Correct use of Tracker

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 16:10
ThreadID: 141893 Views:618 Replies:7 FollowUps:12
Hi,

I have the Traveller app and the Tracker app install on an iPhone 7, used permanently in my vehicle as a navigation device. I have used the tracking to record a recent trip around Australia, however, I have been unable to get the tracking to start automatically each day, after powering down the device at the end of the day. (I leave both apps running in the background when I power the iPhone off.)

I am not sure if having both apps on the device is causing the problem, or if I have a setting that’s incorrect. Hoping others that use this feature may be able to assist. I have read both user manuals several times and experimented with different setting with no luck, ie, having only one running, enabling tracking in only one app.

I currently have the tracker settings on both apps set as follows.

Tracking: On
Stop on app close: off
Start on device boot: on

I normally leave the Traveler app and the Tracker app running in the background, even if am not using them. I have also tried just leaving the Traveller app running in the background and just the Traveller app. When the Traveller/Tracker app is in the background, I have the TomTom app running in the foreground.

When I power the iPhone on in the morning, tracking will not start until I click on the app (either one) and open it. If I don’t touch them, or forget, no tracking will be recorded/started until I open one of them. Once either app has been opened and brought to the foreground they run in the background fine, and record everything. The Traveller app and the Tracking app exhibit exactly the same behavior.

The iPhone is running the latest iOS version. I have tried deleting and reinstalling the apps, and logging in and out of my user account. I have also tried the tracking function on my iPhone 12 Pro, Tracking app and Traveller app. That also exhibits the same behavior.

iPhone Background app refresh is Set to ‘On’ for each app.

Am I miss understanding how the tracker starts? Do you have to manually open the app each day when you turn on the iPhone, even if it was not closed when you powered down the phone?

Hoping someone can assist. (Sorry for the log description of the problem)
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 17:13

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 17:13
Ashley,
Do you have location settings "Always" ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 17:37

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 17:37
Yes, that is set to ‘Always’ and ‘Precise Location’ is set to ‘On’
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 17:22

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 17:22
Another thought.... does the latest iOS on these phones offer "activity recognition/detection"? I wonder if something has recently changed in the recent iOS update? Or have you disabled this? Traveller uses this feature to minimise battery use when the device is not moving by disabling the GPS but it could be that the activity detection is not triggering so the GPS is not turning back on when you do start in the morning. There is an Advanced Setting in the iOS version that we have built in to cater for this however don't mess with this unless you are sure that you have check for the more obvious location setting permissions and activity detection permissions accepted. If you've checked that and exhausted all other possibilities, only then would I recommend you go into the Advanced Settings - select Activity Recognition and change the last 2 settings labelled "DisableStop Detection" and "Disable Motion Activity Updates" - the defaults are "false". Change them both to "true" and see if that fixes it. Otherwise change it back as it will definately cause tracking problems if this isn't the cause.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 18:03

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 18:03
I’m not sure about the "activity recognition/detection", maybe iOS has something that performs this function but goes by a different name.

I did find a setting, under ‘Privacy’, ‘Motion and Fitness Tracking’, (access to sensor data), both apps are listed under this setting as having permission.

I have noticed that the first time you click on one of the apps after the iPhone is turned on, a message is displayed, ‘Track logging started’. This is only displayed the first time you click on each app, and bring it to the foreground. If you stop moving during the day, the apps remain active and commences tracking once you start moving again. No need to click on it to get it going again. It only seems to behave incorrectly after you turn off the phone and turn it back on again.

I have only been using the tracking since 10 April, so it has been this way for the last couple of iOS updates.

Now that you have mentioned this feature/setting, I have noticed that 2 other apps that run in the background all the time, and also use gps, no longer appear to be running when the phone is turned on in the morning. Like tracker and traveller, I need to click on them also to ‘wake them up’ after powering on the phone.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 18:39

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 18:39
After just talking to David, he queries how you are determining that "it isn't tracking" because you wont see it. The data it collects is hidden in the database and syncs to server without any need for you to see anything. Best test is to run it for a day without opening it whether you are in/out of service, then come home and let it sync the data and then open your server tracking map and see what has synced. That is what the Member tracker is about.

