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Livetrack issues unacceptable - Why isn't this high priority and deemed critical ?

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  • Livetrack issues unacceptable - Why isn't this high priority and deemed critical ?

    I am well aware that there are several other posts about the current state of Livetrack on the Android platform, but I have intentionally created a new thread.

    As a software engineer and architect of 25 years who has worked on both desktop and mobile platforms I am well qualified to comment on the current situation, and I find it unacceptable.

    Lets analyse the situation as it stands, point form:

    1. A system that was working perfectly for months, if not years, previously is now suddenly completely broken in multiple different ways.

    LiveTrack refuses to start at all for many users, sometimes it will only start manually and not automatically, and sometimes it will start both manually and automatically, but then it refuses to stop automatically if it started automatically.

    That's 3 separate and distinct issues with LiveTrack that have now appeared at the same time, out of nowhere, directly related to recent updates to the Garmin Connect app for Android.

    2. A multitude of different users are all reporting the same issues, all of whom did not have these problems previously, which clearly indicates to me that the problem lies squarely with the Garmin Connect software on Android (or possibly compatibility issues between that software and the latest version/s of the Android OS), and it has nothing to do with customers hardware or customers doing something wrong.

    Re-installing the Garmin Connect app does not fix the problems permanently or properly.

    Deleting all application data for the Garmin Connect App does not fix the problems either.

    3. Having re-installed the Garmin Connect software on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which has never had any problem running Connect or Livetrack before, 4 times in the last 3 days, and observing that re-installation only temporarily fixes the problem, I can safely say that re-installation is NOT a solution to the current issues, certainly not with the current version of the software.

    I haven't trained for several months due to medical problems, but when I stopped training everything was working perfectly my side, with the SAME phone and the SAME Garmin Edge 520.

    Now I come back a few months later, install all the pending updates, and suddenly things that were working, literally for years, simply do not work anymore and are completely broken and unusable?

    I find this state of affairs to be completely unacceptable for several reasons, namely:

    1. First rule of deploying software updates live is: You do not remove functionality unless you plan to replace it with something better and you NEVER introduce changes that break backward compatibility or are considered breaking changes in any way.

    2. LiveTrack is a SAFETY feature that many people rely on, and is one of the best things that Garmin have done on their platform, and yet there appears to be no sense of urgency to fix this problem? Why not?

    I fail to understand how these current LiveTrack issues are not deemed to be Critical Severity A issues that warrant an emergency hot fix. Where I currently work, something this damaging to the company's reputation, having this much of a negative impact on users, would immediately be escalated to our highest severity level and our developers would basically LIVE at the office until this was resolved and a hot fix was released to patch this ... WITHIN 48 HOURS maximum.

    3. If Garmin know that it's their software causing this, and I think we can all agree that it's patently obvious that it is at this point, but they don't know how to fix it and are battling to pin down the root cause, then they need to ADMIT that and COMMUNICATE with their user base properly, instead of ignoring all of us and refusing to deal with the issue.

    Have they never heard of public relations?

    Having spent the last 3 days of my life fighting with the Garmin Connect app and LiveTrack, having LiveTrack work when it feels like it (in different ways, apparently depending on the time of day, the phase of the moon, and who knows what else), or not work at all, I am now at the end of my tether.

    This is not new software and not even a new feature in existing software. This was working perfectly, for a very long time, and somebody did something to break it, and Garmin need to figure out who did what, and fix it. And they should do so as a matter of urgency, not take 6 to 8 weeks to maybe release a patch, while they refuse to communicate.

    Furthermore, this is not even difficult to reproduce. I've managed to get it to break multiple times in the last 3 days, in multiple different ways, without even trying to break it. In fact, I was trying NOT TO break it.

    @Garmin: What is going on? What are you doing to fix this? Why is this not being dealt with urgently as it should be? Why are you not communicating with your users properly?
    Last edited by SiliconKid; 08-10-2018, 02:23 PM. Reason: Fixed spelling mistakes

  • #2
    I've been looking for a solution for this and as you did and as advertised, I uninstalled and reinstalled many time the app from my S8, and "managed" to make the app work one time to test. When was the time to start it for real, it simply couldn't send the invites and was asking to "try again later". Like you I've been using this feature for safety purpose. I run in the trails and very often alone in the woods a great part of the day. My wife want's to know where I am and if she sees the dot stopped for half an hour, she knows that something is wrong and knows where to find me if I'm not answering the phone. This is a great feature and it has to work.
    I'm about to change my old FR 220 because I want to add IQ Connect for a foot pod. I might be tempted by Suunto with a Stryd, who knows, maybe they have something better.
    Garmin, please fix this or I presume that like me, others will turn to something that works.

