about Push to log your mobile operator on the go!
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PushToLog is an Android app. In short: It logs the signal strength of your mobile operator, which is depedent of your location and shows the results in map.

Mobile network scanning

With the PushToLog-app you can monitor and log the signal strength of your mobile network (4G/LTE) of your operator into a logfile while you are moving. The logfile is used to display the results in your map any time later. The logged points are colored by their relative signal strength (see the tables below).

Other mobile networks are expected to be supported by the PushToLog-app (at least 3G).

The PushToLog-app is using the Fused Location GPS-provider by Google to minimize the use of your battery. But nevertheless your GPS location must be activated. Despite the technical driver for creating this app, it is still fun to use the app wherever you are!

The app offers you 4 simple functions:

STARTStarts the logging of your mobile network
STOPStops the current logging
SAVESaves the data of your logging in a file
SHOWShows the data of an earlier saved logfile

The app shows the current date, running time, your provider, your network type and strength level. The strenght level corresponds with your level indicator showing 1 to 4 bars. The higher the level, the higher the strenght of your network on your location.

Dependent of the network type the strength of your network is given as RSRP, RSRQ & QCI for 4G/LTE or just with RSSI (all other network types). Both RSRP (Reference Signals Received Power) and RSRQ (Reference Signal Received Quality) are key measures of the signal level. Strength of the signal is expressed in (negative) decibel-milliwatts.

Strenght for 4G/LTE networks

ColorStrengthRSRP (in dBm)RSRQ (in dBm)
light_greenExcellent>= -70>= -5
greenVery good>= -80 and < -70>= -10 and < -5
yellowGood>= -90 and < -80>= -15 and < -10
orangeFair>= -100 and < -90>= -20 and < -15
redBad>= -110 and < -100>= -20 and < -20
darkredVery bad< -110< -25
For LTE-networks, the CQI (Channel Quality Indicator) indicates how bad or good the communication channel quality is (0 till 15), 0 is very bad, 15 very good.

For 3G/GSM mobile networks (and all others within the current scope of PushToLog-app), the strenght is measured by the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator).

Strenght for 3G/GSM (and other) networks

ColorStrengthRSSI (in dBm)
light_greenExcellent>= -70
greenVery good>= -80 and < -70
yellowGood>= -97 and < -80
orangeFair>= -103 and < -97
redBad>= -110 and < -103
darkredVery bad< -110

Last but not least, the PushToLog-app shows the current langitude and latitude of your location. This data is provided by the Fused Location provider of Google and uses the GPS-sensor of your device and others means to minimize the draining of your battery. The coordinates are used to position your current location in the map showed by the app. Furthermore, the coordinates are also used to calculate the distance between the points in the map and the speed applied for reaching the next point of your moving.

The PushToLog-app lets you monitor and log the strenght of your network while your are walking, driving. By pushing the START-button, the logging is immediately started. By touching the STOP-button, the logging is stopped. It can be saved as logfile on your device to show it some other time. When saving the file, you can add a tag to use it as reminder for selecting the file for showing. With the SHOW-button you can show any saved logfile. You have also the option to delete the file or rename the tag (which can be disabled by a setting). After that you select of logfile from the list of files presented, some statistical info is presented: the number of points, the distance and optionally the average and maximum speed (in km/h). An extra point (blue) is drawn in the map marking the highest speed.


When your sensor is activated (see settings), the movement of your device is automatically detected by the PushToLog-app. If you have enabled extra information (see settings), the displayed time will flash when a movement is detected.

By a long press of the START button, the auto-log will be started. Only when your device is moving, data will be logged (like the normal log function). When no movement is detected, the logging will be paused (the logging status message will stop flashing). As soon as you start moving, the logging will be resumed (the logging status message will flash again).


By enabling the ENABLE KML-TYPE option the Push-to-Log app will create KML-typed logfile as well when the logging is shown. This KML-file can be displayed by Google Earth and will show you your route in 3D. Furthermore, you can also follow the route as a real tour, showing you an eagle view for 1 or more seconds from the start point up to the last point (with some stepsize). You may change some KML tour parameters (check the KML Tour settings).


By enabling the SMOOTH LOG option (since v1.4b) by a certain degree or level the logged points will be smoothened. This can be used to correct slightly deviating values ​​when displayed in the map. Every point gets averaged to some level by its previous and next neighbor (level 1..10) or neighbors (level 11..20). Smoothing the log can especially be handy when showing the log as KML with Google Earth. You can check the result in the map by enabling the ENABLE DEBUG MODE option, the original points are then shown as blue circles in the map.

In addition, with the CHECK ANOMALIES option strong deviations can also be removed in the display in the map. A point is considered as an anomaly if its distance to its previous neighbor is 5 times higher than the maximum distance between all previous points. If it does not lead to the desired result, you can disable this option.

Available settings

LOG-INTERVAL TIMESet your desired interval time to log strength and location in seconds (5..120 sec).
PLAY NOTIFICATION SOUNDSPlays tones when the signal strenght increases or decreases.
BE SILENT WHEN NOT LOGGINGPlays only sounds when logging (useful to monitor the logging via audio).
USE WHITE BACKGROUNDUse this if you don't like the default black background.
FOREGROUND SERVICEUse this option to have the app log while the app is not active in the foreground. A special android service is created to continue the logging in the background (for most android devices). This option is not available for the Lite-version available on Google Play.
KEEP SCREEN ONUse to prevent that the screen times out and the device falls a sleep mode, so there is no need to enable the foreground service enabled.
MORE SETTINGSThis menu gives you some more options to choose for.
- USE HYBRID MAPUse satellite image as map, requires a little bit more power while monitoring or logging.
- ADD MIN. & MAX. STRENGTHSMark the highest and lowest strength in the (shown) map.
- ADD SPEED INFOAdds the speed together with the default strenght in the map (SHOW only).
- ADD TIME INFOAdds the time the point in the map was logged (SHOW only).
- SHOW MOVING AVERAGEShows average of last 5 measurements instead of minimum and maximum of the signal strenght.
- USE GRADIENT COLORSUse gradient color starting from green (high quality) to red (low quality).
- SHOW EXTRA INFOShows additional signal strength info, but also the number of location and phone status updates processed.
- SHOW HIGHLIGHTED VALUESDisable this option if the highlighting of the dynamic values is failing on your device.
TECHNICAL SETTINGSThese technical settings need to be set occasionally.
- ADJUST MAP HEIGHTEnables you to set the height of the map just fitting your available screen space.
- OFFSET COLOR MAPPPINGSet offset in dBm for color levels in map.
- SMOOTH LOGAdjust coordinates for a smoother path by a certain level.
- CHECK ANOMALIESIgnore showing points that can be considered as anomaly.
- ACTIVATE SENSOREnables the accelerometer to detect any movement of your device (to support auto-logging).
- ENABLE AUTO-ORIENTATIONEnables automatic map rotation corresponding to the orientation of your device with geomagnetic north. In case of trouble, calibrate your sensor (with help of Google Maps).
- ADJUST ACCELERATION SENSOREnables you to change the sensitivity of your sensor sensoring the movement of your device.
- QUICK FILE SELECTSkips the menu to delete or rename log file and show log file in an instant.
- ENABLE DEBUG MODEThis option may be needed to add extra data to the log for support by PhD Software in case of trouble.
- USE RSSI AS STRENGTHInstead of using the default RSRP value for the LTE signal strength, you can use the RSSI-value.
KML TOUR SETTINGSThese settings can be updated for a different view (with Google Earth).
- ENABLE KML-TYPECreates and show KML-typed logfile by Google Earth. A long press of the SHOW button will trigger showing the file with GE (if available).
- ADJUST TILT RANGEEnables you to set the tilt angle from your view.
- ADJUST RANGE DISTANCEEnables you to set the eye level of your view.
- ADJUST TOUR PAUSEEnables you to set the pause between the points of your tour.
- ADJUST TOUR STEP SIZEEnables you to set step size of logged points to view.

Needed permissions

ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION*1Necessary to retrieve your location data.
READ_PHONE_STATE*1Needed for reading the network data of mobile operator.
WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGENeeded to save logged data and to show it later.
ACCESS_FINE_LOCATIONNecessary to retrieve your location data (on a more precise level).
POST_NOTIFICATIONS*2Needed for sending notications when running in the background (and foreground service enabled)
FOREGROUND_SERVICE*2Needed to continue logging when you're not using your device or using other apps.
ACCESS_BACKGROUND_LOCATION*2Needed for getting location data while running in the background.
WAKE_LOCK*2Needed to keep app awake while device runs in sleep mode.
  1. This permission you have to grant explicitly when running the app the first time. A popup screen is shown to explain why this permisson is needed. To collect location data while running in the background, the location permission should be set to 'always'. To apply this permission, a restart of the app is necessary!
  2. This permission is not needed when using the Lite-version available on Google Play.

Nice to know

  • For some devices the app fails logging when in the background. As a workaround the KEEP SCREEN ON option may help. Another hint may be to let your screen time out instead of using the hardware button.
  • PushToLog stores the log files in a external storage folder for your convenience, but since Android 11+ only the original app may access them (besides generic file managers apps). The only real problem exists if you remove and re-install it: You cannot use your old logfiles.
  • When using the hybrid map as map type the screen may be set wider than normal (caused by some long copyright remark in the map at the bottom). In this case the header is no longer in the center of your screen. Do not use the hybrid map option then.
  • In very rare cases the app might be restarted, when running in the background, which will stop the logging, you can recover it manually be selecting the working file and renaming with your file explorer.
  • GPS location provider can very occasionally give strongly deviating values.

Any questions?

In case you have questions or suggestions about the PushToLog-app, you are more than welcome to send me an e-mail. The latest version is currently v1.4b, released 21 August 2023 (technical update, added CHECK ANOMALIES and SMOOTH LOG options). The latest lite version you can find on Google Play.


Use at your own risk. PhD Software accepts no responsibility for any technical failure of the app.


Below you find three screen images of the PushToLog-app (initial version) and an example of a map created by the PushToLog-app. It shows a part of the highway A15 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

appscreen1 appscreen2 appscreen3