Who has better coverage in your area, AT&T or Verizon? This app shows you

Coverage? overlays coverage maps from all four major carriers, not just those that sell the iPhone. But it's definitely good for spot Verizon-vs.-AT&T comparisons.

Residents of Bay City, MI, might be better off with AT&T than Verizon, at least when it comes to 3G coverage.
Residents of Bay City, Mich., might be better off with AT&T than Verizon, at least when it comes to 3G coverage. Screenshot by Rick Broida

Want to know how Verizon's network coverage compares with AT&T's for a particular location? Wondering if Sprint or T-Mobile might be better than either one? Maybe you just need to find out which direction to drive to get a decent signal for your broadband modem. Whatever your need, there's an app for you: Coverage?

That question-mark isn't a mistake; Coverage? is the app's official name, and its choice of punctuation reflects its capability to provide an answer.

All you do is run the app, let it hone in on your location, then tap one or more carriers to see coverage data overlaid on the map. You can, of course, scroll and zoom the map to see coverage for any areas, not just the one you're in.

Because different carriers offer different levels of coverage for different types of service, Coverage? lets you choose which data to display: 3G, 2G, or Roaming. That can come in very handy if, say, you're headed out of a town and want to know what to expect, service-wise, at your destination.

The app is a bit different from the Root Metrics tool that shows cell-phone carrier coverage in your area. That one's based on user-collected data; Coverage? relies on "proprietary interpretations" of the coverage reported by each carrier.

If you're a frequent traveler, a "bandwidth junkie" who routinely juggles devices on multiple networks, or are just curious about which carrier works best for a particular area, Coverage? should prove mighty handy. It sells for $1.99.

 

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