If you are concerned about the damaging effects of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation, you are not alone. As we learn more about the biological effects that EMF radiation can have on our bodies and our family members, it is important we take the necessary precautions to reduce exposure to this type of radiation.
The first step in reducing exposure is measuring the current levels of radiation around you. To do this, you will need an EMF meter/detector. EMF meters measure the strength of the surrounding electric and magnetic fields and some meters can measure radio frequencies. Using an EMF meter, you can measure the level of radiation, identify the sources emitting the radiation and then make a plan to eliminate or reduce these sources of EMF radiation.
If you are just learning about how dangerous EMFs can be, you might be shocked at how expensive EMF meters are and perhaps cannot purchase one at the moment. A temporary replacement for a quality EMF meter might be an app. In 2020, there is an app for everything, including apps that can measure EMF radiation. But, are these apps reliable? A scam? We have created a comprehensive and researched guide for you to learn everything you need to know about EMF meter/detector smartphone applications!
This guide includes:
- What are EMF meter/detector apps?
- Why would you want to download or purchase an EMF meter/detector app?
- How do EMF meter/detector apps work?
- How can EMF meter apps work if the smartphone itself creates EMF?
- What are the best EMF meter/detector apps?
- Are there apps that measure radio frequency waves?
- Smartphone apps versus EMF meters/detectors: which is better?
What are EMF Meter / Detector Apps?
EMF meter/detector apps are smartphone applications that claim to measure the electromagnetic field. These apps can be downloaded on to compatible smartphone devices via their respective app stores, like the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Similar to regular, stand alone EMF meters made by companies such as Trifield or Meterk, smartphone EMF meter apps give measurements of the surrounding electromagnetic fields but in a rather limited way. For example, most EMF meter apps can only measure the magnetic field and there are very few apps that claim to measure radio frequencies. EMF meter apps are considerably more temperamental than stand alone EMF meters as they are affected more easily by the earth’s magnetic field. Despite their shortcomings, EMF meter apps are more accessible than EMF meters, both in price and convenience. However, with many EMF professionals warning about the dangers of smartphone radiation, it is surprising that one would want to use a device that emits so much EMF and RF radiation to detect those same frequencies. So with that in mind, why would someone opt to use an EMF meter app rather than a stand alone EMF meter?
Why Would You Want to Download or Purchase an EMF Meter / Detector App?
There are a few reasons why one might want to download an EMF meter app. The first reason has to do with convenience. One might find it much simpler to browse through a few apps and download one in a few seconds rather than browse through nearly a hundred EMF meters online and then wait for it to be shipped to your home. So, if you are in a pinch and need an EMF reading quick and do not have access to a stand alone meter, an EMF meter app might be a good option.
Another reason why someone may want to download an EMF meter app is due to cost. Many EMF meter apps available are free to download or cost just a few dollars. Compared to stand alone EMF meters, which cost anywhere between $30 and $300 or more USD, EMF apps are clearly an affordable alternative.
A third reason someone might want to download an EMF meter app is to check the shielding effectiveness of a newly purchased EMF protective sleeve or case for your smartphone or tablet. In this case, you can take measurements before putting the case on your device and after putting the case on your device. If the case is effective, the meter app should display a lower reading of EMF radiation.
A final reason someone may want to download a free or cheap EMF meter app is for entertainment rather than informational purposes. This is because most EMF meters available are actually targeted to buyers as ghost detector apps. “Entity sensors,” “spirit finders” or “ghost detectors” are all descriptions you may read for EMF detector apps. Paranormal enthusiasts believe that spikes in the electromagnetic spectrum suggest the presence of a ghost. As such, these app meters are able read the surround electromagnetic fields and report back to the user when there is a spike in the frequencies.
How do EMF Meter / Detector Apps Work?
There are several articles on the internet that discuss the validity of EMF meter apps. Some argue they are all a scam, while others posit that, more or less, they work. Most EMF meter apps, such as Android’s Entity Sensor Pro or Ultimate EMF Detector, claim to use the smartphone’s “magnetic sensor (electronic compass) to read the local magnetic field and record the results.” This magnetic sensor, also known as the magnetometer, is what gives these apps the ability to read EMFs. Magnetometers are instruments that are used for measuring magnetic forces. They can measure the magnetization of magnetic material as well as the “direction, strength, or relative change of a magnetic field at a particular location.” Magnetometers are found in smartphones and tablets that are equipped with digital maps or digital compasses, features which also rely on the use of the magnetometer. The Apple App Store’s Electromagnetic Detector app also uses the magnetometer to measure the magnetic field but notes that it only produces readings when placed specifically “near ferromagnetic metal objects.”
However, some users claim these apps cannot actually give accurate readings of changes in the magnetic field. For example, Ashton Rogers of NTParanormal Investigations was skeptical as to the accuracy of EMF meter apps and conducted his own research by reaching out to major manufacturers of smartphone hardware. In particular, he believed these apps were not able to detect EMF with the existing hardware that smartphones use.
