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AndrewC
GpsGate
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:48 pm

@J.Kesoe Any chat support will likely come in the future via the mobile interface in much the same way that mobile dispatch works currently.

@Alon There is a known issue with Lollipop currently that will be fixed in an update very soon. Also, yes, we do get the reports given through the Android crash reporter. They are very useful in helping us keep the app stable on so many different devices.

Regards,
Andrew

GpsGate Support

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AndrewC
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:20 pm

A fix to the Lollipop crashing issues has been deployed to the Google Play store for the branded and unbranded app. It should filter through to different regions over the next few hours.

Regards,
Andrew

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Alon
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:37 pm

It still crushes. I've sent you two reports through the OS.

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AndrewC
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:58 pm

@Alon

Thanks for that bug report. It helped chase down a pretty subtle issue. A fix has been released and will be available soon.

Regards,
Andrew

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Alon
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:57 pm

Thank you. No crashing now. But I keep getting messages on mobile that it cannot connect to server (I accepted the registration invitation sent from server). Let me know how can I retrieve more details.

BTW, the message text is "Could not connect to GpsGate server", I also have the header stating GpsGate. My server is unbranded. It should not mention GpsGate... Now I assume it is because it didn't connect yet, but still, as I'm using GGS as white label, it should not state GpsGate from the first place...
Thanks.

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johan
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:33 pm

As a first step, please make a Firewall test on the page SiteAdmin -> Devices for GpsGate Protocol over TCP. Is the port open?

Regards,
Johan

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Alon
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:54 am

Yep, it is almost that - My servers are behind a Cisco router and firewall that keeps one of the public IPs (x.y.z.210) to itself while the domain is connected to another IP (x.y.z.211). The ports are open as needed, only that the mobile recognize the x.y.z.210 as the server IP, while it should be x.y.z.211. SiteAdmin BTW recognizes the same way (x.y.z.210) so it always fails on the tests, though devices do work.
I wonder if it is possible to change the android client to a work also by domain - that will solve my problem (or at least edit the IP it uses)

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AndrewC
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:48 pm

@Alon

The Android client is capable of being configured with a domain or IP address. You could try to resolve the issue by port forwarding TCP 30175 to your server address. If this is not possible you can unregister the server from inside the android app, then tap the button to re-register it and type in the domain address you wish to connect to as part of the registration.

Regards,
Andrew

GpsGate Support

Alon
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:28 pm

Excellent - re-registering the device allowed me to set the correct IP. Thank you.
Question - Is there another way of shutting down the client apart from stopping its service/process?

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AndrewC
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:21 pm

I have added some information to the end in case people are interested but the basic response is: If you do not have either the tracking or the connection active dismissing the program from the active programs list in Android will cause the program to completely shut down and remove itself from memory. If it does not please let me know as that will likely be a device specific bug that I'll need to look into.


Some extra information
It should never be necessary to shut down its service or process. Using a task killer or the OS to stop the services or the process can cause it to shut down in a state that can cause you problems later. The app never gets its chance to tidy up all the things that it has set up for itself to run properly. This can potentially include leaving notifications in the bar, unneeded data in storage or leave various system services stuck on for a while (gps, networking) which could actually cause more battery drain than you're trying to save. This is actually true of any Android app.

The fact that our application manually removes itself from memory when it is closed was something that was added based on partner feedback to try to stop people killing the app with external task killers and "memory booster" apps. Modern Android actually tries to leave programs in memory as much as it can as they are then faster to restart than if they are loaded from disk every time. Certain mobile devices can have extremely slow internal storage. This improves the responsive feel of the phone. It doesn't matter that it does this as if the phone ever needs more memory it will just kill the unused in-memory programs itself without you needing to do it.

GpsGate Android Tracker uses effectively zero processing power when it is not either connected or tracking so totally removing it saves no power but might actually make it a tiny bit slower to load up again. That being said because of the early bad memory management of mobile phone operating systems this "performance" myth is so widespread that we do it anyway to try to avoid the dreaded task killing apps.

If you'd like more information there is a good article at this link: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ram-booste ... d-android/

Regards,
Andrew

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Alon
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:58 pm

Cool, it seems it failed to remove because I was not aware that I need to remove the checks beforehand.

Else:
1. It seems the app is using much more battery than other 'GPS' applications such as Waze or Google Maps. is there a way to adjust this part?

2. Are you planning to allow admin to 'lock' the app settings? i.e. not allow a user to disable the tracking? Maybe even hide the task icon and message from list?

Thanks,

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AndrewC
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:24 pm

@Alon

That's good news.

For point 1) The app will naturally use a lot more battery than other tracking applications as it is always trying to get the most accurate reading possible (GPS hardware) and falling back to the other more passive methods when it cannot find a GPS fix to get a "best guess". We do this as the main use case for the app is to track vehicles with a smartphone inside with the high accuracy that our partners require.

That being said we are always working on finding tricks to make the battery consumption better without compromising on accuracy and it will gradually improve as we update.

Other apps will do exactly the opposite, trying to get an approximate fix from WiFi first then maybe GPS if needed. As they don't need a super accurate fix all the time they can even do sneaky things like wait for apps like GpsGate Tracker to request GPS fixes then also use it, putting all the blame for the battery usage on the other app!
That's why they seem to get just as accurate fixes as GpsGate does while using a fraction of the battery (as long as GpsGate or another high accuracy app is running).

For point 2) Currently all the actual settings are deployed from the server and the only options available on the device are to register/unregister with a server and turn tracking or connectivity on or off.

Showing a notification icon for a "foreground" service such as tracking or connectivity is required by Android itself.

Not allowing the disabling of tracking or connectivity is so easily bypassed by the device user* that we don't support the scenario. If you have an enterprise need for locking down a device this will need to be handled on an operating system level. Which they are working on: http://www.android.com/it/preview/


* by doing things like turning off wifi or 3g, killing the service as we discussed before, turning off GPS in the settings or even just putting the device in suspend mode... or a metal toolbox.

Regards,
Andrew

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Alon
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:59 pm

OK, clear and agreed. Thanks for the detailed answer.

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AndrewC
GpsGate
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RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:55 pm

@Alon

Also if you do not want to have a GpsGate branded tracking app used by your customers you can check out this blog post: http://gpsgate.com/blogComment/unbrande ... or_gpsgate

You can download this version from here for your own testing.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... id.tracker

Regards,
Andrew

GpsGate Support

Alon
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:48 pm

RE: FEATURE: Android device tracking

Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:36 pm

Thanks Andrew. Are you plan to allow branding by my own settings?

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