Signal Spy, the great helper app for Project Fi users, has been updated and now also supports U.S. Cellular. As readers will know, Project Fi has started rolling out support for U.S. Cellular as part of the MVNO (joining T-Mobile and Sprint) so it can seamlessly move you from any of the three carriers to another for better data and call quality. Signal Spy, which allows you to monitor your connections and manually force them to change, now supports U.S. Cellular too.
If you have been reading my site for the past few months, you know that I recently switched over to Project Fi after being an AT&T customer for over 17 years. You can read my review of Project Fi here but you can find all of my Project Fi related tips, tricks and How To’s at this link. One of the key advantages of the service is the ability to switch between T-Mobile and Sprint, the two providers that make up Google’s MNVO (Mobile Network Virtual Operator). In principle, the way it works is that whichever carrier has the stronger signal in your area is the one you will connect to but as you travel, you may switch from Sprint to T-Mobile or vise-versa. The challenge is that you never really know which network you are on at any given moment and that fact, along with several other key features, is why Signal Spy is a must have app for Fi users.
Signal Spy is an app you may have heard of before as it was know as Fi Spy up until a few weeks ago after what I think was a discussion between the developer Novvia and Google’s legal team. 🙂 The name aside, Signal Spy gives Fi users the ability to not only see what carrier they happen to be using but also what LTE band they are using with that carrier, their Wi-Fi information (if connected) and the ability to force your Nexus device to switch from one carrier to another. I have been using the app for several weeks now (I’m part of their beta program) and now that it is out and available for everyone, it should be an app that Fi users download right after the Project Fi app itself. Even if you are not on Fi, you can still get some really useful information out of Signal Spy that makes it worth the download for anyone.
For the purpose of this review I am going to assume that you are a Project Fi user so I can explain all the features and usefulness of the app. If you are a non-Fi user, keep in mind that your mileage will vary on what you can see in the app.