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Frequently Asked Questions

General

Q: How this GPS tracker app works?
Q: Does my phone need cellular service to run this GPS tracker app?
Q: Does this GPS tracker app work in a tablet?
Q: How to view the location?
Q: Why the app cannot login to the server?
Q: Can I track multiple smart phones with one account?
Q: What is a Vehicle Tracking Device?
Q: What is Power Saving Mode?
Q: What is a Login Token?
Q: What should I do if the map page does not show up-to-date location?

Use the Service for Business Purpose

Q: Can I use this GPS tracker app for business use?
Q: What premium services do you provide?

Security and Privacy

Q: How does FollowMee protect my location data?
Q: How does FollowMee protect my privacy?

Location Sharing

Q: My location data is protected by my credential. How can I share my current location or past tracks?
Q: How can I embed the map of my shared location to my web site?
Q: My tracked device has moved but my embedded map still shows out-of-date location. Why?
Q: How can I share location of multiple devices?

iPhone

Q: Why I have this error message: Location service is denied for this application?
Q: How can I make the app invisible?
Q: Will the GPS tracker app restart itself if it is terminated by a user?
Q: Does this GPS tracker app continue to run if Background App Refresh is disabled?
Q: Does this GPS tracker app continue to run if the device is disabled?
Q: I sent the force update notification. Why does this GPS tracker app does not update the map?

Android

Q: I have enabled stealth mode for the Android GPS tracker app but it still shows up in my installed app list of Google Play?

Windows Phone 8

Q: Why I cannot set the track interval less than 30 minutes?
Q: Why this GPS tracker app stops after 2 weeks?

Blackberry

Q: It pops up an APN error when I start this GPS tracker app in my Blackberry.
Q: I already entered an APN in app settings, but this GPS tracker app still cannot start.
Q: I have a problem with the Blackberry app. How do I obtain technical support?
Q: I have touch screen Blackberry and this GPS tracker app is not in full screen with the virtual keyboard occupied the bottom half of the phone screen.
Q: When I run this GPS tracker app, the phone repeatedly prompts for security permission.
Q: I have enable Call-In function but the phone does not auto answer the phone call.
Q: I have enable Auto Reboot function but the phone does not reboot automatically. It leaves a message box asking to reboot.
Q: I have enable Stealth Mode. When I dial the special number, this GPS tracker app does not open.
Q: I have enable Stealth Mode but this GPS tracker app still shows up in the application list under device options.

Q: How this GPS tracker app works?

A: The purpose of this GPS tracker app is to record locations of your phone and upload to our server. Once you have registered an account and entered the credentials to the app, the app will be running quietly in the background. There will be no user interaction involved. As location is recorded, it is uploaded to our server. You can view the locations on the map of this web site. You can view the current location as well as past locations.

Therefore, if your kid or your other family members have a compatible phone, you can monitor (or even spy) their locations by installing this GPS tracker app to their phones. This works best if your teenager children have just started to drive. You can either install the app to their phones, or place a dedicated phone in the car. In the latter case, it is more cost efficient to use an older smart phone (see details here). Now your children won't be able to lie about their whereabouts.

Q: Does my phone need cellular service to run this GPS tracker app?

A: No, you don't have to. If your phone has WiFi and you don't need the real time upload of your location. You can run this GPS tracker app as WiFi-Only mode. In this mode, this GPS tracker app records location per your configured interval and saves them in the phone memory. When the phone has a WiFi connection, it then uploads the data to the server. Running the WiFi-Only tracker is no different from running the regular tracker. Just note that when you first start this GPS tracker app, you need to turn on WiFi so that the app can check in to the server. After that, WiFi connection is not required for the app to run (but does needs WiFi connection to upload data). A full-time Vehicle Tracking Device can run in WiFi-Only mode. For details, see how to set up a WiFi-Only Vehicle Tracking Device.

Please note that the WiFi-Only mode does not work well with Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 RT devices. The Windows platform has a limitation (in additions to this other limitation). This GPS tracker app cannot wake up periodically to report location if the device is not connected. In other words, there is no tracking when the device is not connected.