    Comment


    • #3
      We appreciate the discussion and apologize for the inconvenience. We are aware of the issue surrounding LiveTrack and working to resolve them. This is a high priority issue and we will post updates in the forums when the issue is resolved.
      Garmin Product Support

      Visit the Support Center
      www.garmin.com/support

      Comment


      • #4
        I have used livetrack a bit recently and one thing I've noticed is that sometimes Samsung's battery management does odd things to strava (i'm using live track connected to strava beacon). This creates some oddities in that sometimes the track will not start because the strava app doesn't respond. While I can empathize with your concerns about livetrack not working, dealing with compatibility testing on Android devices must be a nightmare. This is only made worse by some of the OEM's battery optimization apps (Samsung Device Maintenance I'm looking at you). I should try livetrack independent of Beacon and see if it is any better.

        Comment


        • #5
          I am going cycling with my wife tomorrow. I need this Livetrack to know where she is.

          I have install the Android 4.8 on my phone and hers. I heard this one will work right?

          I try and let you all know tomorrow.
          Last edited by chong67; 08-10-2018, 06:31 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Garmin-Joey View Post
            We appreciate the discussion and apologize for the inconvenience. We are aware of the issue surrounding LiveTrack and working to resolve them. This is a high priority issue and we will post updates in the forums when the issue is resolved.
            This should be a sticky topic.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hello. I got LiveTrack or GroupTrack to work today after my long bicycle ride.

              I downgrade to version 4.8 of the Garmin connect Android app.

              I could see my wife on my Garmin watch and the email link works too. No blue ocean on the map.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nmyeti View Post
                I have used livetrack a bit recently and one thing I've noticed is that sometimes Samsung's battery management does odd things to strava (i'm using live track connected to strava beacon). This creates some oddities in that sometimes the track will not start because the strava app doesn't respond. While I can empathize with your concerns about livetrack not working, dealing with compatibility testing on Android devices must be a nightmare. This is only made worse by some of the OEM's battery optimization apps (Samsung Device Maintenance I'm looking at you). I should try livetrack independent of Beacon and see if it is any better.
                You make valid points, and it could well be that new versions of the OS on Samsung devices are doing something different with battery usage, but even if that's the case Garmin need to identify the root cause of the problem and either fix it ASAP or let their users know that as it stand they cannot fix the problem.

                With regards using LiveTrack without Beacon, I would, if Garmin offered the ability to send SMS's directly from the Connect app. But they don't, instead they chose to rely on Strava Beacon for that, so that they didn't have to implement it themselves. I've posted about that particular issue previously and told Garmin what I thought of that idea too, but that's a different story again.

                None of the 3 people who track me check email on their phones. And only being able to send email to a modern mobile device is utterly useless.

                Garmin chose to leverage Beacon for SMS functionality, so they must accept the burden of ensuring that their integration with Beacon works properly all the time. If they don't want to, they must implement SMS support themselves and break that dependency.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've had some time this morning to download the 4.8 APK manually and deploy that to my phone and run some tests.

                  All indications are that 4.8 fixes every single problem:

                  1. LiveTrack now starts on demand every time, both manually and automatically.
                  2. LiveTrack now stops immediately when an activity is stopped and either Saved or Discarded on the Edge 520.
                  3. Tracking actually works now and my location is being logged and transmitted correctly.

                  Given that absolutely NOTHING else in the environment has changed, this would seem to conclusively prove that all of the current LiveTrack problems can be blamed exclusively on the latest version of the Connect App.

                  If the problem was the operating system on the phone, the firmware on the Edge 520, or any other factor external to the Connect app itself, then the problems would manifest across different versions of the Connect app.

                  They do not.

                  Version 4.8 appears to be working perfectly, and that's immediately after installing it, without me doing anything special. It just works as expected.

                  And I'm using the Beacon integration, and that's also working exactly as expected and SMS's are going through perfectly and immediately.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Where did you find the 4.8 APK? Can you send a link here?
                    thanks SiliconKid

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok found it. It works here too. Thank for your help. But now, how do I prevent Connect to update itself again, until Garmin fixes this?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For those unknown, I go to apkmirror site and search for : "garmin connect" and get the 4.8 apk

                        The only way that I know to prevent auto update is on the Google play store app and under setting tell it not to do auto update. That mean you have to manually update each of the other update except for the Connect. Is there any other way?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My wife and I both have the same 4.9.4 version of GCM on our phones - my phone is a Pixel 2 and hers a Sony Z5C. She has an Edge Explore 1000 and I have an Edge 1030. When she receives my Livetrack invitations and opens them in a web browser, my track displays correctly. When I receive her Livetrack invitations and open them in a web browser, I just get the blank blue screen which when zoomed out about a dozen times shows that she is at Latitude 0 / Longitude 0 off the west coast of Africa. This happens consistently with every ride. When her rides are uploaded to Garmin Connect, the track she has ridden displays correctly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SiliconKid View Post
                            I am well aware that there are several other posts about the current state of Livetrack on the Android platform, but I have intentionally created a new thread.

                            As a software engineer and architect of 25 years who has worked on both desktop and mobile platforms I am well qualified to comment on the current situation, and I find it unacceptable.

                            Lets analyse the situation as it stands, point form:

                            1. A system that was working perfectly for months, if not years, previously is now suddenly completely broken in multiple different ways.