Also - he says just use one app with these settings, not both apps on the same device with the same settings.

Don't have both apps on the same device tracking. That will mess with the data. If you want to use both apps, put Tracker on a separate phone and use those settings to set/forget. It's bomb proof and hardly uses any battery as nothing is displayed.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 19:15

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 19:15
If I try and create a track log, it tells me there are no positions, even though the app was running in the background. While on a recent trip around Australia, if I forgot to click on the app in the morning, when I remembered to click on it, it drew a straight line between where I stopped over night, and turned the phone off, to where I remembered to click on the app running in the background. Tracking did not start from where I turned the phone on. Luckily I only forgot a few times. :)

We’ve just come back from a 12,000km, 30 day trip.

I’ve been testing it over the last week or so since we’ve been back, to see if I could work out what it was doing.

As an example, on the 24 May I clicked on the app in the morning after I turned the phone on, and 642 positions were saved for the day. I have been able to create a log for this day successfully.

I had the app running in the background from 26 May to 29 May, without clicking on it. If I try to create a log for that period, it tells me ‘date range must have positions’. During this time I traveled several hundred kilometres.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 19:19

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 19:19
Interesting - but what about the server tracking? ie. what is getting synced? There are actually 2 different tracking services in the Traveller app - the positions database that only stores data locally and the data that is synced via the Tracker when it is enabled. This data isn't stored in the positions database but is synced to the server - it should ideally be the same however, but in this situation it would be interesting to see where the issue is as there are two pieces of programs at work....
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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 19:35

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021 at 19:35
I’ll log into my account and see what I see online. I have noticed that if I run either app, and I do not click on it when I turn the iPhone on, if I click on it just before I turn the phone off at the end of the day or the trip, it shows a message, ‘track logging started’. Indicating it has not been running for the trip. It displays no track for the day on the screen. If I click on the app when I turn the phone on in the morning, at night it displays the track of where you have been for the day, and sometimes you see positioning to be synced, or a count down of positions being synced.

Update 20:18 3 Jun

I’ve deleted the tracker app off the iPhone that I use for navigation. Only running the Traveller app. I’ll do a bit of structured testing over the next couple of days and let you know the results. In short, it appears that if if click on the app when I start the iPhone, everything works correctly. If I do not click on the app when I start the iPhone, no positions are synced to the server, I do not see any track on the screen for the day, and I can not create a track log for that period.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 08:07

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 08:07
Am I missing something here? If you are “powering” off the phone at night, do you mean that you are turning the phone off? If so, does that not also turn off all the apps that are running?

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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 09:46

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 09:46
Hi Macca,

Yes the phone is being turned off at night. (It’s permanently plugged into power in the 4x4 and remains there over night we we stop.) When it’s turned off, the tracker is running in the background. When it’s turned on in the morning, any apps that were running when the phone was turned off, are restarted and are in the background. I have the app set to not ‘stop on app close’ and to automatically start tracking on powering on / reboot. These settings are not functioning for some reason as I have to physically click on the app to start the tracking when I power it on in the morning. If I don’t click on the app, no positions are recorded until it is clicked on. Hope this explains it a bit better.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 11:59

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 11:59
Hi again Ashley, so just confirming that you understood my last reply as I've just reconfirmed this with David and thought I'd try to reclarify as I feeling there is a misunderstanding.

The Tracker feature (Members only) is a service in ADDITION to the existing snail trail tracking that everyone gets. The Tracker feature is a separate tracking service. This allows the app to collect and sync tracking data whilst the app is closed or in the background (provided you have adjusted the settings as you have). But you won't see it. The tracking data collected by this service is synced to the server. To view this data you must open your server tracking map.

