NetsAround: Android app for collecting WiFi and cellular statistics

(21 Feb 2017)

1. Introduction

In this case an Android app was created for syncing the Wifi and cellular diagnostics data from the phone to the Microsoft Azure cloud. The test scenario is shown below.

MobileAppDiagram_20Feb2017The Mobile App client in the Android phone scans the nearby Wifi networks and monitors the cellular signal strength while the user is moving. The data is stored locally in the phone and there is also an option to sync the data to the Azure SQL Database. The user is authenticated via Azure Active Directory before any data can be sent. After the authentication the data sync works in the background until the user stops the data collection. The SQL data can be viewed via an Azure Web App which authenticates the users. Another Web App is available for limited public access. The Web Apps use Bing Maps RESTToolKit for displaying the location information.

2. NetsAround Android app

The Android client app (NetsAround) can be found in Google Play at The app scans the Wifi networks and collects the network information, e.g. the location, the number of Wifi networks found in each place, the Wifi network names and signal strengths. The cellular connection data consists of the time, location and the observed cellular signal strength. The data is stored separately from the Wifi data in an own database folder.

Azure Mobile Client and SQLiteStore packages are installed in the Android device. When syncing the data to Azure SQL, the data is first stored in SQLiteStore from where the data is synced to Azure SQL via the Mobile Backend app when the internet connection is available.

3. Azure Web apps

Azure Web App 1 lets the authenticated users to view the SQL data. The app saves part of the data in the Azure blob storage for public access via Web App 2.

4. Sample app

A sample ASP.NET app with Web Forms can be found at the page below. The app shows the number of Wifi networks in certain regions. No Wifi details are displayed. The number of Wifi networks could be used as an indication of the expected Wifi signal quality. If there’s a high number of Wifi networks concentrated in small areas, the chances for interference and connectivity issues increases. The app lets the user to select the region and the number of entries to be shown (Top 10, Bottom 10 or All places). When selecting All, a poster with the red color shows the places with high concentration of Wifi networks while the places with the green color show the least congested areas.