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Location based smart actions stopped working - change in GPS function or accuracy?

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR' started by mantis5, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. mantis5
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    mantis5 New Member

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    I had a smart action called Home, when I was home it would set the ringer volume to 100%. It worked ok for about a month. Sometimes it was slow to recognize when I had left home, but it was pretty quick to know when I arrived home.

    As of a few days ago, it stopped working. It never activates. I have wifi on as always.

    In trying to figure this out, I've noticed that Maps is frequently off on my location; it shows me 10-30 yards away from where I am, which it identifies as various adjacent addresses. I am guessing this is why the smart action isn't triggered.

    Maps used to be uncannily accurate, even being able to tell me where in my house my phone was.

    The question is, has GPS reporting changed, or has the GPS in my phone become less accurate?

    Anyone else experiencing this?
  2. Zandar
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    Zandar New Member

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    I don't have any smart actions based off of location because I don't use WiFi, but my GPS has been functioning properly. Do you have any other smart actions that may be conflicting, such as something that turns off WiFi or GPS? I had a smart action to turn off GPS when my screen was off and the motion detector was showing my phone as stationary, and it made it almost impossible for me to get a lock when GPS was on (I did away with it and haven't really seen any negative impact on battery life).
  3. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Two things...

    First, if you have WIFI, don't use Location to trigger you as being home, use the actual WIFI connection. If you keep WIFI off, use the Verizon App called Verizon WIFI Auto-On to turn on (and off) WIFI when you arrive and leave home. It works beautifully since the Verizon app turns WIFI both On AND Off, and does so when you reach about 1/4 mile from your home which is plenty of time for WIFI to be ready and active when you are finally within range of your WIFI router. Since WIFI is VERY tight location-wise, you'll almost NEVER have the issues of the Smart Action you want to turn the volume to 100% doing so unless you are essentially IN your house, or perhaps at the farthest away...in your driveway as it does for me. I pull up my driveway, and just as I throw the car in park the switch is being made for me.

    I've found Smart Actions to work best when you LIMIT the number of triggers rather than having multiple triggers, so using WIFI as the ONLY trigger to show I was either home or at work (we have WIFI there as well and the Verizon app sets WIFI on when I get to work as well), gives me the best results AND allows me to keep WIFI off most of the time to conserve battery power. To identify the car, I use the charging and dock triggers.

    As for the map locations being off, Google Maps has a contact info email address and you can send them your address (I described my house as it appears on the satellite map) and tell them the address it says you are (I also described the neighbor's home), they'll actually FIX the location information. Only thing is it may switch back at some point a year or so again when they do another flyover for Google Earth photos. My house used to be listed as my next door neighbor's address about 40 yards away but I sent them the information, and not only did they fix it, but they emailed me back first to tell me I was right, then later to tell me the fix had been completed and even gave a link to the map showing the newly fixed addressing.

    In answer to your comment of how it used to actually show where in the house you are, I can go into the bedroom and watch my icon move. Last night I was sitting on the bed which is at the front corner of my house (windows on both sides), and I could see the icon literally sitting right on the corner of the physical building. If I go into the Family room at the opposite corner of the house, the icon is then sitting right on that corner of the building. I think the issue is going to be cleared up for you if you notify Google of the discrepancy.

    Good luck! ;)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  4. 94lt1
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    94lt1 Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I may be way off here .... but verizons gps service didn't used to use gps location... it used cell tower location instead of gps location.... like family locator used tower locations instead of device location. Could this still be going on???? Or have they changed this?? And this even happened with gps enabled devices......

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums
  5. mantis5
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    mantis5 New Member

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    FoxKat, thanks for some great suggestions! The WiFi trigger should do the job nicely. If I look up my address in Google Maps, it pinpoints it correctly, so it's not Maps that is off, it's the GPS reading (or whatever it's using to determine my location). Cool to know that they will respond to update requests, though.

    Zandar, thanks too. I only have one active Smart Action right now, and it only has one trigger. So I think it's just that it's not resolving my location to my address, however it is trying to do it.
  6. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    No, I believe you are 100% correct. This is I believe why the Verizon WIFI Auto-on triggers so far from my home. This is actually a good thing for that app because it assures me that the WIFI will be ready when I pull into the driveway and has been 100% successful for me - even to the point of sometimes being a bit of a nuisance if I am listening to streaming music and suddenly it switches from 4G or 3G to WIFI and the music is interrupted in the driveway. ;)
  7. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    The interesting thing about Smart Actions is that it's not totally clear (at least to me) which method it uses (Cellular triangulation, GPS triangulation, WIFI signal level or triangulation, etc.), or if it uses a hybrid of several, but it CLEARLY needs WIFI to be active in order to resolve Location, so perhaps it is monitoring the WIFI power and signal levels of nearby WIFI routers to reassure itself that it's in the correct geographical area before it triggers. It may even be pinging local routers to get a time differential and further refine the accuracy.
  8. mantis5
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    mantis5 New Member

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    I replaced the location trigger with a wifi trigger and it works like a charm, thanks again FoxKat.

    I had maps locate me from the phone, and although it has the marker in the right building, it still is assigning it a different address - one that doesn't exist. I will contact Maps about this.
  9. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    All good. Yeah, I sent them an email and told them the addresses and like mentioned before they got right on it. A year later, it changed back and I sent another email...fixed again!

    Good luck on the SA Triggers! Just curious, did you incorporate Verizon WIFI Auto-on?
  10. StevenC150
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    StevenC150 New Member

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    That was the coolest part of the Smart Actions concept to me was that I could setup locations based purely off of GPS locations to use as triggers....but as the OP voiced, it isn't very accurate at all. It works 50% of the time using GPS locations as triggers which is a bit of a dissapointment. I was hoping whenever I pulled into my local hunting spot that it would crank sound to 0 using Location as the trigger (no WIFI). Oh well, at least I'm not alone.... :frown:
  11. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    There is nothing that says you can't use "Automateit" in combination with SA to accomplish what you want. Just make sure you don't have conflicting tasks between SA and Automateit and you'll be fine. Set location based off GPS in Automateit, and set volume to 0. This way you don't have to have WIFI on either.

    UPDATE; Just tried it myself and it works perfectly! Set "Location Trigger" to "Set Sound Mode Action" with action to set sound to "Silent No Vibrate". Hit save icon (floppy disc). Effect was immediate. I changed it to "Normal No Vibrate", hit save again, and sound was restored. With Automateit you can even specifically radius for the geographic trigger to a number of meters and can select GPS or coarse location based on cellular.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using DroidForums
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  12. StevenC150
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    StevenC150 New Member

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    Still wish Smart Actions would do it all, but very helpful. Will def give it a shot. Thanks.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using DroidForums
  13. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Agreed. I have every reason to believe that additional triggers and refinements to existing ones, as well as additional and refined actions are in our future. Until then we'll have to make do with what we have.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using DroidForums
  14. mantis5
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    mantis5 New Member

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    I didn't use auto-on, I keep wifi on except when it's causing problems/conflicts. Good to know about it, though!
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