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Google Latitude - Unable To Run In Background?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by JaSauders, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    So I have Google Latitude on my phone, but it seems to act weird. If I'm running it and I select my home button to go to the home screen, I notice the GPS icon just shut off right then. Sure enough on Google Latitude on a computer, it stops updating my location.

    So uh, I'm having difficulty finding reason to use this application if it won't run properly in the background. Is there any way to do this?
     

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  2. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    So I did some reading and some people were saying Google Latitude only updates every 15 minutes in an effort to save battery life. That way you have a semi recent rough idea of where the user last was within a 15 minute time frame instead of a "within the last 5 seconds" time frame, which of course sucks down more battery.

    What confused me is my buddy (albeit, an iPhone user) told me his works fine in real time and that he used it going cross country. So I invited him to my Google Latitude thing and he said mine never updated as I drove around unless I had Google Latitude actively running.

    So right there we have differences from the Android version to the iPhone version.

    What are the differences and how can I get it to work in real time if that's what I want?
     
  3. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    I use Google Latitude. It doesn't keep the GPS on and locked. Doing so would kill your battery. Mine updates when it wants to, not every 15 minutes. It does a decent job of keeping me update today. I think I have seen where it was an hour or so since it last updated, but I hadn't moved in the hour....

    I have noticed if I have another app that uses GPS, like Glympse, Google Latitude is updated almost in real time.

    Go here and see how often it updates:

    http://www.google.com/latitude/
     
  4. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    By default, was your setting for "use wireless networks" unchecked? I was having an awful time with Latitude until I read about how Latitude uses triangulation of towers, then I remembered the setting I had seen that was unchecked. Bam - it found me right away.

    It hasn't updated me for a while though. I'm about 5 miles away from where it last had me updated, and I rebooted my phone since then. Do you have to open Latitude each time you fire up your phone? Or does it auto start?
     
  5. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    I don't remember if it was set or not by default. Currently it is set to use wireless networks. This is in the Android settings (home screen --> menu --> settings --> location). I assume you have background and auto sync enabled in the accounts and sync menu in the settings? I am not sure if that affects Latitude or not...

    I don't open Latitude each time my phone starts.
     
  6. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    In your experience, has Latitude worked predictably and well? I'm trying to get the jist of how it works, exactly. I noticed in Google Maps when I hone in on where my phone is, I'm still within the blue circle, however I'm on the very very edge of it. It hasn't updated in an hour. I wonder if me being in the blue circle (albeit, still no where near the original target it found me at when I was traveling here an hour ago) concludes to Latitude that I do not need to be updated.

    I'm curious to see how quick it'll move when I leave here...

    EDIT - it just now updated, which was at the 1 hour mark. However, my pinpointed location hasn't moved. I wonder if the 1 hour check in was because it hadn't detected me moving in the last hour, even though I have, just not outside of the blue circle.

    Later will be a good test...
     
  7. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    Yeah, for the most part mine has been OK. Not real time, but it updates enough if I move around. One complaint I have heard a lot of is you can't tell it to report your position every X minutes. That would be useful, in my opinion....
     
  8. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    You mean to throttle back it's supposed 15 minute check in timer to be something more like 5 minutes? Yeah, I agree it would be.

    When you say it updates enough if you move around, are you traveling by car from one location to another in those scenarios or are you simply walking across the hall, etc.?
     
  9. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    Yeah, I would like to say update ever 5 minutes, or 15, or 60, etc...

    When I say moving around, I mean traveling by car. Mine almost updates too much sometimes. I can look in the history (via the website) and see it logging me multiple times in one minute. Kind of annoying. I can see it listing my position at 12:02am, 12:03am, 12:04am, etc. And it bounces around a lot for me. I guess that is because I don't get great reception at home and it is going from one tower to the other.
     
  10. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    Haa, that's interesting. I suppose there's no downside in it logging you that often, besides the obvious factor of having what seems to be multiple entries (one per minute for a 5 minute stretch, etc).

    Have you ever experienced a time where when you were on the move Google Latitude took significantly longer than 15 minutes to update your location? It seems to be pretty accurate as long as you're moving beyond the boundaries of that blue circle I spoke about earlier. Mine is only updating once per hour since I haven't left it since.
     
  11. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    No, I haven't seen where it wouldn't update as I was moving around.
     
  12. udik

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  13. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    I did run across that, but it's array of negative reviews made me think I'd rather just stick with google products and tolerate the unchangeable timer. I do wonder how it works though?


    Good deal. Yeah I just came home from work and I knew my desktop was running with the Google Latitude page up from when I was tinkering with it last night. I came in the door, grabbed my mail off the table, walked to the computer and just then it had updated me as being home. It seemed pretty accurate too. I looked down to verify that my wireless and GPS were disabled and they were, so in this instance I was working entirely from triangulation. Seemed to do the job!

    I have read (albeit, 2009 posts) of users who had some weirdness with Latitude when their bluetooth was activated. Do you by chance use bluetooth or ever hear of this? I'm going to leave it on and see what happens.

    EDIT - You know, it looks like Google Latitude does stay very active when you're moving. I see what you mean now when you mentioned your findings eariler. I'm looking at my "view and manage" portion of my history. During my drive home, it checked in at:

    4:33, 4:34, 4:36, 4:38, 4:40, 4:42, 4:43, 4:44.

    Guess I can't complain. I'd rather have it update more frequently than not enough!
     
  14. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    No, I don't use bluetooth. I haven't heard of that interfering with Latitude, but I will keep that in mind if I start using one in the future.

    Glad it seems to be working for you. Not sure what you changed to get it working, but at it is!
     
  15. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member
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    It was simple. My "use wireless networks" section under Location was disabled. I had no idea that specific setting was the triangulation that Google Latitude relies on. It may have popped up with a recommendation to enable it during installation, but I think I remember just bypassing it thinking it wasn't necessary. Go figure...

    It really seems to work half decently though.

    For kicks I just turned on bluetooth, and sure enough when it updated it had me way off the chart by about 5 miles. I simply hit refresh on my browser and right then it was updating already, and it brought me back to where I'm actually located. It's updated 3 times since, and it's still showing me in the same accurate spot.

    Going for a drive in a bit for dinner, I'm curious how on target it'll stay.
     
  16. Backitude

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    You should try Backitude -it does exactly what you guys are talking about.
     

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