If you are experiencing tracking problems including route deviation, zig-zagging routes, or lost signal, it is likely that your device is having GPS accuracy issues. Pacer has algorithms that attempt to filter out the worst of accuracy issues, but, in the end, we can only rely on the data provided to us by your smart device.
GPS accuracy issues can be caused by many different factors, including your device’s technical capabilities, weather conditions, and your surrounding environment.
If you record a GPS session and discover inaccuracies, we are unfortunately unable to edit your already recorded data. We understand this can be extremely frustrating. However, you can try the tips below to try to prevent similar accuracy issues from occurring again in the future:
1. Make sure your device is in good condition
- You should keep your phone at a normal temperature range. Overheating or freezing will affect device performance.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged. If your battery is too low or your device powers off, GPS tracking will stop.
2. Only use GPS tracking when you are outside, and in places with little environmental interference
- Avoid areas with natural or man-made features that are likely to disrupt the GPS signal. Anything that blocks your device's line of sight to GPS satellites could cause accuracy issues. (GPS satellites are in the southern sky for users in the Northern Hemisphere, in the northern sky for users in the Southern Hemisphere). Examples of things that could interfere with GPS signals include: hills or mountains, tall buildings, and nearby trees.
- Try to keep your device higher up on your body and above obstacles that can block the signal if possible.
- Before starting your GPS activity, wait until your device has acquired a strong GPS signal and pinpointed your location. It is better to do this in an open area, rather than inside a building that can disrupt the signal.
3. Check your device's privacy settings
In addition to GPS accuracy issues, your GPS tracking may also be affected by system settings. If Pacer is not given the proper system permissions, it will be unable to properly function.
For Android devices
On some Android devices, Pacer needs to keep your screen active (but in a dimmed state) and to show your GPS session status on your lock screen. This is in order to ensure that our tracking process is not killed or suspended by your device's operating system.
- Pacer GPS setting: Open the home screen (the shoe icon) -> click GPS on the home screen or swipe left to get GPS mode -> Tap Settings (the gear icon) at the top right corner -> Turn on "Show Lock Screen" and "Keep Screen Active"
You should also follow our general troubleshooting advice for Android devices to reduce the likelihood that your device will kill or suspend Pacer when your screen is off (see this help article: My Android phone stopped counting steps. What should I do?)
For iOS devices
On iOS devices, location permission and background app refresh permission must be granted. Otherwise Pacer will be shut down by your device's operating system as soon as you turn off your screen or push the Pacer app to the background.
Ensure system settings for Pacer are correct: go to your phone's system settings -> Search "Pacer" in the search bar -> Tap "Pacer" -> Please check:
- Location: set Always and enable Precise Location
- Motion & Fitness: On
- Background App Refresh: On
*iOS 13 has introduced a bug in which apps are sometimes unable to receive location updates from your device's sensors even if permissions have been properly set. This is a known issue to which there is currently no known resolution. However, in our experience, turning location permissions off and on again will often resolve the issue. Please update your iOS system to the latest version to fix this problem.
4. General troubleshooting steps
Sometimes performance issues can be caused by too many apps or processes running on your device at the same time. These performance issues can increase the likelihood of Pacer being killed or suspended by your device's operating system in order to free up system resources. Some general tips to keep your device in good working order:
- Restart your phone
- Turn on airplane mode then turn off
- Turn off Wi-Fi before and during the activity
- Close all other background running apps
Be aware that opening other resource intensive apps during your GPS activity can cause the system to kill Pacer. Examples would be video recording or editing apps, photo editing or filtering apps, video calls, AR apps, and games with advanced graphics.