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Apps Will Help Tell Which Cell Carrier Is Best for Your Location Habits

A new Android app called Glove will track your location for three days to recommend the wireless carrier with the best coverage.

You know that feeling — perhaps the second or third time in a day you’ve had a phone call drop or have crappy sound quality — when you wonder if you should really switch carriers?

An app called Glove officially launches today that will help people monitor their location habits for three days, then make a recommendation as to which carrier’s coverage map best fits their actual needs.

Since the data is drawn from crowdsourced reports, Glove is only launching in two locations to start: The San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

The app comes from a company called Crowdx, which previously made a buzzy app called Tawkon that helped measure mobile phone radiation levels.

But even more so than Tawkon, Glove may be a sort of disposable app, which most people only ever use when they first download it or move to a new place.

Crowdx plans to make money from Glove by helping people switch to carriers they’ll be better served by from within the app. It also wants to release other mobile crowdsourcing apps — for instance, one comparing carriers’ customer service and pricing based on other users’ reports.

Glove is available for Android for now, with an iOS version planned for later in 2014.

In early tests, Crowdx found that 75 percent of users could be better served by a different carrier than the one they currently used. And the app comes at a time in the U.S. when carriers like T-Mobile are pushing to make it much less onerous to switch plans.

Better and more filled-in crowdsourced wireless coverage maps than Glove’s already exist, such as OpenSignal, the London-based company founded in 2010.

OpenSignal is planning a tool that would help people match their typical week to the network that would serve them best, said a company representative, but for the moment it only offers ways to check specific locations on its site, or to see if their average coverage levels are poor via its Android app.

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