As promised last month, Verizon opened up pre-orders for the CDMA iPhone 4 to its existing customers early this morning. Early reviews of the Verizon iPhone 4 began appearing last night as well, with most indicating that call connectivity and quality to be much better on America’s largest CDMA network though data speeds are still faster on AT&T’s GSM network.
Have you been thinking about getting a Verizon iPhone 4? If so but you’re not yet fully convinced, you may want to check how good Verizon’s coverage is in the areas where you’ll spend the most time. Developer Two Steps Beyond makes this easy with its Coverage? app that will show network coverage information for the four largest cellular carriers in the U.S. overlaid on a map.
Coverage? uses your iPhone’s or iPad’s GPS receiver to locate where you are and you can then select the overlays of your choice to show you the areas covered by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Of course, you can also pan around the map to look at other areas to check coverage. Toggles at the bottom change the coverage maps to show the 2G, 3G, and 4G networks of each respective carrier as well as where you’re roaming off-network.
While you can zoom in to see more detailed coverage information for an area, seeing street-level coverage detail isn’t possible. The app’s description notes that including this level of detail would negatively affect the app’s footprint:
We can only include so much map detail in an app small enough to be downloaded wirelessly! The goal of Coverage is to give you a high level coverage overview – not neighborhood level detail or local maps around your home/office. Coverage will tell you what cities, towns, highways and counties have the best chance of a solid signal as you travel, and it works even when you are offline.
Despite the lack of street-level detail, Coverage? can still give you a good idea if Verizon or any of the other carriers included cover the areas where you live, work, and travel to most often. Of course, you could also just go to the web site of each respective carrier to view their online coverage maps but having an on-device app that provides these maps in one place that you can carry with you is easier if you need to reference them often.
Two Steps Beyond created a video describing what prompted the creation of the app and demonstrating how it can be used:
Coverage? is a universal app that works on both the iPad and iPhone though it does require iOS 4.2 and thus won’t work on the first-generation iPhone. Two Steps Beyond plans to add higher resolution coverage maps and the ability for users to collect and report their own coverage data in future updates.