SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

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Northern Blue
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SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by Northern Blue »

Anyone having recent issues with SafeTrx ?

I’ve found it fairly accurate since I installed the app in July 2018 and my OH has always been able to follow my paddling progress from home. Also, checking back over the mapped route, the accuracy was always acceptable for a log of where I’d been.

Two paddles in December, one inland around 12 miles, the other coastal around 7 miles and both circular, the app logged me in a straight line out and a straight line back, but both several miles short of my furthest point.

I contacted SafeTrx by email, giving the paddle reference numbers and they did a few checks. One possibility given was that the latest iOS 13 update to my iPhone does not sit well with ‘location services’ and the second, that my preference of allowing SafeTrx access to my location, should be changed from ‘while using the app’ to ‘always’. I don’t understand why SafeTrx needs access to my location, other than when I’m on the water and certainly not when I’m at home or work, both locations well inland. I also don’t get how choosing one preference over the other, can massively affect accuracy whilst using the app.

I went out on a 10 mile coastal paddle yesterday, again a circular route, yet SafeTrx barely covered my first 100 metres from the beach before it stopped tracking me !

Other than the iOS upgrade, nothing else has changed. Same phone, carried in the same place (BA front pocket) and all 3 routes have been done previously, with excellent tracking.

I’ll be back in touch with SafeTrx next week, but was wondering if anyone else has noticed a massive drop in accuracy.

Chris Bolton
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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by Chris Bolton »

…should be changed from ‘while using the app’ to ‘always’.
Maybe 'while using the app' means 'while interacting with the app', ie, the screen is active?

andynormancx
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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by andynormancx »

Yes, 'while using the app' does mean while the app is on the screen.

If you have 'while using the app' selected, there is no way for the SafeTrx to track your route when the app isn't active and on screen. So it will only be able to log the bits of the route when you've unlocked your phone and looked at the app.

The app won't be able to log your route while it is on the background.

Apple have been gradually restricting how apps can get location data. Which is great for cracking down on apps that didn't need location data, but were gathering it for nefarious purposes, but not for apps like SafeTrx that really do need your location data when they are running in the background.

If you want to use SafeTrx as it was designed, you need to set the location data to "always". I guess if you were really worried about the app being able to know where you are all the time, then you could turn it off when not using it, but you run the risk of forgetting to turn it back to "always" when you actually want to use it.

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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by andynormancx »

If your other half has an iPhone, you could always use "Find My" (friends) to share your location instead of SafeTrx. Apple engineered "Find My" in such a way that only your OH would have access to the location, Apple themselves wouldn't for example.

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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by Northern Blue »

Thank you both for those replies. What you are saying makes sense and I will give it a try during tomorrow’s paddle, switching preferences over to ‘always’ just before I set off.

Perhaps the iOS 13 upgrade has changed this aspect, as it has been working fine since 2018 without ‘always’ selected.

OH will be paddling with me tomorrow, but next time she’s shore based, we’ll give the ‘Find my iPhone’ a go.

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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by andynormancx »

It probably was iOS 13 there were changes around this area. With “always” on iOS 13 will prompt you after a few days, reminding you that an app can track you, it also shows the locations you’ve been and gives you an option to turn “always” off.

Which can be a bit annoying when it is an app you really do want to track your location ;)

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hi Northern, yes SafeTrx now needs "always" access to the GPS since ios 13 on my iphone X. However, having the GPS on for a whole trip does dent the phone battery life, which is why I do not use SafeTRX to log trips, particularly multi-day trips. I do continue to have my contact and craft details stored in SafeTrx.

My Garmin GPSMAP 66s handheld or my Garmin Fenix 6 watch now log my trips and I pair them using bluetooth to the Garmin Connect Mobile app on my phone. The GCM app then uses GPS plots from the external GPS and the phone signal to update the Garmin Connect Web page that you share with your shore contact. It sounds complicated but once set up it operates seamlessly and has little effect on the phone battery compared to having the phone GPS on.

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I used the watch GPS to record the trip. It also records things like stroke rate, distance per stroke, heart rate, Calories burned etc.


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What my wife saw on the Garmin connect shared page. This could be on the computer (like this screenshot) or on her phone.


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Northern Blue
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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by Northern Blue »

Cheers Douglas, I’ll give some thought to the Garmin set up you’re using.

Our group took a rest break on Barlocco yesterday and I set SafeTrx to ‘always’ just before setting off for Ardwall and Carrick. It was back to its usual accuracy, so all is good.


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Jim
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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by Jim »

Seems to be due to dumbing down of OS messages, along with a change in the way things work.

If Apple had worded the options about whether the app is running in the foreground or in the background, even if most mac and windows users are not familiar with the correct terminology, I'm pretty sure you would have worked it out for yourself!

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Re: SafeTrx - Drop In Accuracy

Post by andynormancx »

You can use whatever terms you like, but as a software developer for the last 30 years I can tell you that most users (me included), most of the time, don't read the text you put on screen to describe/explain things.

This example is a good case, the SafeTrx app provides a full on essay to explain the options and yet we still have users who don't know what "While Using The App" means:

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