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The FCC Releases Their Own Speed Test App on Google Play, Let’s You (and Them) Know How Your Carrier Is Doing

November 14, 2013 - Written By Andrew Port

It was only five days ago when we reported that the FCC was launching its own Speed Test App, to be available on Google Play, with the intention of discovering the truth behind Mobile Internet speeds provided by the Mobile Phone Carriers in the United States.  Today, the FCC officially threw their Speed Test App onto Google Play (it’s currently only available for Android) and has been downloaded by over one-hundred users already.

After going through three pages of Privacy Information, how the app works, what it measures and it does it, and a while litany of other things (undoubtedly put front in center due to the recent discomfort regarding the NSA), it brings you to a homepage of sorts, which shows you the Download, Upload, Latency and Packet Loss results of the last test, as well as when that last test was done. You can choose to run another test, and if you swipe right-to-left, you can access the archived results from each prior test you ran.

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When you go to run a test, you’ll be able to pick what sort of test you want to do out of the options Download, Upload, Latency / Loss or All. It will record these statistics as well as a number of other statistics that really provide information about the state of your device and your connection. The data is then also sent to the FCC.

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One unique difference about this Speed Test app from others is that it works autonomously, as well as by user input. That is to say, the app will run speed tests at random, and also by user command, but only up to 100MB of data – then it will stop. It appears the FCC is being careful about people’s data plans, and it’s much appreciated, but people probably still won’t appreciate an app that operates in the background whenever it feels like it. Thankfully, there is a switch to turn this off, and change many other settings as well.

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Also, as a side note, the app’s aesthetic qualities are…quite good. Impressive, even. The design language isn’t exactly Google’s own suggested type, but the layout, fonts and graphics are all pleasing to look at, and animations are smooth without. Good job showing developers how to make an app, FCC. The App is free and available for Download, so head on over and take a look if you’re interested.

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