He received responses from both LG and Samsung which essentially said the magnetometer could be used in this way, but that, the readings that it displays will likely not be accurate. This is because magnetometers are incredibly difficult sensors to interpret. For starters, the magnetometers found in smartphones are miniaturized versions and as such do not have great enough power to measure more than ferromagnetic objects and the Earth’s magnetic field (geomagnetism).
Additionally, because the magnetometer can read the Earth’s magnetic field, these forces can interfere with readings when investigating certain electrical devices. In particular, these interferences can cause the magnetometer to behave unpredictably. Furthermore, magnetometers found in smartphones tend to be very slow and, as such, a quick walkthrough would not give accurate readings. So, if the magnetometer is truly to work in this manner, you will need to hold your phone at least within a foot of the device you are measuring and give your phone time to display a more accurate reading.
How Can EMF Meter Apps Work if the Smartphone Itself Creates EMF?
While most questions about how EMF meter apps work can be answered by explaining the magnetometer, some people ask how EMF meter apps work if the smartphone itself is creating EMF radiation. Anyone who has researched EMFs will know that all cell phones emit EMF and radio frequency (RF) radiation. According to the representative from LG that was in contact with Ashton Rogers, the fact that the smartphone creates EMF is actually what gives it the ability to detect EMF. According to them, cell phones can detect EMF because “their ability to communicate depends on radio frequency fluctuations in electromagnetic fields.” Thus, apps could detect EMF “at least in a trivial sense.” “Trivial” because this means smartphones can only detect specific frequencies “from about 800 to 2.2 GHz which are the frequencies of 2G and 3G cellular phone systems.” So, in a world where 5G is rolling out despite concerns from the scientific community and our electrical products and devices are stronger and faster than ever, an EMF meter app simply does not have the range needed to get accurate readings of all the EMF sources around us. Furthermore, due to the fact that smartphones are emitting EMF radiation whilst being used to detect changes in the magnetic field, this means that the phone’s radiation could indeed interfere with the accuracy of the reading.
What are the Best EMF Meter / Detector Apps?
Not all EMF meter apps can actually do what they claim they are capable of doing, but that does not mean that all EMF meter apps are scams not worthy of your time or money. With several options available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, we went through and found the best EMF meter apps. The following five EMF meter apps were chosen based on the application’s abilities and features as well as their ratings.
1. Electromagnetic Detector: EMF Scanner for iPhone
The first app on our list is one available to download on the Apple App Store. This free app comes with the option to pay for a $2.99 premium version. This EMF detector app has the ability to measure the magnetic field. The free version is easy to use and the readings, which are in microTesla, are easy to read. As far as reliability goes, the app can detect when there is EMF radiation in the area. For example, it will give a reading when held over a laptop or Wi-Fi router.However, when compared to an actual EMF meter’s results, the readings tend to be different. Before using the app to make any measurements, the manufacturer suggests calibrating the detector by moving the iPhone in the form of an eight. While this is the top rated EMF detector app in the Apple App Store, the manufacturer specifically notes in the app description that it is “intended for entertainment purposes only” as it does not provide “true metal detector functionality.” With this in mind, this app might be fun to play with but will not be as accurate or reliable as a stand alone EMF meter.
One of the usability negatives of this app is that measurements can be timed-out. When you start to take a measurement, after a few seconds, the app times you out and takes you to the home page. Purchasing the premium version will end this problem and give you access to more features. With the premium version you will be able to keep a record of when you measured various readings, which can be stored up to 100 recordings. You can also set up an audible alarm that will sound when radiation above a set amount is detected in the area. Lastly, with the premium version, you can email the measurements you have collected.
2. Ultimate EMF Detector for Android
Source: Ultimate EMF Detector
The first app for Android on our list is the Ultimate EMF Detector app. This app, similar to the one above, also offers a premium version that is available to purchase for $0.99. The app, which utilizes the magnetometer in your phone, appears to be fairly accurate for a smartphone application and is easy to use. The app gives readings in microTesla, Gauss and milliGauss which differs from some of the other apps that have a preference for microTesla. The app also displays readings numerically, with LED colored lights and with a digital “needle.” The information can be viewed in three different ways, based on your preference: basic, simple and advanced. You can also create a text file for any of the data you have recorded, which is a great plus for tracking readings over time or transferring the readings to a computer.
The pro version allows you to choose how you wish to view the app by providing various backgrounds and different “skins.” It will also alert you to high or sudden readings. Lastly, the pro version will remove the ads from the app. With over a million installs, this app is one of the most popularly used EMF meter apps available. Compared to a stand alone EMF meter, the Ultimate EMF Detector app does not always show the same readings; however, this can be expected of any EMF meter app.
3. Metal Detector/EMF Meter for iPhone
Our next EMF meter app for iPhone is this Metal Detector/EMF Meter app which is free to download on the Apple App Store. Utilizing the phone’s magnetometer, the app can measure the strength of the surrounding magnetic fields, in which the readings are displayed in microTesla.The free version allows you to record readings with a time and date stamp of each investigation. You can also pause magnetic readings to stop the display on a certain amount. Although this app is also marketed as a metal detector app that can find “metallic objects that are hidden behind walls or underground”, it works just fine as an EMF meter app.