Whether you have Tracker enabled or not, the Traveller app will not show tracking on the Snail Trail when the app is closed. That is a separate tracking service to the Member Tracker service.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 14:38

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 14:38
Hi Michelle,

Apologies for the length of this reply.

Thanks for the clarification. I am definitely talking about the tracking feature. Not the snail trails, which I don’t use. I have been using the tracking successfully since I subscribed as a member. Apart from the startup issue, the tracking has been working perfectly and has recorded our recent trip around Australia, 12,000km over 30 days. Once the tracking app was running, all positions were synced to the server each day. There was usually a bit of a catch up in the sync process once we got back into reception range. It was rare that we had reception all day to allow real time syncing. The tracking was running for about 30 days with no issues, apart from the fact that I had to remember to start the app each morning before we set off for the day.

To clarify, ‘Stop on close’ is set to off and start on boot is set to on. The iPhone 7 I am using for the tracking is mounted permanently in my vehicle and plugged into power. At the end of each day, I turned off the power to the phone and shut it down. The Tracker app was running in the background when I turned off the phone, as was the Traveller app and the Tomtom Go app that I use.

The tracking in the Tracker app was set to ‘On’ on the ‘Home’ screen, and tracking on the Traveller app was set to ‘Off’. Both apps were running all the time, but only the Tracker app had tracking enabled and was running in the background. Depending on where we were, either the Tomtom Go app or the Traveller app was running in the foreground.

While we were away, I noticed on day one, that no positions would be saved to the phone or synced to the server, unless I physically opened the app when I turned on the phone. If I turned on the phone and forgot to click on the Tracker app, like I did the first couple of days, I would end up with a straight line between where we stopped over night, and where I remembered to click on the app. Once I did click on the app, a message would be displayed telling me ‘Track logging started’. This message was only displayed the first time I clicked on the app after turning on the phone.

Once I discovered this, I use to check if tracking had started and that my positions were being saved/recorded correctly each morning after driving a short distance from our overnight stop. This was checked on the server tracking map. This was also checked several times during the day with no issues. The tracking was always up to date and continuous. No straight lines between stops.

Once I realised there were issues if I turned off the phone, if we stopped moving during the day, I alway left the phone turned on, with the app running in the background, plugged into our second battery. (Screen locked). Once I started moving again, tracking would recommence and positions would be recorded correctly, no straight lines. I did not need to click on the app to restart tracking if the phone had been left turned on.

I didn’t want to play around too much with the settings while we were away, as I didn’t want to jeopardize the tracking not working. I just made it a point to click on the app each morning, (Sometimes I forgot).

Since returning from the trip, I have tried closing the Tracker app to see if the problem only related to the app restarting when the phone was powered on, when it was left running in the background. This made no difference. Once the app is closed, or the phone is turned off, no positions are recorded / saved to the phone and none are synced to the server, once the app is opened again.

I have tried driving around for several days with the app running in the background, ie, not clicking on it when I turn on the phone. No positions are saved to the phone and none are synced to the server. If I attempt to create a track log for the period, it tells me there are no positions in the date range.

I have also tried closing the Tracker app, with the same settings, and driving around for 2 days. When I opened the app at the end of two days, there were no positions saved to the phone and none were synced to the server. If I attempt to create a track log for the period, it tells me there are no positions in the date range.

If I click on the Tracker app after turning on the phone, positions are saved to the phone and synced to the server. If I am in reception range, this occurs correctly in real time, if I am not, the positions are synced correctly once I am in reception range. I am able to create a track log for this period.

It was my understanding that if the Tracker app had the following settings, ‘Stop on close’ is set to ‘Off’ and ‘Start on boot’ is set to ‘On’, once the phone was powered on, positions would be saved to the phone, without further intervention, irrespective of whether the app was closed or running in the background, and they would be synced to the server once the app was running and in mobile service range.

