FAQ: Check-in and out on Android Phone

Modified on Thu, 24 Nov 2022 at 07:21 PM

Why is My Check-in and out Not Working on my Android Phone?

GPS Check-In Check-Out is a function on the Staff Dashboard that enables you to record the time and geographic location when you started and ended a client visit or walk.

If you or your sitters experience any issues with accessing this function, or the accuracy of the co-ordinates obtained from using this function, there are a number of steps that are essential to check before you report the issue to Support as a fault. In the majority of cases, the issue will be resolved after following one or more of these steps.

Understanding how your Android device* determines and provides your location to Pet Sitter Plus.
This is important to understand, as you need to consider your (or your sitter's) actual location when you try to check-in or out. It is based on a combination of the following:
  • GPS Satellite (GPS provider) - Very accurate,but works only outdoors and can take between several seconds to several minutes to establish a location fix.
  • Cell Tower (Network provider) - Fast; works anywhere you have a cell signal; but accuracy is highly variable depending on signal strength and interference, distance from cell towers, obstacles, and the number of cell towers in range of your phone.
  • WiFi Location (Network provider) - Fast; requires a WiFi connection; often inaccurate.

WiFi-only tablet devices can only locate when connected to a WiFi network. GPS will work on Android phones and 3G tablets without a data plan. A-GPS (assisted GPS), which uses the internet in concert with GPS to more rapidly pinpoint your location, will work without a data plan as long as you have a WiFi connection.

Depending upon whether your phone is connecting via the GPS (Satellite Trilateration), Cell Tower 'Mast' (Triangulation) method or via WiFi will affect the accuracy of the co-ordinates that are delivered to your phone to pinpoint your location, and subsequently sent to Pet Sitter Plus to record your geographic location at any given moment in time.

In the majority of cases, GPS will provide a very accurate location, within a few feet, of where the phone is when you check-in/out. However, due to other factors as mentioned above, there will no doubt be occasions where the data provided to Pet Sitter Plus is not as accurate as we would like it to be.

There is current research on ways to provide an enhanced, more computationally accurate positioning system to the centimeter that will allow phones to provide consistently accurate data in the future. We do not know when this will be available, but we would expect it to be 'standard' in the newest phones on the market when it is made available.

If your location is occasionally inaccurate within a half mile (under ~1km) - especially while indoors and/or in hilly and/or urban areas - please consider the information above.

Step 1: Check that the Check-in Check-out function is switched on in Pet Sitter Plus

Navigate to Admin > Settings > Staff Dashboard & Monitor Settings 

  • Toggle ON "Use Check-in/Check-Out feature."
  • Click "Update".

Step 2: Ensure you have an adequate network signal to connect your cell phone to Pet Sitter Plus.
Navigate to your phone's Settings > More Networks > Mobile Networks
  • Check the number of bars on the icon at the top of the phone screen.
  • If you are not sure your phone is connected to a network, in the "Data Usage", check your "Mobile Data" is checked or switched on.
  • In "Mobile Networks" you can also check that you are able to receive 3G, 4G or 5G signals. Anything before that will not work with Pet Sitter Plus.
  • If you are able to connect to WiFi, you should check this option is switched on.

Step 3 Check that the phone's Location setting is switched to ON
Navigate to your phone's Settings > Connections > Location
NOTE: Your phone may have different menu options (if not a Samsung as used in these examples) to find the "Location" option, e.g. you may be directed from Settings > Location instead.

When GPS tracking tries to find your phone and log its geographic location it won't be able to find it if this setting is not switched on. You will be able to see the "Check-in" button on Pet Sitter Plus, but when you click it you will see the spinning timer as it tries – and fails – to connect.
  • Check that the option for "Location" is switched to ON.

You will also need to ensure your phone's location accuracy is set to the highest setting to ensure that your phone can obtain the best GPS location when you check-in or out.
  • Tap the option at the top "Mode"
  • You will see 3 options and these are explained here:
    HIGH ACCURACY (Recommended) High accuracy mode uses GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular networks, and other sensors to get the highest-accuracy location for your device. It uses Google's location service to help estimate your location faster and more accurately.
    BATTERY SAVING (or Power saving) Battery saving mode estimates your location using low battery-intensive location sources, like Wi-Fi and cellular networks. It uses Google's location service to help estimate your location faster and more accurately.
    DEVICE ONLY (or GPS only) Device only mode estimates your location using GPS only. It doesn’t use Google's location service to provide location information. This mode may use more battery power and take longer to determine your location.
  • Make sure you have "High Accuracy" selected.

You will also need to check the options under "Improve accuracy" to ensure it is set to the best setting for WiFi connection.
  • Click on the option for "Improve accuracy"
  • Make sure you have the option for Wi-Fi scanning switched "ON"

Step 4: Check that the Browser App's Location setting is switched to ON
Navigate to your phone's Settings > Applications > Applications Manager > Chrome App
After Step 3, there is another "Location" setting that must be checked to ensure your check-in will work.
  • Firstly, check which browser you are using to access PSP. Our top recommended browser is Chrome, as we rarely have any issues with accessing PSP using this browser, both on the mobile and desktop interfaces.
Note: If you are experiencing browser issues, change to Chrome before carrying out any further testing.
  • In the Settings, scroll down to "Applications Manager"
  • In the Applications Manager, tap the Chrome app.
  • In the Chrome settings, scroll down to "Permissions".
  • In the app permissions, check that the option for "Location" is switched to ON.

Step 5: Check your GPS Location in Google Maps
Checking your position on Google Maps is a good way of assessing if your phone is able to give accurate co-ordinates of your geographic location.
  • Tap Google Maps
  • Check that Maps has an accurate location for you

Step 6 Refresh Location Services
If you have tried the above options and you are still experiencing issues, try the following:
  • Open your device's Settings.
  • Tap Location.
  • Tap the On/Off switch to turn location Off.
  • Restart your device (power off and on).
  • Open your device's Settings again.
  • Tap Location.
  • Tap the On/Off switch to turn location On.

Step 7: If none of the above fixes the issue for you... 
If you have tried the above options and you are still experiencing issues, try the following:
  • Re-boot your phone.
  • Check your operating system is the latest available version.
  • Check your Chrome App is the latest available version.
  • Clear your browsing history from Chrome.
  • Delete the Chrome App and re-download it from the store.

Step 8: If all else fails... 
In some cases of Android cell phones – and in particular "Windows" Phones – it may be necessary to reset your phone to factory settings.

This is usually a last resort, and in almost all cases reported to us, following and checking the above processes has usually sorted out all our clients' issues.

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