GPS not working for me on Android App

Shawn  Wilson's Avatar

Shawn Wilson

02 Aug, 2021 07:00 PM

Hi, I've been a CalTOPO user for years, mostly to plan routes and print maps. This years I graduated to the mobile app for use in backcountry navigation. I paid for the basic plan to allow me to download all area map details to my Google Pixel 4a phone for use in airplane mode. I tested the app on several hikes in SF Bay Area, testing the navigation and tracking with phone in airplane mode and it worked flawlessly. Secure all was working I took phone up to the High Sierra on an 8 day cross country trip and to my chagrin the I almost never could get the caltopo to show my location and when it did show location, I could not keep it centered, it would just drop, then location button would freeze and I would have to close app and try again. I would click the centered button it would say "waiting for GPS, then after 20 secs or so drop then freeze. It worked maybe 5% of the time. This was not a problem with GPS on phone because I could always get my location using Google Maps app (too bad I didn't have a detailed map on google maps). I can't tell you how frustrating this was. Good thing we had paper maps and compass. I was really counting on the app to help with our challenging route.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Meghan on 02 Aug, 2021 09:51 PM

    Meghan's Avatar

    Hi Shawn,

    I'm sorry to hear you were having trouble with the mobile app. What you described is not the expected behavior and we have not received any other reports of a similar issue so I would like to get a little more information about what you experienced. Specifically:

    • What Android version and what version of the CalTopo mobile app do you have?
    • Can you check your phone's settings and confirm that you have location sharing with the CalTopo mobile app turned on?
    • Can you describe the specific steps you took to show/center on your location, what you expected to happen and what actually happened? The more detail you can provide about the issue you experienced, the better. If you can still reproduce the issue, screenshots are very helpful too.

    Thanks for taking the time to provide the above information.
    Meghan

  2. 2 Posted by Shawn Wilson on 03 Aug, 2021 12:08 AM

    Shawn Wilson's Avatar

    hi Meghan

    pixel 4a phone
    latest Android version 11
    caltopo v 0.7.10
    location sharing on

    main problem when I accessed caltopo in the Sierra:

    I click the location icon at bottom right to see my location on map, I see
    "waiting for gps"for about 15 secs, icon flashes blue and I never get a gps
    lock, returns to white. then when I click again it seems frozen, I don't
    get the flashing icon or waiting message. have to close the app and try
    again. it failed about 90% of the time I tried. each time caltopo failed I
    then tried location on Google maps app and it found location 100% of the
    time.

    thanks for your help

  3. 3 Posted by Shawn Wilson on 03 Aug, 2021 12:10 AM

    Shawn Wilson's Avatar

    the caltopo gps location worked perfectly when I tested it on various walks
    in the Bay Area ( I always tested in airplane mode to simulate what I would
    experience in the sierra Backcountry.

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Julie on 03 Aug, 2021 07:36 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    HI Shawn,

    Thanks for sharing those extra details. We have one employee who has also seen this, but none of us can figure out how to reliable reproduce it. We going to look into it some more, but can't say when we'll be able to figure it out.

    If you think of any other details that might be helpful, or see it in other locations, please let us know.

    Thanks,
    Julie

  5. 5 Posted by Shawn Wilson on 03 Aug, 2021 08:08 PM

    Shawn Wilson's Avatar
    thanks Julie. reminder that I never had this problem when using caltopo app in airplane mode when hiking in SF Bay Area. only when I was in high sierra > 10000' did the problem occur...

    On Tue, Aug 3, 2021, 12:36 PM Julie <[email blocked]> wrote:

    // Please reply above this line
    ==================================================

    From: Julie (Support staff)

    HI Shawn,

    Thanks for sharing those extra details. We have one employee who has also seen this, but none of us can figure out how to reliable reproduce it. We going to look into it some more, but can't say when we'll be able to figure it out.

    If you think of any other details that might be helpful, or see it in other locations, please let us know.

    Thanks,
    Julie

    On Mon, Aug 02 at 05:10 PM PDT, Shawn Wilson wrote:

    the caltopo gps location worked perfectly when I tested it on various walks
    in the Bay Area ( I always tested in airplane mode to simulate what I would
    experience in the sierra Backcountry.

    Having trouble reading this? View this discussion online: GPS not working for me on Android App.

    Reply with #ignore to stop receiving notifications for this discussion.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Julie on 03 Aug, 2021 10:53 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    Yeah, one of our guys had it happen on his JMT hike this summer, though he is on Android 12 and figured it was a beta issue with that. So it's interesting to hear that you got it on 11. We've only heard about it from him and yourself though, so it's a little hard to pinpoint.

    What days were you hiking in the Sierra? Has it been on more than one trip, or only the one? I'm just reminded of how I've been warned as a search and rescue responder that sometimes the military disables GPS that affects the Sierra for whatever reason. I wonder if you guys both just happened to be there at a time when that was happening. I can't find any record of the recent times this has happened though. It's a long shot, but stranger things have happened.

    Julie

  7. 7 Posted by Shawn Wilson on 03 Aug, 2021 11:04 PM

    Shawn Wilson's Avatar

    Hi Julie, we were out July 24-Aug 1. The app was flaky the whole trip. But
    each time the Caltopo GPS timed out, I would switch to Google Maps just to
    make sure the phone could connect to satellite and Google Maps worked 100%
    of the time and within a second.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Julie on 03 Aug, 2021 11:10 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    Very odd.

  9. 9 Posted by Shawn Wilson on 29 Aug, 2021 06:49 PM

    Shawn Wilson's Avatar

    Hi just took another trip w/ fully updated caltopo app and current pixel 4a
    OS in Yosemite Tuolumne canyon and same problem. I could not get location
    with the caltopo mobile app, not once. I had no problem with Google maps,
    Gaia, or alltrails location. I love caltopo but it doesn't work on my
    phone. I would respectfully request a refund of the $20 for the mobile
    download capability, since it doesn't work for me. I will re subscribe when
    i have a new phone and hope things turn out better.
    Thanks,
    Shawn

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Julie on 30 Aug, 2021 01:47 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    Hi Shawn,

    I went ahead and processed that refund for you. We did have a bunch of app updates recently - currently it's on 0.8.12. Did you happen to update the app before this last trip?

    Thanks,
    Julie

  11. 11 Posted by Shawn Wilson on 30 Aug, 2021 02:06 PM

    Shawn Wilson's Avatar

    Hi Julie, thanks for the refund. I had a newer version of the app but not
    8.12. I will update and give it another try. once I have it working I'll
    resubscribe. thanks for your attention
    shawn

  12. 12 Posted by Cathy Proenza on 12 Sep, 2021 01:02 PM

    Cathy Proenza 's Avatar

    This comment was split into a new private discussion: GPS not working for me on Android App

    I have the same problem. No GPS location on android app in backcountry even though other apps work. Caltopo works fine when I am at home near Boulder CO. Is there a fix?

  13. 13 Posted by Daniel on 13 Sep, 2021 08:56 PM

    Daniel's Avatar

    I have had the same problem here in South America. Caltopo locates me quickly in town when there is a network connection... Start the app out in the boonies without cell or wi-fi coverage and it never gets past "waiting for gps"...

    Caltopo version 0.8.12
    android 5.1.1
    on a Kyocera Duraforce E6560
    (would love to use this phone in the place of my Garmin etrex but so far no luck...)

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