CalTopo app can;t obtain GPs location, but several other apps can

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17 Sep, 2021 12:43 AM

In a location where there is no cell coverage, and/or when the phone is in Airplane mode, the CalTopop app is having trouble obtaining a GPS location and displays "Waiting for GPS ...".

Other apps including Google Maps, GaiaGPS, and PeekFinder all quickly obtain a GPS location.

Battery Saver is off.

This is on a Pixel 3 phone using CalTopo version 0.8.12 .

This problem does not seem to occur when the is cell coverage and Airplane Mode is off.

A friend replicated this problem on an Android Samsung Galaxy phone, also with CalTopo version 0.8.12.
I'm wondering if this problem and the problem mentioned her might be related

Showing page 2 out of 2. View the first page

  1. 31 Posted by Tom on 06 Oct, 2021 01:12 AM

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  2. 32 Posted by Tom on 06 Oct, 2021 01:36 AM

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    I emailed 3 diagnostic reports:

    Airplane Mode off

    Airplane mode on, WiFi off

    Airplane mode on, WiFi on

  3. 33 Posted by Tom on 06 Oct, 2021 01:01 PM

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    Here's a summary of the conditions CalTopo app on my Pixel 3 Phone can not obtain GPS location. I think this might also be the case on Pixel 4 and Samsung S8 phones.

    In all of these conditions several other apps are able to obtain GPS location and work as expected.

    - Google Location Accuracy = Off. This seems to be regardless of other settings

    - Airplane Mode = On AND Use WiFi = Off. This seems to be regardless of other settings.

    - No cell coverage. This seems to be regardless of other settings.

  4. 34 Posted by Tom on 06 Oct, 2021 02:07 PM

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    In each of the 3 conditions above, I have when I go to the "View GPS Diagnostics" screen, I see a lat long listed near the bottom on the "GPS Provider" and "Fused Provider" lines.

    But when I go to the CalTopo map and click on the "Locate Me" crosshairs icon near the bottom right of the screen, "Waiting for GPS ..." appears on the screen for approximately 30 seconds and my position is not shown on the map.

    I suggest you issue an alert about this so people no about this problem and can test their phones and the CalTopo app prior to going out with the intention and expectation it will work in areas without cell coverage and/or in Airplane mode.

    I suggest you obtain phones on which this problem occurs so you can try to replicate the problem.

    Thanks for all your help with this!

    Please let me know if you need anything from me or if I can help in any way, or if you want to speak on a phone call or video call.

  5. Support Staff 35 Posted by Ben Lantow on 06 Oct, 2021 05:09 PM

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    Hi Tom,
    We appreciate your help, however this is an isolated issue, I have both a pixel 3 and 5 and cannot reproduce it consistently if at all. There are a small number of users affected and we are working hard to figure out what the root issue is so we can include a fix for the future. However this issue is does not appear to be widespread, nor does it seem to be phone or android version specific. Thanks you for sending diagnostic info, we're continuing to look at it. If any other users have this same issue we'd love to get additional diagnostic info from other users to help diagnose the problem.


  6. 36 Posted by Tom on 07 Oct, 2021 10:30 PM

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    From my perspective, the number of people affected by the problem remains an open question and is uncertain. I could be wrong.

    I've gotten 9 friends to try to replicate the problem where the CalTopo app is unable to find a GPS location when Airplane Mode = Off and WiFi = Off, after the app was seconds earlier from the same location able to obtain a GPS location.

    4 of the 9 friends were able to replicate the problem.

    I am unsure and I think we need more data, and it seems to me like maybe the problem might be most common on "olderish" Android phones such as Pixel 3, Pixel 4, and Samsung 8 phones.

    Here's a summary of the tests I've been able to have friends perform.

  7. 37 Posted by Tom on 07 Oct, 2021 10:32 PM

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    To help get you more diagnostics, in the CalTopop (Test) app at , can you add a feature where a person can send diagnostics to CAlTopo from the app, rather than needing to create and save a screenshot and then email a screenshot?

  8. 38 Posted by Tom on 07 Oct, 2021 10:34 PM

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    Correction: The "no problem" total in the table should be 5 rather than 6.

  9. 39 Posted by Tom on 08 Oct, 2021 03:08 PM

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    I'm trying to obtain a screenshot of the GPS Diagnostics Report from each person who has had this problem, and will provide those here.

    The people have experienced the problem in various locations, including North Carolina, Sierra Buttes, Truckee, San Francisco, South Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV, and Reno.

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