The only time positions would not be saved/recorded, is during the period the phone was actually powered off, hence the importance of turning the phone on at the same location where you turned it off, to ensure a continuous timeline/track with out straight lines between stop and start positions.

Currently, the only way to have positions saved and synced is to physically open the tracker app, after the phone has been turned on. Once you do this, it works correctly until you turn off the phone, irrespective of whether you are moving continuously or if you stop and start moving again. (To me, this indicates that the motion sensors are working correctly and the app is using them correctly, once you physically open the app.)

As I have only been using the apps on the iPhone since iOS 14.5, I can not tell you if it worked differently with earlier versions. I am currently running iOS 14.6

I have also tested this on my iPhone 12, same iOS version, and it behaves exactly the same. Happy to give you a phone call if it would make it easier to discuss, rather than a long discussion that may or may not be of interest to other members.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has the tracker app running on an iPhone using the latest iOS version and is not having this issue.

Appreciate your help Michelle.

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 17:43

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 17:43
Thanks Ashley, that is clear but I'll let David know about this post and leave it for him to digest.
Just to clarify, we usually don't encourage individual support issues we addressed in the Forum as we have a Help Desk for that, but in this case I felt it needed a reply before misinformation was added to the discussion but yes for the purpose of public discussion this issue has run its course.

Michelle Martin
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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Saturday, Jun 05, 2021 at 00:59

Saturday, Jun 05, 2021 at 00:59
Thanks Michelle,

Not sure where I go from here. Is it best to wait for David to have a look at it, or would you like me to contact the help desk. I don’t think there is anything else I can do at my end to solve this.
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Reply By: Member BarryG - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 12:05

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 12:05
I think Macca is right. If you power the phone off and then power it on, there is no facility that I know of that will "restart" all previously running programs. They may still appear if you double-tap the Home button (or swipe up on later models), but they are not really running. They appear there because they are in the "recently opened" list.

Barry
AnswerID: 636679

Reply By: Rocket Rod - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 15:59

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 15:59
I don't use Apple so I don't know the ins and outs of that system but you say you have the phone permanently plugged into power, so why do you turn it off? If the system works while you have the apps running then just turning the display off and leaving the phone on would solve this wouldn't it? Maybe there's something else to it I'm missing.
AnswerID: 636686

Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 16:18

Friday, Jun 04, 2021 at 16:18
Unfortunately the power is only on and charging the phone when the ignition is on, so if I leave the phone on over night, the phone would be flat the next morning. The app should work with the settings I have, so there must be a bug in either the app, an incorrect setting in the iPhone, or more than likely, apple has changed something that the developers are not aware of.

To leave it on all the time, I would have to do some major re-wiring so it uses the second battery, or I would have to move the phone to a charger over night. Hopefully the developers might be able to sort out the issue so I don’t have to change the wiring, but this could be an option.
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Follow Up By: TrevorDavid - Sunday, Jun 06, 2021 at 16:41

Sunday, Jun 06, 2021 at 16:41
G’Day Ashley

Sorry if I’m missing the point here, but why don’t you close the App before you turn the phone off each night, then just open it again each morning? The App doesn’t need to be left on each night. This is what I do with my iPad.

Edit

You may even be able to close the App & leave the phone on & just open the App each morning.

Regards

TrevorDavid
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Follow Up By: Member - Ashley M9 - Monday, Jun 07, 2021 at 16:43

Monday, Jun 07, 2021 at 16:43
Thanks for your reply. I’m looking at changing the power supply for the iPhone so it’s connected to the vehicle battery all the time, rather than only when the ignition is turned on. No need to turn off the phone or close the app - problem solved. Having a couple of other issues with geofences since the last apple iOS update, (may be related), so probably best I move this discussion to the Help desk. I’m sure all will be sorted out.

Once running, the tracking app works brilliantly.
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