This app also has a premium version available to purchase for $1.99. This version allows you to change several settings within the app. For example you can disable/enable the auto sleep function, calibrate the meter, set a threshold for readings, set an alarm for certain amounts and get access to a timer.
4. Entity Sensor Pro-EMF Detector for Android
Source: Entity Sensor Pro
The next EMF meter app on our list is actually targeted towards the paranormal-inclined, claiming to be able to detect “spirits, ghosts, and EVP.” But if you are not interested in explaining the unexplainable (though you can use this app to also record audio for Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)), you can also use this app to get magnetic field measurements. The app, which has over 10,000 installs, uses the magnetometer to get its readings, which it then displays in milliGauss. With this app, you can keep records of your measurements and save them as data files. You can also display records in a graph.
For $4.99, you can purchase the app, which includes all the enhancements and upgrades outlined by the manufacturer’s website. Although the website lists a standard version, the app cannot be found in the Google Play Store. The Pro version includes some of the following features:
- Record EMF data to files that can be transferred to Excel or Google Sheets
- Display EMF data on your Android Wear watch and get notifications when increased EMF activity is detected
- Ability to email files
Although this is the priciest app on our list, you will find it is still much more affordable than purchasing a stand alone EMF meter. If you are looking for an EMF ghost meter app, rather than an EMF meter to help you reduce your exposure to EMF radiation, this is definitely the app for you!
Are There Apps That Can Measure WiFi Radiation?
5. ElectroSmart Free EMF Detector for Android
The final app on our list is the free ElectroSmart EMF Detector for Android phones available on Google Play. This app is different from the apps above because ElectroSmart can measure radio frequency radiation, rather than only reading the strength of the magnetic field. According to their website, ElectroSmart measures radio frequency (RF) waves produced by telecommunication infrastructures and devices by actually measuring the surrounding electric fields rather than the magnetic fields. ElectroSmart measures the levels of EMF radiation emitted by 2G, 3G and 4G (LTE) systems as well as Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth devices. ElectroSmart also provides information on what cannot be measured with their app; for example, microwave ovens, powerlines and smart meters cannot be measured. ElectroSmart is also capable of identifying the sources emitting radiation and actually names the 5 strongest sources you are exposed to each day. If your exposure level throughout the day becomes too high, the ElectroSmart app will alert you, even when the app is closed. The app has created its own user-friendly exposure index based on the Council of Europe recommendations and common sense.
Unfortunately, ElectroSmart is only available on Android phones as Apple blocks the type of measurement they use to calculate the exposure to EMF and RF waves. If you are looking to join one of the 100,000+ users who have already installed the app, head over to the Google Play Store to get it for free today.
6. WiFi Exposure Meter
Source: WiFi Exposure Meter
WiFi Exposure Meter is an app similar to ElectroSmart in that it can measure your exposure to WiFi radiation. It has been written about by several publications and websites whose focus is to explain the dangers of EMF radiation. However, at the time of writing this post, we have not been able to find the app in the Google Play Store nor find any recent publications about this app since it premiered in 2015. According to the introduction video the company (Sigint Solutions) posted on YouTube, the app “measures and evaluates the electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure levels generated from WiFi access points and wireless routers.” The app was able to measure a frequency range of 2.4 GHz and 5.2 GHz. The app then allowed you to compare your measurements with international standards and recommendations. The founders of the app hoped to provide a reliable WiFi detector for the “price of a cup of coffee” that would encourage users to place WiFi access points in appropriate and safe locations.
The app was available via the Google Play Store for free with the option to purchase a paid version of the app with more features such as calibration of your device to get more accurate readings. Although this app is no longer being offered, we wanted to include this information in hopes that it one day returns!
The Five Best EMF Meter Apps in 2020 Comparison Chart
Smartphone Apps versus EMF Meters / Detectors: Which is Better?
The answer to this question is clear: a smartphone EMF meter cannot outperform a quality EMF meter. Smartphones are not made to detect EMF radiation accurately but EMF meters are. For this reason, it is better and safer to use an EMF meter if you are wanting to get reliable readings for EMF radiation. Additionally, EMF meter apps are extremely limited. Most are only capable of detecting magnetic fields. The magnetic field forces that they can detect are from weaker sources and therefore, these apps are not able to detect the biggest threats of radiation in your environment. Lastly, some might consider using an EMF meter app to be counter-intuitive. Why use a device that emits so much radiation to detect the radiation you are trying to avoid? So while EMF meter apps can be a cheap, temporary solution, they should not be considered accurate or used in the long term.
The bottom line when it comes to EMF meter apps is this: there are lots of bad apps that do not work, but there are a few good ones that can be used temporarily or just for fun. If you want to take a serious and safe approach to protecting yourself or your family against EMF radiation, however, an EMF meter app should not be the number one tool in your toolbox. No EMF meter app, not even the best EMF meter app, can replace a stand alone EMF meter. However, EMF meter apps can be a good introduction to learning about the dangers of EMF radiation due to their convenience and low cost. We recommend using any of the apps on our Top Five list if you are interested in a short term solution for detecting EMF radiation