Live tracking kills my battery

Charlie Farrell's Avatar

Charlie Farrell

12 Dec, 2020 12:28 AM

I love this app but when I turn on tracking the live location feature kills the phone battery. When I am not in track mode I can hit the location feature and the blue dot and arrow show my location and direction, this feature goes off in a few seconds and the phone battery lasts all day. The track feature is useless if the phone battery only last 4-6 hours. Is there a way to shut off the constant location feature when in track mode?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Julie on 12 Dec, 2020 01:29 AM

    Julie's Avatar

    Hi Charlie,

    Since recording a track inherently involves keeping up with your location, there is no way to do what you are asking. I have found that if I am not doing other things with my phone (photos, constantly checking the map screen, trying to get cell service, etc) I can easily track for 8-10 hours and have plenty of battery left. I do tend to take a lot of photos usually, so that will drain it, but if I don't, it's fine.
    We do offer some settings so that you can have it record points with less frequency, which might help a little.


  2. Julie closed this discussion on 12 Dec, 2020 01:29 AM.

  3. Charlie Farrell re-opened this discussion on 12 Dec, 2020 02:18 AM

  4. 2 Posted by Charlie Farrell on 12 Dec, 2020 02:18 AM

    Charlie Farrell's Avatar

    Hi Julie
    Thanks for getting back to me. Some additional information. The app worked fine until about 2 months ago. While it was recording the track the blue dot and direction arrow did nor appear on the screen. Since the time the dot and arrow appeared on the track screen the battery drains very fast. I originally thought I had turned something on or off to cause this problem. I now do not believe it was something I did. If this app is going to kill my battery I might as well go back to my GPS and avoid the dead battery

  5. Support Staff 3 Posted by Meghan on 14 Dec, 2020 06:59 PM

    Meghan's Avatar


    You are correct that the direction arrow wasn't always there when recording a track although I believe we added it almost a year ago. Regardless, whether or not the blue dot and arrow is present would probably not impact battery usage when recording a track since the GPS is engaged either way.

    We think there is probably one of two things going on. First it could be the device itself. As phones get older, their battery life is worse than it used to be. I know on my iPhone I can check my battery health as compared to when the phone was new- it might be worth looking into for your device. Also two months ago there was a OS update (iOS 14/Android 11 depending on your OS)- they both have significant battery impacts on older devices.

    Second if you are using the app differently or more (for example, turning the screen on to check your location/navigate, if the screen isn't locked and is turning on in your pocket/pack etc), then this will also significantly impact your battery use.

    There's a lot of nuance to battery issues. Hope this gives you some insight into what might be going on!

    Thank you,

  6. Meghan closed this discussion on 14 Dec, 2020 06:59 PM.

  7. Charles Farrell re-opened this discussion on 15 Dec, 2020 12:19 AM

  8. 4 Posted by Charles Farrell on 15 Dec, 2020 12:19 AM

    Charles Farrell's Avatar

    Hi Meghan

    Thanks for your input. I have thought about the condition of my phone's battery. I am not a big phone user. Since the Covid thing my hikes have been mostly all local stuff I am familiar with and don't need to check my location. When I am not in the woods the battery charge lasts all day. But my phone is a Samsung 8 so it is on the old side. I can understand that and older probably weaker battery with additional load from o/s upgrades and navigation could be a problem.

    The fact remains that I am not able use the track feature on a 6-8 hour hike when the battery is drained at < 6 hours.

    I guess I will use my GPS for tracking and use CalTopo just for spot location and direction.

    Thanks for helping me.


    Charlie Farrell

  9. Julie closed this discussion on 15 Dec, 2020 03:58 PM.

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