If you need to monitor location real time, then cellular service is required. Cellular service enables this GPS tracker app to upload location as soon as it is recorded.

Q: Does this GPS tracker app work in a tablet?

A: Yes, this GPS tracker app works in iPad, or an Android tablet. Some tablets, like iPad WiFi, don't have built-in GPS chip. In this case, only network location is recorded. If the tablet has cellular service, the app will run just like in a regular smart phone. If the tablet has only WiFi but no cellular service, the app will run in WiFi-Only mode.

Q: How to view the location?

A: Current and past location can be viewed in a desktop browser or a mobile browser through our web site (http://www.FollowMee.com). Got to the Map page. If you have more than one phones in your account, you need to select a phone first before viewing its location. You can view map of current location and past location. You can generate a public URL for your current or past locations to share with other people. You can also export them to a file of Google Earth format.

Q: Why this GPS tracker app cannot login to the server?

A: You receive login error message when you press the Start button in the FollowMee GPS tracker app. First make sure that you have registered an account with us. Then make sure that your user name and password are entered correctly. Occasionally, the login process fails because it cannot connect to the server. In this case, you just need to try again later.

Q: Can I track multiple smart phones with one account?

A: Yes. You can track multiple phones (including different phone makes) with just one user account. When you install FollowMee GPS tracker app to these phones, enter the same user name and password to each phone. FollowMee can differentiate each device. When you view the map page, you will see your phone list. Just select the phone that you want to monitor. Or you can click "All" link to view the current location of all your phones. If your device name is not descriptive enough, You can rename it in your account page in a desktop browser.

Q: What is a Vehicle Tracking Device?

A: Vehicle Tracking Device is a feature for the GPS tracker app. When enabled, it turns your phone to a dedicated vehicle tracker. The GPS tracker app tracks only when the vehicle is driven. When the car is parked, the GPS tracker falls into standby mode. In this way, you won't miss a single location when the car is moving. And you won't waste the phone battery when the car is stopped. To do it, you need a phone and a car charger. Install the GPS tracker app to the phone and place the phone in the vehicle. Keep the phone plugged-in to the car power outlet. When the set up is done, you leave the phone in the car with the charger attached. When the car is started and driven, the charger powers the phone and the GPS tracker app wakes up to start tracking the car location. The battery is also being charged to keep the battery level full. When the car is stopped and parked, the charger stops powering the phone. The GPS tracker app enters into standby mode and tracking is stopped. In this standby mode, battery usage is kept to its minimal. It remains in standby until the car is driven again.

Please note that for some vehicles, the power outlet remains powered even when the vehicle is parked. In this case, this GPS tracker app will remain tracking.

Currently, this feature is available in iOS, Android and Blackberry. It is available only in the Deluxe Edition.

Q: What is Power Saving Mode?

A: The GPS tracker app relies on GPS for positioning and GPS consumes a lot of battery power. Power Saving Mode is a setting to minimize GPS usage and therefore save battery power. When track interval is due, this GPS tracker app uses cell tower switch to detect if the device is still at the same place. If there is NO cell tower switch, the previously obtained location is considered current location and the app will not turn on GPS. If there is cell tower switch, the app will turn on GPS for a more accurate location scan.
  • High setting (app default value) ensures the most power saving. It does not turn on GPS until there are two or more cell tower switches. This setting is perfect for driving great distance (5 miles or more). While High setting conserves battery, it might be less sensitive to detect new location. If you find out that FollowMee often fails to track new locations, you should adjust this setting lower.
  • Medium setting has modest power saving. It does not turn on GPS until there is one cell tower switch. This setting is good for driving moderate distance (5 miles or less)
  • Low setting always turns on GPS at track interval. Because it does not minimize GPS use, you should increase track interval or decrease GPS timeout to conserve battery. This setting is good for tracking small distance, like hiking, running, or cycling

Q: What is a Login Token?

