In previous blog posts, I’ve talked about the various mobile hardware platforms one might use to help in wireless LAN Professional design, troubleshooting and analysis work. In the first blog of the series we covered Android phones and Android Tablets, as well as Apple iPads and iPhones: iPads, iPhones and Androids: Network Tools for the Mobile WLAN Professional.
The second installment covered the software and apps available for the Android platform: Top 20 Android Apps for the Enterprise Wireless Networking Professional.
Instead of a single post – there are too many great apps to put into a single post. There will be three posts:
• Top 10 iPhone and iPad OS Apps for the WLAN Professional
• Top 10 iPhone and iPad Apps for the Network Professional
• Top 10 iPhone and iPad Reference Apps for the IT Professional
In this final post I’ll be reviewing the apps I’ve found useful in my 802.11 consulting work. I’ve purchased and reviewed probably 10 times more apps than I’ll cover here. Many developers have tried to address the needs of network admins – some have developed individual apps focused on a single function. Others have tried to build groups of functions in a single app. After much time evaluating and testing the various tools and apps available – here are the ones I keep on my personal devices to help in my Wi-Fi work.
Many of the apps are available for both iPhone and/or iPad. Some are iPhone-only, and can be run on the iPad with a small screen, or use the 2X button to expand to full-size on the iPad. A couple are iPad-only and aren’t available on the iPhone platform. Whereas most are ‘Universal’ apps and will run easily on either iPhone or iPad.
A while ago Apple removed some apps that called on Private APIs to be removed from the iTunes AppStore. I have not listed those unavailable. If you already have them downloaded and in your iTunes account – you can still run them. But if not, you cannot currently download or purchase these from the AppStore. Sorry about that. Check out this list of those older, but currently unavailable, apps.
On to the first of this set—Top 10 iOS Apps for the Wireless LAN Professional.
Comes in an iPad and separate iPhone editions. This tool is great for documenting site design for both PtP and PtMP wireless bridge links as well as for outdoor access coverage. Includes GPS coordinates, bearing, azimuth, inclination as well as a zoomable camera. I have used this tool on almost every outdoor job I’ve had. A great addition to your toolbox. (perhaps alone is worth getting an iPad 2 with a camera . . .)
- iPhone – Free
- Pro iPhone - $3.99
- iPad HD - $3.99
2) RF Toolbox
This is my first ‘go to’ app for calculating anything related to RF. It contains two sets of tools. One set of calculators and tools for RF, and another for doing GPS calculations. Both are easy to use, aesthetically pleasing to look at, and professional in their approach. This one is Highly Recommended.
- iPhone - $7.99 (works small on iPad)
Developed by a skilled WLAN professional and his team – this is a tool dedicated to providing accurate iPerf traffic to/from your iOS devices. It can be used to go from an iOS device to any iPerf3 compatible server (like their own Mac OS X iPerf3). If you have two iOS devices, one can be the server, and the other the client. Providing an industry standard iPerf performance testing of Wi-Fi to the device.
- iPhone & iPad Universal - $49.99 (has been on sale for $9.99 – check with developer)
This system utility shows a variety of system information, memory, processes, disk, and battery status. But I like best the quick view of OS, cell connectivity, and WiFi connectivity including MAC address and IP address of your iOS device.
- iPhone/iPad Universal $1.99
Just a fast, accurate way to capture your current GPS coordinates. You can easily bookmark, and even export your bookmarks to a .kmz file to view in Google Earth. It just does as its name suggests. Quick GPS coordinates!
- iPhone - $.99 (Works small on iPad)
6) Cell Towers
Ever wonder why you are getting poor 3G reception on your iOS device? This app shows you graphically where all the cell towers are near your location, or any location you enter. You can zoom in to the map and even get specific distances from any location to the nearest cell tower. Screen capture these results as part of your site documentation. This app comes in an iPhone and separate iPad app.
A great little‘go to’ utility showing your current connection information, sub-net calculator, and OUI search. And a nice little addition of doing an ARP scan of your local subnet.
- iPhone - Free (works small on iPad)
8) Speed Test
An iOS version of the very popular SpeedTest.Net from Ookla. You can save and email results. I’ve used this in many on-site situations. Perhaps not the best or most detailed speed test. But customers feel comfortable with the results since they can double check on their own systems.
- iPhone - Free (works small on iPad)
Available in either an iPhone, or an iPad interface, this very detailed tool helps to determine what devices, with what services are on your local subnet. Full detail down to what ports and what services are open and available on any responding device.
10) Acrobits SIP
Sometimes it’s just nice to have a SIP client on your iOS device. Of course you can always use the Skype app to make calls – but I carry this SIP client to test regular VoIP connections. To test VoIP over WiFi, I have one SIP client on my iPhone, and the other on either an iPad or iPod Touch. It can easily put a Voice load on the network to get real checks of inbound and outbound Jitter, Latency, etc.
Of course, you’ll need to have activated SIP accounts with the appropriate login credentials to use this client.
- iPhone - $6.99 (works small on iPad)