Geotrace and Geoshape continues to collect points when device timeout/sleeps

  1. Currently when you use the geotrace or geoshape widget with Collect and the automatic recording feature enabled it will collect points at the specified time interval only when the device is active, i.e. the screen is on. When the device times-out recording stops. This behavior occurs even when you give permission to the Collect App to access location information in the Background.

  2. Example Use Case: A surveyor is travelling from one survey point to the next. This takes some time and may involve negotiating difficult terrain, it is unfeasible for them to keep their device active the whole time. If the points can be collected with the phone inactive then they can put it in a backpack and continue to collect data.

  3. I could contribute field testing capability. If there was a very clear timeline and costing for this feature it is feasible I could seek some budget.

Note: I have been through a lot of forum posts and I can't see this feature even being discussed before, so perhaps it is already a functionality and I'm setting up my systems wrong. If this is the case, great, and sorry for posting in the wrong section. I also found the background audit data collection feature and looked at this, but it doesn't collect a track, which is the feature I would like.

Hi @Phil_Burapha
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was thinking about this issue and I also have something to share.

That's not entirely true that geo widgets continue collecting new points only if the app is active and as you said the screen is on. If you turn off screen or even put the app in background points should be still recorded what I confirmed testing on my own devices.
However if the app is in background then Android might kill the app if it needs resources and then obviously we stop collecting points as well. It should be rather a rare situation and it shouldn't happen immediately once you put the app in background. If you experience such behavior maybe you have Don't keep activities option enabled in your device's Settings?

I started recording points and put the app in background using other apps and it worked for over an hour.


I'm not sure about ODK, but other application I use stops recording tracks when power save mode is on

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That's a good point from @Casabe_Diaz and I think there are other Android settings or state (e.g. low battery) that can affect what happens when Collect is in the background. The behavior also varies quite a bit by Android version. Which are you using, @Phil_Burapha, and which did you try, @Grzesiek2010?

That's true there are more factors that can cause the app is killed sooner. Probably I tried on a device that had full batter or was even charging. But if battery is law or device is poor we can't assure that collecting will be continued.

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Hi Guys.Sorry I didn't realise that this post had got any responses. I used Android 10 with a Samsung Galaxy A50. The team in the field have Redmi Note 8. I will encourage them to do more field tests. I didn't realise that this could simply be a settings issue. I thought that this was part of the design of the software. Perhaps this post would have been better placed in the support section.

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