A: To set up the GPS tracker app, it requires your account user name and password. If you need your users to install and set up the GPS tracker app in their devices and you cannot disclose your account info, the Login Token is your solution. This is a 12-character long string that linked to your account info. When your users enter it to the GPS tracker app setting, it sets up the app with your account user name and password. In this way, your users can set up the GPS tracker app without knowing your account password.

Please note that Login Token is not available to the GPS tracker app for Blackberry (both classic and Blackberry 10).

Q: What should I do if the map page does not show up-to-date location?

A: See trouble shooting for the GPS tracker app.

Q: Can I use this GPS tracker app for business use?

A: Yes, you can use this GPS tracker app and service provided in this web site for your business. But we ask that you purchase the Deluxe Edition for each device. If you need volume purchase, or special features, please feel free to contact us.

Q: What premium services do you provide?

A: Currently the following premium services are provided. These are paid subscription and you can request a free trial in your account page.
  • API - Web Service API feeds location data to your own application or web page. It returns data in JSON or KML format. The API functions include current location, location history for your devices. With this API service, it is possible to embed map of all devices in your web site.
  • Address in Data Download - Subscribe to this service if you want to include physical address in the data download. The reverse geocoding provider is OpenStreetMap and the address might not include street number.
  • Advanced Auto Refresh - The regular auto refresh function on the map page times out after 30 minutes. If you require this function for your business, you should subscribe for this service. Advanced auto refresh allows you to set the refresh interval and it continues to refresh itself for hours. Better yet, you can auto refresh the all-device view if the service is subscribed to cover all your devices.

Q: How does FollowMee protect my location data?

A: In your cell phone, your location data is encrypted when saving and uploading to the FollowMee server. When your cell phone has new location, it is encrypted when cached in the cell phone while waiting for uploading. It remains encrypted during the uploading process. Your data will never leave your cell phone in the clear format. Therefore your data is protected from man-in-middle attack.

Your password is protected in your cell phone. The clear password in the setting file is encrypted as soon as you start the FollowMee service. Your password is also protected in our servers. Before they are stored in our database in an encrypted format. Therefore your data is protected from identity theft.

Q: How does FollowMee protect my privacy?

A: Your account information and location data are stored in our servers securely. We don't share your information with any other 3rd parties. All out-of-date location data are deleted permanently. The access to your location data is protected by an authentication process. Only you can view your location data. Your location is not shared in the internet. Other users cannot access your location data without your user name/password unless you have used the Share My Location function.

Q: My location data is protected by my credential. How can I share my current location or past tracks?

A: Your uploaded location data is protected by your credential, meaning that only you who know the User Name and Password can view your location. However, you can share your location by generating a public URL. Other users can navigate to this URL to access your location without logging in. Or you can create a HTML iFrame to insert in Facebook or your own web site. People visit your page can view your location. You can share the following 2 types of locations:
  • Dynamic Current Location (live) - The location referenced by this URL is a live location. This is dynamic because it changes as your current location changes. Use it if you want to share your live location with your family or friends. Be aware that your privacy might be at risk.
  • Static Past Tracks - The location referenced by this URL is a static past tracks. It is static because it does not change as your current location changes.
To share your location, simply go to the Map page (not available in mobile site) and click on the Share Your Location button. Follow the steps on the page to generate the public URL and the HTML iFrame. Later, you can view or remove your shared location in the Account page (not available in mobile site).

You can adjust the zoom level in your public URL if the shared map opens with a undesired zoom. Simply append "&z=YOUR_NUMBER" (without the quote) to the end of the public URL. Zoom level is between 0 (the lowest zoom level, in which the entire world can be seen on one map) to 21+ (down to individual buildings). If you want to change the zoom level of your embeded map, see the following FAQ.

Q: How can I embed the map of my shared location to my web site?

A: You need to have shared location before you can proceed. Please go over the previous topic on how to share your location.

Go to the Account page (not available in mobile site). In the shared location table, click on "iframe to embed map" in the Developer column. This will show you the following HTML code.

