Trkd™ GPS FAQ
Note: Menu-> on this page refers to the button in the Trkd GPS mobile app.
Will Trkd GPS run on my device?
The Compatibility page gives details of the devices currently supported by Trkd GPS.
How do I stop the security questions being asked when I run Trkd GPS?
Set the Java security permissions for the app to Always allowed for the following categories:
- Data access->Read user data
- Data access->Add and edit data
- Positioning->Get location
Please check our Devices support section for details of how to do this on your particular phone.
What does 'cannot create location provider' mean?
Trkd GPS is unable to access the GPS on your phone.
- Check your device specification against the system requirements
- Check that GPS is enabled on your device
- Check that Trkd GPS has permission to access GPS on your device
How do I control Trkd GPS?
Selections can be made using the any input methods supported by your phone.
- 2 moves up
- 8 moves down
- 4 moves left
- 6 moves right
- 5 selects the current item
- Navigation pad: use the directional input and select button in a similar way to the keypad
- Touch screen: tap to select items, and drag to scroll or move sliders
How do I change the settings?
Press the settings button on the main screen to enter the settings menus, referred to as Settings->... in this guide.
Which languages are supported?
Support is provided for the following languages:
- Français (French)
- Deutsch (German)
- Español (Spanish)
- Italiano (Italian)
- Português (Portuguese)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- Русский (Russian)
- العربية (Arabic)
- हिन्दी (Hindi)
- 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese)
- 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese)
How do I change language?
Select Settings->Language and choose a language from the list. The setting for Trkd GPS can be chosen independently of the phone's language setting.
How do I see the main menu?
Press the menu button on the main screen to enter the main menu, referred to as Menu->... in this guide.
How do I see the help screen?
Select Menu->Help and scroll down for a simple description of the display and controls.
Are shortcuts provided to change Android device settings?
Trkd GPS includes several Device settings shortcuts within its menus.
- Settings->Display->Device settings->Accessibility
- Settings->GPS->Device settings->Location
- Settings->GPS->Device settings->Mobile Networks
Most Android devices also include shortcut buttons in the shade, accessed by swiping down the screen from the top.
How is Accessibility supported on Android?
Trkd GPS supports the Google Talkback Accessibility service to provide spoken feedback on Android devices.
Our Support pages explain how to activate this for your device.
Which version of Trkd GPS is installed?
The version number is displayed on the splash screen when the app starts up.
Alternatively, select Menu->About to see this information at any time.
How do I change between miles and kilometres?
Select Settings->Display->Options->Imperial Units to toggle the units of measurement.
How do I unlock the screen?
- Keypad: press any key to show the unlock screen and then press the * key before that screen disappears.
- Navigation pad: press the pad to show the unlock screen and then move the slider right repeatedly until the screen unlocks.
- Touch screen: tap the screen to show the unlock screen, then press the slider to change the unlock icon colour and drag the slider right to unlock.
How do I control the screen lock?
The lock can be engaged manually using the lock button on the main screen.
In addition, select Settings->Display->Lock to determine when the lock is engaged automatically.
- When Idle: locks the screen if the user makes no input for a time
- On Start: locks the screen when the user presses the start button
How do I make the display clearer?
Select Settings->Display->Options->High Contrast to toggle a brighter monochrome colour scheme.
How do I make the display stay on?
Select Settings->Display->Options->Keep Awake to toggle power saving for the main screen. Menus are not affected.
Note: This feature is currently only available on Android devices.
How do I display my location accuracy?
Select Settings->Display->Options->Horizontal Accuracy to toggle an accuracy indicator in the GPS icon.
How do I reset my settings to their default values?
Select Settings->Reset and press Ok to restore the default values, or Cancel to retain the current values.
Is my track being recorded to a file?
The file icon on the main screen indicates the current status.
|File recording is active or enabled.
|File recording is not active or disabled.
|Your track is being recorded, but no GPS data are currently being added.
|Your track is not being recorded, due to an error.
