Understanding Battery Usage in MyCarTracks Tracking App

We understand some users have experienced higher-than-expected battery usage while using our live positions and mileage tracking app. We appreciate your feedback and would like to explain how our app works to help clarify the reasons behind this and what measures we’ve taken to minimize battery drain.

How Our App Tracks Mileage

Our app is designed to track your driving mileage and provide live positions by leveraging your phone’s Location Services. Location Services use various technologies to pinpoint your location, such as:

  • GPS (Global Positioning System)
  • Wi-Fi Positioning
  • Cell Tower Triangulation
  • Bluetooth

These services are essential for accurately calculating mileage and providing location updates.

Battery Usage and Location Services

It’s important to note that the increased battery consumption is primarily due to the Location Services running on your phone, not the app itself. Location Services, especially GPS, are known to be power-intensive as they constantly communicate with satellites and other networks to determine your location.

Our Battery-Saving Measures

To minimize battery drain, we’ve implemented several intelligent techniques:

  1. Activity Recognition (AR): We use Google’s Activity Recognition feature to detect when you’re driving. This feature uses a combination of sensors and machine learning to determine your activity, whether you’re walking, running, cycling, or driving.
  2. Proprietary Mechanism: In addition to AR, we have developed our proprietary mechanism that utilizes your phone’s gyroscope to detect movements. This helps us determine if you’re driving and only then do we activate Location Services to get your position.

Addressing AR Limitations

While Google’s AR is highly effective, its performance can vary across different Android devices. This is because many phone manufacturers modify the Android operating system, which can affect how AR works. To tackle this, our app:

  • Detects AR Functionality: Our app continuously checks if AR is functioning correctly.
  • Fallback to Gyroscope Mechanism: If AR is found to be unreliable on your device, our app switches to using only gyroscope-based detection to identify driving.

Potential Battery Drain Scenarios

If your phone’s AR is not working correctly and our app switches to using the gyroscope alone, certain actions, like frequently moving or handling your phone, may falsely indicate driving. This can cause the app to activate Location Services more often, leading to higher battery consumption.

What You Can Do

While we have made significant efforts to optimize our app and reduce battery usage, certain factors are beyond our control due to variations in phone manufacturers’ implementations. Here are some steps you can take to help manage battery usage:

  1. Check AR Settings: Ensure that Google AR is enabled and functioning on your device. Sometimes, re-enabling or updating Google Play Services can help. You can re-enable the Activity recognition in the app’s settings under Menu / Settings / Auto recording and here enable the Activity Recognition option.
  2. Minimize Phone Movement: When not driving, try to keep your phone stationary to avoid false driving detections.
  3. Battery Optimization Settings: Explore your phone’s battery optimization settings. Some devices offer settings to manage apps’ battery usage more effectively. See our other article about battery optimization.

Moving Forward

We continue to work hard to improve our app and minimize battery consumption while providing accurate mileage tracking. However, the variability in how different Android manufacturers implement their systems can pose challenges.

We appreciate your understanding and patience. If you have any further questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our support team.

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