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  • Signal: REAL Signal Strength, Cell Info & More


    One of the first things I installed after I jailbroke my iPhone 4 was @planetbeing's Signal app. It not only provides easy access to cell tower data and RF metrics that have been unavailable in iOS 4 due to the loss of FieldTest.app, but it gives you a way to say 'thank you' to a member of the Dev-Team. As @MuscleNerd tweeted when the app went live on Cydia, it's almost a community service to support @planetbeing in this way since "*everyone* benefits if he stays interested in baseband stuff." But it's not philanthropy to get this app, especially if you're interested in RF or if you have an unlocked iPhone and are trying to figure out which carrier gives you the best signal.

    Signal presents the location and receive signal strength from all nearby towers in a very intuitive Google Maps overlay. Your current 3G base station is shown as a red dot, with the actual real-time received signal strength shown in dBm inside the dot. Other UMTS/GSM cells are displayed as blue dots. Adjacent cells offering only EDGE service are shown in gray. If the app can't determine the signal strength, it will just show the letter E inside those dots. You may just see your primary cell when you first launch the app, but @planetbeing says to let it run for a few hours and it will cache the locations of all the bases it can find, which will display as yellow dots on your map.

    For true wireless geeks, there is an info page that shows details on all the cells that the app has been able to identify. The info page shows not only raw signal strength, but also RSCP, which is the power level once the signal has been descrambled. There's a ton of other data, such as the uplink and downlink channels, scrambling code and Ec/N0 (energy per codeword over the noise floor, basically signal-to-noise ratio). And just for fun, there's also a little "Death Grip game" you can play to see if you can kill your signal by holding your phone the wrong way.

    Since they don't accept donations, spending $5 on this well-made app is a way of saying thanks to the Dev-Team and helping support one of the most talented iPhone hackers we've got.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Signal: REAL Signal Strength, Cell Info & More started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 78 Comments
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Very few issues - apps will be upgraded.
      If you want a phone and are unhappy with the iPhone buy a Nokia.
      Works fine as a phone for me.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      ... are unhappy with the iPhone ...
      I'm happy as pie Enjoy ur 4.x, I'm staying put until the dust settles
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      You're happy, I'm happy

      Quack
    1. sal_osx's Avatar
      sal_osx -
      I bought it. Not because I use it but just as a way of saying "THANKS"
    1. zYxMa's Avatar
      zYxMa -
      It's a great app!
    1. Levirules's Avatar
      Levirules -
      I know this app supports Planetbeing, who provided the unlock, but is there any info on how to donate to or support Comex for providing the jailbreak? I don't unlock my phone because ATT is actually really good to me around where I live, but I did jailbreak.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Comex takes donations - see jailbreakme.com.
      the Dev team don't take donations and they have done far more than anyone else.
    1. k0mpresd's Avatar
      k0mpresd -
      i have this app. it doesnt work for me. it never displays not 1 cell tower.
    1. iSteed's Avatar
      iSteed -
      Thanks planetbeing & company. I bought the app and love it. Jailbreakme is the easiest jailbreak ever. Thank you
    1. eremeya's Avatar
      eremeya -
      I too have bought this app and think it's great .

      The one thing that I can think of right now that would be nice is if it would update your location.
    1. Levirules's Avatar
      Levirules -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Comex takes donations - see jailbreakme.com.
      the Dev team don't take donations and they have done far more than anyone else.
      Thanks! But I don't understand the second part of this message. Are you saying they have done far more in the past? Comex is still the responsible individual for bringing us this JB, correct? So it would be appropriate to donate to him for the JB, and buy Signal to support Planetbeing for the unlock (if you've used it)?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      The Dev team have done so much in the past and now without taking donations or accepting anything except postcards.

      Comex has come along with a great JB and accepts donations.

      A lot of people have done a lot of work and Comex gets all the glory? I am in no way saying he does not deserve it, just others do deserve more IMHO.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i agree that the gps needs to be updated. but i dont think it has anything to do with @planetbeings Signal. my gps function has been slightly off alot lately since 4.0 . and when i say off it says im a couple of blocks away from me and it refuses to refresh.


      ^ the dev-team as a whole has done alot more than Comex alone, for sure. for this they are greatly appreciated. Big ups to @comex as well for this break. but remember there were also other individuals in the sidelines with @comex developing the break. i myself dont need an unlock. but i bought @planetbeings Signal just for the geek in me. so im happy. he's happy. were all happy.
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      Bought it...love it...glad to give back to these guys.
    1. plumoso's Avatar
      plumoso -
      What's the name of the app
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      ^ read the title, Signal
    1. natim's Avatar
      natim -
      Great app but has an interesting feature when you are using an ATT Micro Cell. When not at my home with micro cell it's spot on location wise but once i get home, it shows my location approximately 75 miles away every time i check it. Anyone else using micro cell with similar results?
    1. Levirules's Avatar
      Levirules -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      The Dev team have done so much in the past and now without taking donations or accepting anything except postcards.

      Comex has come along with a great JB and accepts donations.

      A lot of people have done a lot of work and Comex gets all the glory? I am in no way saying he does not deserve it, just others do deserve more IMHO.
      Well, I don't think Comex gets all the glory. Geohot got a lot of positive attention before he started acting like a whiny arse. The Dev Team got a lot of attention for all they've done. It's just that this JB was very much anticipated, and Comex was the one to release it. So he's *currently* basking in most of the glory. I don't think that's wrong - if the Dev Team had released a JB for 4.0 sooner, they would be getting "all the glory." It's also their choice whether or not to take donations, and I don't mind donating to someone if I'm using something that they've worked hard on and they provide the means for a donation.

      I think this is kind of like music in a way. A band could receive critical acclaim for a CD one year, and be left in the shadow of another band the next year. They need to keep releasing great music in order to stay on top and keep "all the glory." Same with these developers, since Apple likes to release a new device yearly.

      Is Planetbeing part of the Dev Team? Because Signal does really appear as a means of donation to me. Which, once again, I find nothing wrong with. Someone feel free to correct me on that though; is Signal anything more than a novelty? Is there actually a utility to it?

      ...and out of sheer curiosity (unrelated curiosity), is there a way that any of the iPhones can ride on TMob's 3G band, or is that not possible through software?
    1. bigorangekitty's Avatar
      bigorangekitty -
      what's the app do when you do the "death grip" and your phone drops signal? I know the fingers come together the weaker the signal gets...but what happens when it's dropped? planetbeing said it did something?
    1. kickerman65's Avatar
      kickerman65 -
      So can anyone clue me in as to what this app actually does? Will it be of any use to us AT&T users? Im all up for supporting PlanetBeing though so i will buy for sure.