If a file error is shown, please check that a valid folder is selected using Settings->File->Folder, e.g. if a memory card has been removed or a folder deleted.
Where are my files created?
Select Settings->File->Folder to see the location of the folder where your files will be created, i.e. the one highlighted in the list. Press Back repeatedly to return to the Folder menu to leave the current setting unchanged, and note the sequence of highlighted folders at each backward step to identify the current setting.
Android devices display the folder path in full immediately below the Folder menu text.
What is the default folder setting?
A default value is set for the Trkd files' folder location either when Trkd GPS is installed or using Settings->Reset->Ok. The folder is at the top level of the memory card, if one was present, or in your photos folder in phone memory, if you had no memory card inserted at that time.
The current setting can be checked using Settings->File->Folder as described in the previous question.
How do I change where my files are created?
Select Settings->File->Folder, and navigate to the desired folder using Open to move into a folder and Back to return to its parent. Press Select to choose the new location, or press Back repeatedly to return to the Folder menu to avoid changing the current setting.
On touch screen devices:
- tap a folder to Open, and move into it
- long press a folder to Select, and choose it as a new location
How do I transfer my files from my phone?
Once you have identified where the files are on your phone, you can transfer them to a computer in several ways, depending on which features your phone and computer support. These include:
- USB: Connect a suitable USB lead and use the computer to browse your phone as a removable data storage device or Media device (MTP).
- Bluetooth: Connect to a paired device and send your files from the phone, e.g. via its file manager. Alternatively, browse your files from the computer, if your phone supports the Bluetooth FTP profile.
- Wifi: Run a Wifi file transfer app which acts as a local web server. Files can be downloaded with any web browser on the same Wifi network.
- Cloud storage: Copy your files to a cloud storage area, e.g. using Google Drive or Apple iCloud. Please consider the security and privacy implications of this method before using it - see the Privacy section below.
- Memory card: Copy your files to the memory card if necessary, safely remove it and plug it into the computer's card reader. A memory card adaptor may be required too.
Always remember to unmount/eject a storage device properly before unplugging it.
Note: Some Android devices may hide files from Bluetooth file browsers. Please check your device manual for details.
How do I control what is recorded to file?
Select Settings->File->Content to determine what information is recorded to file. Latitude and longitude are always part of your location data, and you can toggle which other data are included.
- Horizontal accuracy is a measure of the error in calculating your location at each point.
- Speed can be measured by some GPS devices, though it can also be calculated from changing latitude and longitude.
Select Settings->File->Content->Record Track to toggle whether or not your location is recorded to a file.
What is the file format?
Select Settings->File->Format to choose between GPS Exchange format (GPX) and plain text.
- GPX is a standardised computer format for transferring location-based data between devices, and can be read by Away Team's Maps service.
- Text is a human-readable format with tab separators, suitable for manual analysis, spreadsheet import or where GPX is not supported.
Is it compatible with my favourite app/website?
Select Settings->File->Format->GPX to record Trkd files in GPX format for maximum compatibility with other GPS systems.
Download our GPX demo, unzip and import it to your favourite app or website to confirm this for yourself.
What are my files called?
File names are generated using the start time of the track recorded, and their suffix indicates the file format: txt or gpx
Select Settings->File->Content->Short Names to toggle between long and short file names. Long names are Trkdyyyymmdd_hhmmss and short names are Tdd_hhmm, where yyyymmdd is the date and hhmmss is the time.
Why is GPS slow to find my location?
A GPS device needs to receive signals from several satellites before it can calculate its own location. This can take longer if its view of the sky is restricted by nearby tall objects, such as buildings or trees.
If your device supports Assisted GPS (A-GPS), the process can be made significantly faster by downloading assistance data (typically 5kb). This can be done using Wifi, where available, or your phone's network, if you have a signal and your tariff supports data.
How can I speed up finding my GPS location?
You can help make this process faster by understanding the factors may slow it down, and attempting to reduce their effect - see previous question.
