Apple patent may crowdsource iPhone network data for carriers

When you're shopping for a smartphone, you likely put little thought into the radios that receive your signal. The reason: they're all about the same, and pretty good at their job. You do fret over carrier strength in your area, though. Is AT&T stronger than Verizon, or is T-Mobile the better choice? You can check Open Signal, which is helpful for you, but what about the carrier? A new Apple patent could give carriers real-time info on their towers, including dropped signals.

Recently granted by the USPTO, the patent is a back-end system meant to provide carriers data on the performance of their towers. The service would either run in the background on your device, or be geofenced to a particular tower.

Data would be anonymized, but also give you access to your input. You could also remove your "commits" if your problem was resolved — or at least the patent makes a provision for that feature. That's handy if you were to report a problem with connectivity, but realize a few minutes later the issue were resolved.

Though the patent will likely be much more of a Apple-Carrier relationship, the end result for you and I could be a better signal, and possibly more towers to bounce from. If Apple wants to pinch signal data for that purpose, we're all for it.

Source: Apple Insider