                            LiveTrack refuses to start at all for many users, sometimes it will only start manually and not automatically, and sometimes it will start both manually and automatically, but then it refuses to stop automatically if it started automatically.

                            That's 3 separate and distinct issues with LiveTrack that have now appeared at the same time, out of nowhere, directly related to recent updates to the Garmin Connect app for Android.

                            2. A multitude of different users are all reporting the same issues, all of whom did not have these problems previously, which clearly indicates to me that the problem lies squarely with the Garmin Connect software on Android (or possibly compatibility issues between that software and the latest version/s of the Android OS), and it has nothing to do with customers hardware or customers doing something wrong.

                            Re-installing the Garmin Connect app does not fix the problems permanently or properly.

                            Deleting all application data for the Garmin Connect App does not fix the problems either.

                            3. Having re-installed the Garmin Connect software on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which has never had any problem running Connect or Livetrack before, 4 times in the last 3 days, and observing that re-installation only temporarily fixes the problem, I can safely say that re-installation is NOT a solution to the current issues, certainly not with the current version of the software.

                            I haven't trained for several months due to medical problems, but when I stopped training everything was working perfectly my side, with the SAME phone and the SAME Garmin Edge 520.

                            Now I come back a few months later, install all the pending updates, and suddenly things that were working, literally for years, simply do not work anymore and are completely broken and unusable?

                            I find this state of affairs to be completely unacceptable for several reasons, namely:

                            1. First rule of deploying software updates live is: You do not remove functionality unless you plan to replace it with something better and you NEVER introduce changes that break backward compatibility or are considered breaking changes in any way.

                            2. LiveTrack is a SAFETY feature that many people rely on, and is one of the best things that Garmin have done on their platform, and yet there appears to be no sense of urgency to fix this problem? Why not?

                            I fail to understand how these current LiveTrack issues are not deemed to be Critical Severity A issues that warrant an emergency hot fix. Where I currently work, something this damaging to the company's reputation, having this much of a negative impact on users, would immediately be escalated to our highest severity level and our developers would basically LIVE at the office until this was resolved and a hot fix was released to patch this ... WITHIN 48 HOURS maximum.

                            3. If Garmin know that it's their software causing this, and I think we can all agree that it's patently obvious that it is at this point, but they don't know how to fix it and are battling to pin down the root cause, then they need to ADMIT that and COMMUNICATE with their user base properly, instead of ignoring all of us and refusing to deal with the issue.

                            Have they never heard of public relations?

                            Having spent the last 3 days of my life fighting with the Garmin Connect app and LiveTrack, having LiveTrack work when it feels like it (in different ways, apparently depending on the time of day, the phase of the moon, and who knows what else), or not work at all, I am now at the end of my tether.

                            This is not new software and not even a new feature in existing software. This was working perfectly, for a very long time, and somebody did something to break it, and Garmin need to figure out who did what, and fix it. And they should do so as a matter of urgency, not take 6 to 8 weeks to maybe release a patch, while they refuse to communicate.

                            Furthermore, this is not even difficult to reproduce. I've managed to get it to break multiple times in the last 3 days, in multiple different ways, without even trying to break it. In fact, I was trying NOT TO break it.

                            @Garmin: What is going on? What are you doing to fix this? Why is this not being dealt with urgently as it should be? Why are you not communicating with your users properly?
                            Bravo!! Well put and communicates my frustration as well ... this is ridiculous and the lack of communication is maddening. I've even had 2 tickets open for the issue and neither one of the techs mentioned this is a know issue. I'm about ready to go to APK Mirror and download an old Version of GCM ... this seems to have worked for some.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SiliconKid View Post

                              You make valid points, and it could well be that new versions of the OS on Samsung devices are doing something different with battery usage, but even if that's the case Garmin need to identify the root cause of the problem and either fix it ASAP or let their users know that as it stand they cannot fix the problem.

                              With regards using LiveTrack without Beacon, I would, if Garmin offered the ability to send SMS's directly from the Connect app. But they don't, instead they chose to rely on Strava Beacon for that, so that they didn't have to implement it themselves. I've posted about that particular issue previously and told Garmin what I thought of that idea too, but that's a different story again.

                              None of the 3 people who track me check email on their phones. And only being able to send email to a modern mobile device is utterly useless.

                              Garmin chose to leverage Beacon for SMS functionality, so they must accept the burden of ensuring that their integration with Beacon works properly all the time. If they don't want to, they must implement SMS support themselves and break that dependency.
                              Some mobile operators have an :"Email to Text Gateway" - meaning you can send an email to something like [email protected]. I use this method and while the resulting text is pretty ugly, i also send an email so my wife gets a text indicating i'm starting a track and she can check email to get the link.
                              I know this isn't great, and might not be a solution for you but it works for me.

                              Here's an unverified list
                              https://teamunify.uservoice.com/know...s-gateway-list


                              Now I just wish I could get Livetrack to actually work ....

                              Comment

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