In addition, select Settings->GPS->Activation->Quick Start to toggle whether GPS is activated when you start the app, or when you start tracking, i.e. when you press the start button.
How can I make my battery last longer?
GPS is a significant drain on your device's battery, so it is advisable to minimise its activity where possible. Select Settings->GPS->Activation->Auto Stop to toggle whether it is deactivated when you stop tracking, i.e. when you press the stop button. However, there is a trade-off between start-up time and power consumption.
In addition, each GPS location calculation will drain more of your battery, so increasing the interval between locations will extend its life. Select Settings->GPS->Interval to choose this interval. Hence, there is also a trade-off between time resolution and power consumption.
Will I be charged for using GPS?
There is no charge to receive GPS signals. However, some devices support Assisted GPS (A-GPS) and may make a short chargeable call to download assistance data when their GPS is activated, to speed up the process of calculating your location. Select Settings->GPS->Activation->No Cost to toggle whether this is prohibited.
Android devices do not support this level of control, so the No Cost option has been disabled where appropriate. We recommend that these users download assistance data using free Wi-Fi, when possible, to avoid incurring charges. Using Mobile Data may incur charges.
Please check your tariff for further details.
Do I need assistance data to use GPS?
Assistance data are not required, but will help to reduce the time taken to calculate your initial location - see previous question.
How do I configure GPS on my phone?
A quick guide is provided in the Devices support section.
Please read your device's manual for further details.
What is space mode?
Space mode calculates accurate orbital distances based on GPS location, which differ from calculations at the Earth's surface. For example, a constant latitude and longitude means no distance is travelled at the surface but can represent a geostationary orbit in space, travelling thousands of kilometres and circling the planet once per day.
How can I use space mode?
- Select Settings->Display->Space->Enabled to enable space calculations before starting to track.
- Use Settings->Display->Space->Altitude to enter an orbital altitude.
- Use Settings->Display->Options->Space Mode to toggle space mode display while tracking.
Note: Altitude may be updated while tracking.
How should I configure space mode?
- Astronauts: Enter mean orbital altitude e.g. 410km for the International Space Station (ISS), for accurate measurements of distance and speed in orbit.
- Earthlings: Default settings are for the ISS. Alternatively, use geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) to simulate a GEO satellite above your location, zero altitude to measure your speed due to the Earth's rotation, or another near-circular orbit of your choice.
When not using space mode, we recommend disabling space calculations using Settings->Display->Space->Enabled for best battery efficiency.
Why was space mode included?
Space mode is based on a prototype app developed for the 2016 London Marathon to track British ESA astronaut Tim Peake. The prototype was incorporated into the commercial release of Trkd GPS to celebrate Tim's Principia mission and launched as a free update for the 2017 London Marathon.
What information do Trkd files contain?
Each file holds details of where you were, and when. It always contains:
- Time & date
It may also contain additional values, e.g. horizontal accuracy, if these options were enabled using Settings->File->Content.
Are my Trkd files secure?
Trkd GPS can only create files on the device where it is running, e.g. on your phone. The app cannot send files elsewhere, giving you complete control of where that information is stored.
As with all personal data recorded on your device, e.g. photos, we recommend the following simple precautions.
- Protect your device with a password or PIN code, if it supports this feature.
- Keep a separate backup, so you do not lose your files if you lose your device.
- Remove files from your device regularly, e.g. when you backup, to protect your private information if your device is lost or stolen.
If you do not use your Trkd files, we recommend that you disable this feature using Settings->File->Content->Record Track.
Can I share my tracks?
Once you have created a Trkd file, you have control of and responsibility for how you share your information. We strongly recommend that you consider what you are about to share, and understand what that may reveal to others.
Please give careful thought to whether your information could be used against you.
- Does it show an address, yours or a friend's, which you want to keep private?
- Does it show a regular route, so others know where you are likely to be in future?
- Does it show you went somewhere at a particular time that you prefer to keep private?
As with all details you share on social networks, please think before you post. Have fun, but stay safe.
Please read the Quick Guide for a simple introduction.