% or 95% or w/e but that's how it works (otherwise the battery would overheat).

Leaving it like that in an area w/borderline signal would drain the battery I imagine, it certainly seems like it does this for me, altho a lot of people report a quick drop in battery life after taking it off the charger (whether they have good signal strength or not), so I dunno. It can't hurt anyway, not like I want to receive calls while I'm sleeping... I've got no kids and no wife so an other sort of emergency can wait 'till I wake up. :p

cdma is somewhat limited, but still a cool app. I manually turn on/off GPS, so I don't have any issues as described above.

In conjunction with this app, here's a very cool web program that locates nearby towers and antennas, and gives some very detailed information, such as gps coordinates, owner, type of transmission, frequencies, output power, etc.:

Went to download it, but the warning says the app has access to caller id info. I will not install apps that tell app makers who's calling me.

I'm a big fan of this Open Signal Maps app. It shows you everything antennas does plus the locations of wifi routers and a graph of signal strength over time.

On their website they have a map of tower locations, Open Signal Maps

Find it here: