Background data collection in our iOS app – settings explained

Our new iOS app is finally here! We’ve released a new version (Version 3.0) of OpenSignal based on feedback that we’ve had from our users, including a sleek new design and more information points throughout the app to explain how the app works.

The coverage maps and network comparisons in the OpenSignal app are 100% crowdsourced from our users. The app collects this information from the user’s device, and we process it and combine it with data from all of the app users to build the independent coverage maps shown the app, based on these real measurements – not models and predictions.

Background data contribution

We are really excited about one new feature in this iOS update that has been available on Android for some time, which allows iPhone users to now contribute data to the OpenSignal crowdsourcing project even when they’re not using the app, i.e. in the ‘background’. This means that iOS users can contribute even more data to help us compare networks and map network performance.

Background data collection does require using GPS, so that we can be sure of the location of the readings the app takes. As ever, we know that some users might not want to contribute data or use their GPS in the background, and that’s why we make the app flexible, and allow you to turn off data contribution if you’d like to.

Default settingsDefault settings

By default, background data collection is already set to off (see the screenshot), and so the app won’t collect any information or use the GPS in the background unless you go to the settings and turn it on.

It’s also possible to turn off data contribution even when the app is open as well – a feature that has always been in the app.

We’re happy our iOS users can finally contribute as much data as our Android app users. If you have any questions about background data collection (or anything about the app and how it works) please contact us on

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