Summary:

Looking for the best network nearby? Consider downloading OpenSignal 2 for Android. Using crowdsourced information and a database of Wi-Fi hotspots, it should keep your phone’s connection running fast.

OpenSignal 2

OpenSignal’s crowdsourced mobile network coverage app debuted last year and is now getting a big revamp. On Wednesday, the company announced OpenSignal 2 for Android, showing off new ways to help Android device owners find the best nearby Wi-Fi hotspot and also compare speeds, coverage and quality of service for mobile broadband networks.

The new app, freely available in the Google Play store, is similar to another app we’ve covered in the past: RootMetrics. The idea behind both is similar, capturing network information from app users and aggregating the data to help consumers make carrier decisions. While both work well at this, I like how OpenSignal 2 incorporates Wi-Fi networks: There’s a handy compass to find the best, closest networks, or even your nearest cellular tower if you’re interested in that.

OpenSignal 2 also doubles as a speed test app and a broadband meter, helping you keep track of how much data you’ve used in a given period. Here’s a rundown of all the features, per the OpenSignal 2 blog announcement:

– Find a better connection, using our signal compass to point you in the direction of a better signal.
— See our crowdsourced coverage maps in-app and compare the quality of mobile networks directly on your phone with data from 200 countries worldwide.
— Locate nearby public access Wi-Fi networks, and see them clearly on a map, with over 100 million Wi-Fi hotspots logged.
— Test the speed of your data connection with our speedtest feature.
— Keep track of your data, text and voice usage with our brand new ‘stats’ tab.

OpenSignal raised $1.3 million in funding last September and boasts 2.5 million users. Normally, I don’t pay much attention to how many people are using an app, but in this case, it’s important. Every one of those 2.5 million users act as sensor-gathering entities feeding the OpenSignal database.

Oh, and don’t fret iPhone users: I see a “sign up for iPhone” link on the OpenSignal site, so it appears to be in the works.

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