BBC 3G coverage survey app updated to use less battery

The UK signal coverage survey that uses an Android app to monitor your location and report back signal strength has hit 33,000 downloads in just a few days.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

The BBC's 3G survey app has been updated in the wake of concerns about it draining phone battery. It had recently passed the 33,000 downloads mark, according to Auntie.

"We have a new version of the app which doesn't test continually but for 4 hours at key points in the day. It stops testing if battery life drops below 30 per cent, but can test continually when a phone is being charged," said a spokesperson for the app maker Epitiro, which handles the number crunching and coding beeswax.

The app, which is only available for Android phones, monitors your phone's signal strength and location, so that by the cumulative powers of everyone taking part in the survey, the Beeb is able to build up a map of the nation's signal hotspots, and places where signal is weak.

Clearly the app is taking off -- 33,000 downloads within just a few days is a strong result. Naturally, the more popular the app becomes, the more reliable the overall data will be.

We suspect Twitter talisman Stephen Fry mentioning the project will have been key to its early success. If you can't wait until the end of the survey to find out which parts of the UK have the strongest signal, OpenSignalMaps.com already provides this kind of service, and has an accompanying Android app so you can help harvest data.

Are you already taking part? Or does this seem like a waste of your precious licence-fee cashola? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.