I have been visiting S4GRU for quite some time, and one of the most common issues I see popping up is confusion from users--especially when they first get 4G LTE devices and/or LTE service--regarding their signal strengths. For some reason, the signal bars on many devices do not display what most users expect them to display. It seems strange that we have to enter special dialer codes just to see what our LTE signal is!
With that in mind, I started creating an Android app from scratch. I had never created an app before, so it took a few months before it was ready for the public, but its time has come. Robert and a few others have been beta testing it for me since October, and I recently released it onto Google Play. Robert gave me the go-ahead to give it a mention here on S4GRU, so here goes..
It's called SignalCheck, and it is available on Google Play here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Blue+Line+Computing
The "Lite" version is free; the "Pro" version has a small one-time fee but includes a bunch of extras, including signal bars in the notification area, a widget, the ability to alert a user when they pick up an LTE or 800 SMR signal, one-button instant connection reset, the street address of the connected 1X site, and menu shortcuts to some screens that are usually only accessible with dialer codes. I intend to offer S4GRU Premier Sponsors special benefits in the near future, as soon as I figure out a feasible way to do that.
This is the first app I have ever developed, so I'd appreciate any and all feedback, both positive and negative. I have been trying to educate myself as much as possible regarding cellular technologies, as I didn't know much before I started this project. My goal is to make this app as accurate and useful as possible for all the "nerds" on here.. myself included!
I intend to continue squashing bugs as they are reported, and adding features as they are requested. As I learn more about Android programming and cellular technology, I'll improve things. Please let me know what you would like to see, and I'll do what I can.
My "Beta Crew" helps test out the app before public updates are pushed out. Membership is by invite only but anyone is welcome to join in our discussions or get a sneak peek at what is going on (see thread here).
Links: SignalCheck Help / FAQ | Change Log | To-Do "Wish" List | Known Issues | SignalCheck on Google Play
Here are some screen shots from a previous version.. there have been tweaks since this release, but this is basically what you get:
The rumor mill has fully geared up, so it seems time for a thread in which the potential HTC-made 2016 Nexus phones can be discussed.
Rumors suggest two phones: a 5" device codenamed Sailfish, and a larger device codenamed Marlin. Both are thought to be produced by HTC. [There's also a report that Google is making its own phone, without an OEM partner--along the lines of a Pixel phone--but that report has been largely discounted.]
Android Police has claimed it knows with 8/10 certainty some specs of the smaller device--Sailfish:
Manufactured by HTC
5" 1080p display (~440PPI)
Quad-core 2.0GHz 64-bit processor (model unknown)
32GB storage (unknown if multiple models will be available, or even if this is the base storage level)
12MP rear camera, 8MP front
Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
USB-C port (bottom)
Bottom-firing speaker or speakers (unknown if dual)
Top-mounted headphone jack
Any thoughts on these devices? The last several Nexus devices have been Sprint compatible; is there any reason to think these won't be? Any hints in regulatory filings? How is HTC's radio performance, generally? Will Sprint sell them directly, and even if they do, will it still be preferable to buy directly from Google?
I'm quite pleased at how the Sprint network is performing in the Cleveland Market, but it was a LONG time coming. It has only been within the last month that most sites in the primary IBEZ now have all sectors live with B26. Average signal strength has improved with B26, but most dead zones without B26 still are dead zones with B26. I think it's really a testament to Sprint's network rebuild that B25 LTE worked as well as it did in the absence of B26. Sprint's decision years ago to put the brakes on rural site 8T8R deployment has still left me without B41 even though it came really close, but speeds are still plenty fast enough for me on B25 and 26. I think the rural 8T8R build-out here was a stupid idea despite my happiness to see it deployed. From a spreadsheet manager standpoint, I hate trying to match these (cheaper) B41 mini macros that have been deployed over the last year, but fortunately over 60% of our sites already have 8T8R equipment installed. The last two most recent B41 sites I've found live have been 8T8R, so I'm glad to see that at least both are still being used now. It's my dream that mini macros will cease to be used here in favor of the 8T8R stuff.
In my area Sprint has tons more native coverage where T-Mobile has fair i.e. no service. One example is Dansville, MI. T-Mobile has no tower and no service for 20 miles around it but Sprint has a tower right in town with B25/B26/and B41. Sprint's network in Michigan is way more dense then T-Mobile. I couldn't take the no service anymore and switched back to Sprint. I'm very happy now with my decision