This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

7 Apps That Improve Smartphone Reception

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If mediocre cellphone coverage plagues your smartphone, there is, of course, an app to fix that.

A plethora of apps, actually. Some good, some not so good (beware of the prank apps). Apps are much cheaper than investing in a pricey signal booster and messing with a directional antenna.

Some of the better apps offer a paid version with the same features but strips out the ads -- consider it a thank you to the developer. I've highlighted the better apps below to help give you an idea of how much better service can be, even if it means switching carriers. (Also see this article on improving cellphone reception indoors.)

Fresh Network by MCStealth: Cluttered but informative, the Fresh Network app searches for the strongest signal and connects the phone automatically. I like how it tells the user what's happening: Resetting network, searching for the best cell site, connecting to mobile carrier and calibrating radio.

When it does find a better signal, it lets you know there's been an improvement (based on the dBm with the added explanation that lower dBm is better). Available on Google Play, free.

OpenSignal by Staircase 3: Straightforward app that visually shows you the direction of the cell tower the phone is connected to plus the signal strength by percentage. You can also open a map to see where the nearest towers are located, which could help you determine where to live, eat or set a signal booster inside your house.

OpenSignal does require GPS to be turned on for best results. Available on Google Play, free.

Coverage? by Two Steps Beyond: This handy map app takes the four major carriers' own coverage maps and overlays them so you can see who offers the best service where. It also lets users view coverage by 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE to help pinpoint cafes, campsites or other travel itineraries.

Best of all, developers are constantly updating the app with the latest data - the most recent update was Sept. 25, 2012. Available at iTunes, $2.99.

Cell Phone Coverage Map by RootMetrics: This multi-purpose app checks your signal strength, download and upload speeds. More importantly, it offers a comparison of how your service compares with the competition based on other user reports. You can also dig a little deeper for details.

At my home, AT&T (T), Cricket, Sprint (S), T-Mobile, Verizon (VZ) and Virgin Mobile all scored four bars. But looking at precise signal strength, Verizon, at 78 dBm, offered the best signal, while Virgin had the worst, at 90 dBm. Available at Google Play and iTunes, free.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $92.69 -0.59%
FB $119.49 1.40%
GOOG $711.11 1.40%
TSLA $214.84 1.60%
YHOO $37.23 0.79%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,740.63 +79.92 0.45%
S&P 500 2,057.14 +6.51 0.32%
NASDAQ 4,736.1550 +19.0610 0.40%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs