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Ride With GPS Not Tracking - anyone else?

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Ride With GPS Not Tracking - anyone else?

Old 05-14-21, 07:25 PM
  #1  
rzldzl
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Ride With GPS Not Tracking - anyone else?

My Ride with GPS app stopped tracking my rides 7 weeks ago. It will start up okay but at some point will stop tracking and at the end of a ride fill in between two random points with a straight line.
I contacted Ride w/gps a month ago and although there has been a more or less continuous exchange of emails the basic response is " the information has been sent to the developers."
I have checked my phone settings, as they requested, and downloaded a supposedly new and improved version of the app.
On Monday this week I rode 50 miles and the app did not skip a beat for the one and only time in the past 7 weeks, but today I rode 10 miles and the app quit 100 yards down the road.
At this point I am extremely disappointed in their response. They gave me an extra 6 months of subscription for free but that is like being given free frustration. I don't need an app for that.
I am not looking for solutions so much as I am wanting to know if anyone is experiencing similar difficulties or similar lack of support from Ride with GPS.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:24 AM
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Might be useful to check if your phone is doing any sort of aggressive power management, or if the location permissions are setup properly (e.g. to allow RWGPS location access all the time, not just when the app is open). Also worth noting that some of these things may have worked before in the past, but all it takes is for one major phone security/software update to switch things around.
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Old 05-15-21, 09:29 AM
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I sent screen shots of my power settings to ride w/gps and they confirmed the settings were good to go. As much as I could I checked my phone for updates and found nothing that coincided with my problems.
After a month and all these efforts it is the lack of support from ride w/gps that is most alarming.
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Old 05-15-21, 12:36 PM
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I think sending it to the developers is the best you can expect from them. I get annoyed when I send them evidence of a bug and the CS decides it's not worth sending to the developers.
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Old 05-15-21, 02:09 PM
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So in your experience, when they tell you that it has been sent to the developers, have they come up with a successful solution in a timely manner?
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Old 05-15-21, 03:10 PM
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They should keep you appraised. Did they close your support ticket?
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Old 05-15-21, 03:27 PM
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They have kept the support ticket open, but for the most part I have to email them about once a week to get any further response from them. The response is "it has been sent to the developers" along with "thank you for your patience", which after a month is beginning to sound like customer service malarkey.
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Old 05-16-21, 06:14 AM
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I wasn't particularly happy that they decided they could become strava and the emphasis on the app. Interestingly, strava reduced the capability of their app because they had too many problems, and they have tons more money than RWGPS does.
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Old 05-16-21, 08:01 AM
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IPhone or Android?
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Old 05-16-21, 12:33 PM
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I did have one episode in which, after stopping for lunch in the middle of a ride, RwGPS stopped tracking my heart rate, which obviously is not the same, but is the closest thing I can think of.

I know that with older iPhones (much older), GPS performance could be erratic, but this was usually limited to a brief "freakout," nothing like what you're describing. My last couple of iPhones have had very dependable GPS performance.

I've submitted a bug report to RwGPS about a completely unrelated issue, which they tell me they're leaving open. I don't expect any updates.
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Old 05-16-21, 12:54 PM
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Android
I have tracked a few rides with OSMand in the past few weeks and it has performed flawlessly.

I got the Ride w/gps app about 1 1/2 years ago with an eye towards using it for navigation on a tour I was planning to take. Last year being what it was that didn't happen.

Now I am within a few days of setting out on that trip. The navigation app I was planning on using, and on which I have spent much time downloading routes, is kaput. Learning how to use these technological marvels does not come easy to me so it seems like 1 1/2 years of wasted effort on this app.

Last edited by rzldzl; 05-16-21 at 01:10 PM. Reason: incomplete
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Old 05-16-21, 09:17 PM
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The problem with mobile app development is that things rapidly change, and something that used to work flawlessly can suddenly break due to a change in security protocol, or even some routine update, and sometimes not even the developer's fault.

I recall the abovementioned Strava issues were related to Bluetooth crashes. Problem is, from a developer standpoint, there are multiple Bluetooth stacks available, each with their own pros, cons, and unique quirks. Sometimes a particular stack is chosen because of a specific feature it has, sometimes it's mandated by some high level business requirement that the developer may not have a say in, or various other business and/or technical reasons we're not privy to. Likewise, there are also several location-related libraries including Google's official APIs as well as third party implementations that a developer can use for location-based apps. But the point is, sometimes something breaks either due to an OS or library update. Google has been messing around with Location permissions, for example the relatively new security measure that only allows location access when the app has focus (which IIRC was introduced somewhere during Android 10). When there is a problem that isn't directly a developer's fault, some of the options for the developer include:

- Try to workaround the problem: Sometimes possible, sometimes not, depending on the nature of the issue and how "deep" the problem goes
- Rollback to a previous library: Only an option is it's proven that the library is the cause, and the developer doesn't need the newer version due to some feature they're using
- Switch to a different library: That can be a very costly endeavor especially if it requires refactoring your entire codebase to the new library, so it is often not considered an option and dismissed
- Wait for the patch or fix from the developer of the library: Unless the bug or problem is of critical level of severity, often this is the default action. Developer opens a ticket with the library's developer, waits for a new version and hopes it's fixed in that version, integrates the updated library and performs testing, then rolls out new version of app
- Completely drop the use of the problematic APIs of the library, along with any features that use it - a.k.a. the "nuke" option - this is what I presume Strava did with Bluetooth

In short, mobile app development can be a mess. Well, actually, any sort of application software development that relies on a bunch of specialty APIs and/or 3rd party libraries can be a mess, but even more so on mobile due to the constant (and often) paradigm shifts in security and privacy, as well as lackadaisical attitude towards backward-compatibility and as a consumer, there's really nothing much you can do about it. If RWGPS is giving you problems now and OSMand isn't, and you can't wait for a solution, you're probably better off with OSMand, but at the same time be aware that the tables could turn at any time (e.g. with a random security update).

