Android May Let Carriers Hide Signal Strength: Report

Android May Let Carriers Hide Signal Strength: Report
  • Android P likely to get signal strength restriction feature
  • Code based on AOSP already features some early signs
  • The initial change won't bound access for third-party apps

Android P may be set to give telecom carriers the ability to hide the signal strength in Settings. Signs of the new development have already surfaced through a piece of code designed for Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The new Android platform is expected to debut with the new carrier-centric feature sometime next year.

The commits appeared on Android Open Source Project site, as spotted by folks at XDA Developers. They reveal that carriers will get the option to hide signal strength in the "SIM Status" settings. It appears that unlike taking users into consideration, Google is fulfilling the request made by some carriers by opening the ability to change the visibility status of signals on the future Android version.

It is worth noting here that the value of signal strength, which is measured in dBm or asu, can be used to compare network performance on multiple devices. The quality of network to deliver enhanced voice and data connectivity highly depends on the signal strength. Therefore, the discovered flexibility would throw the ball in the carriers' court to let them decide whether they want the end users to judge the quality of their networks or not.

Importantly, the new change will have no impact on third-party apps as there wouldn't be any changes pertaining to Android APIs. This means you would still be able to see the signal strength on your future Android device by downloading an appropriate app. However, Google might restrict that part as well by giving rights to carriers to even restrict signal strength through default APIs.


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Jagmeet Singh
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a principal correspondent for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at Please send in your leads and tips. More
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