Last edited by atwl77; 05-16-21 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:50 PM
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I received an email from Ride with GPS customer service basically stating that they had similar problems with only a few individuals, that my lower end phone (SamsungA20) was an issue, they had done all they could, and that I was SOL.

I fired up my old phone and, on one short ride, the app worked as it should.

It sounds like atwl77 in the post above probably has the situation about right. I bought the new phone because some hi end hearing aids I got through the VA would not pair up with the old phone. For now I am rolling with my old Moto G4 for navigation and all things smartphone, and the Samsung as an overpriced MP3. And so it goes.
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Old 05-20-21, 08:21 AM
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You might try a GPS device like a Garmin Edge, Garmin wrist worn of some sort, or Wahoo, Lezyne or others. They are all about the GPS and plotting where you are. You phone is a multi-function device that is being tugged in all directions by the apps and drivers on it.

I'm lucky to get my coffee cup to reliably connect to my phone for more than three days without having to re-pair it.
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Old 05-20-21, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I'm lucky to get my coffee cup to reliably connect to my phone for more than three days without having to re-pair it.
Your coffee cup? I'm not sure I want to know.

I have trouble getting my phone to connect to my car. I think I recently discovered that turning off bluetooth for a second and then back on will fix it. It's really annoying, I don't really want to have to pull over to fix that and the car takes forever to boot to the point where I realize it's broken.
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Old 05-20-21, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Your coffee cup? I'm not sure I want to know.

I have trouble getting my phone to connect to my car. I think I recently discovered that turning off bluetooth for a second and then back on will fix it. It's really annoying, I don't really want to have to pull over to fix that and the car takes forever to boot to the point where I realize it's broken.
https://ember.com/products/ember-mug-2

It was a gift. I feel obliged to use it. It so far is one of the most troubling things to reliably get a connection to my phone. Sometimes I can toggle the bt on my phone. Sometimes I can stop the app, clear it's cache and restart it. Sometimes I can restart my phone. Manytimes I have to delete the pairing from the app and re-pair it.

After all that, I need the caffeine! <grin>

But when it works correctly, it is nice to have coffee maintained at my ideal temp so I don't have to drink before it gets cold

Surprisingly, the app doesn't want permissions to my contacts, pictures, calander or other common things. It does want to know where I am though (GPS)..
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Old 05-20-21, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Surprisingly, the app doesn't want permissions to my contacts, pictures, calander or other common things. It does want to know where I am though (GPS)..
I'm guessing it uses Bluetooth Low Energy, which Android considers is part of location services, so the app needs location permission for that.
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Old 05-22-21, 12:16 PM
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Yes, that's one of the most annoying things for me about android. They had a bug that exposed location to apps that used bluetooth. so they make you give location permissions to any app that uses bluetooth.
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Old 05-22-21, 10:39 PM
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All GPS/navigation devices have occasional glitches. Recently I've needed to recalibrate the compass on my newer Android phone pretty much every day before a ride, walk or run to get accurate tracking. Otherwise the trace will be jagged and artificially adds distance because it thinks I'm riding/running in a zig-zag pattern.

I've found it helps to ensure I have a solid GPS sync before starting out. That means waiting until I'm outdoors in the clear to get a GPS lock. Occasionally I'll hit "start" while I'm indoors and go without checking for GPS sync. Later I'll realize the GPS didn't sync until I was a mile or more into the ride/run, sometimes farther. Same with both Android phones, my older iPhone and my XOSS bike computer.

The calibration trick for Android is a bit of a pain in the neck. I have to open Google Maps, tap on the blue location dot/wedge, then tap on the "calibrate" option, and wave the phone around in a specific figure of 8 pattern, repeatedly, until it finally seems accurate. Depending on the weather some days I need to do that several times before it'll work. If I omit that step my GPS trace will be a zig-zaggy mess.

Not a big deal unless I'm trying for a personal best ride/run on segments or overall. But it's annoying when the clock says I ran/rode a personal best but the Strava log is a mess due to poor or zero GPS sync.

Incidentally, if you're aiming for a KOM, PR, or want an intact log for an event ride -- century, group event ride, etc. -- if you've enabled Google Maps Timeline tracking you can often recover a pretty accurate GPS trace even when Strava and other apps fail. It requires downloading the Google file, converting it to a format Strava or other app/software can recognize, and often omits some detail. But if you really want data confirmation of a full century or event ride, it's better than nothing.
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Old 05-23-21, 04:22 AM
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I hate that figure-8 calibration technique. Sometimes it works quickly, sometimes I keep waving and waving and nothing changes.
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