<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=http: %2F%2Fwww.followmee.com%2Fkml.aspx%3Ftoken%3D0a886fd1-b914-421f-80f1-123456789012&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://www.followmee.com/mapx.aspx?token=12345678-1234-1234-1234-123456789012" >View GPS Tracks in Larger Map</a></small>

This HTML code will make two controls: an iframe to host the map (aqua highlighted) and a link for a bigger map (yellow highlighted). Copy the string to your web site. You can change the width and height of the iframe to fit to your webs site. Besides, you can customize the following:

- Zoom level of the map. Append &z=YOUR_NUMBER to the end of the iframe source string (right after "output=embed"). Zoom level is between 0 (the lowest zoom level, in which the entire world can be seen on one map) to 21+ (down to individual buildings).
- Map type. Append &t=YOUR_TYPE to the end of the iframe source string (right after "output=embed"). YOUR_TYPE can be the following:
  • m - normal map
  • k - satellite
  • h - hybrid
  • p - terrain

Q: My tracked device has moved but my embedded map still shows out-of-date location. Why?

A: The embedded map uses iFrame to display the Google map, which queries location data from the FollowMee web site. However, Google map caches the data in their server for extensive period. When there is new location update, Google map still use the cached (and out-of-date) data, instead of querying for more current data. To force Google Map to query for more current data, insert the following javascript script to your web page, right before the iFrame. Please note if you copied your iFrame string before February 10, 2013, you must copy it again from your account page.

<script language="JavaScript" > function changeFMEESrc(){ var time = (new Date()).valueOf(); var elms = document.getElementsByName("fmeeframe"); for (var i=0;i<elms.length;i++) { var oldsrc = elms[i].src; var start_str = "%26nc%3D"; var pos1 = oldsrc.search(start_str); if (pos1 > -1) { var pos2 = oldsrc.search("&output=embed"); if (pos2 > -1) { var newsrc = oldsrc.substr(0,pos1 + start_str.length) + time + oldsrc.substr(pos2); elms[i].src = newsrc; } } } } window.onload=changeFMEESrc; </script>

If you have multiple FollowMee iFrames, you just need to insert the javascript once, right before the first iFrame.

Q: How can I share location of multiple devices?

A: The share button on the map page allows one device sharing. If you want to share all of your devices, you need to sign up for the paid api service. Once signed up, the share URL and embedded map iFrame string is shown in your account page. To sign up for the api service, please visit the premium services page. You can request a 15-day trial key if you want to test first.

Q: Why I have this error message: Location service is denied for this application?

A: When FollowMee is first started, the iPhone prompts you for permission of using location service for the GPS tracker app. You should grant the permission, FollowMee relies on iPhone's location service for location tracking. If you don't grant permission, FollowMee will not be able to run normally. To grant permission, you can go to Home -> Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services. There, you can enable location service for FollowMee.

Q: How can I make the app invisible?

A: Currently, there is no way to hide this GPS tracker app icon on the iPhone screen. But there are ways to make it less noticeable. One way is to move the icon in a folder. Follow these steps:

1. Touch and hold the icon until all the icons begin to wiggle.
2. Drag the icon into a second icon.
3. The iPhone creates the folder and 2 icons inside.
4. Press the Home button to save the changes.

In additions, you can hide the app icon in the app switcher. If you force terminate the GPS tracker app (double click the home button and slide up the app), the GPS tracker app will automatically restart itself after the tracked device has a significant location change. For more details, see Q: Will the GPS tracker app restart itself if it is terminated by a user? When this happens, the GPS tracker app icon does not show up in the app switcher. This creates an illusion that this GPS tracker app is not running

Q: Will the GPS tracker app restart itself if it is terminated by a user?

A: Yes. If a user kills the GPS tracker app in an iOS device (double click the home button and slide up the GPS tracker app), the app will restart itself after the tracked device has cellular tower change. This process might take several minutes if the device is moving and more likely to link to a different cell tower along the way. The restart process might take hours or longer if the device is stationary. This function is available in iOS version 5, 6, 7.1, and 8 while it is not available in iOS version 7.0.

Q: Does this GPS tracker app continue to run if Background App Refresh is disabled?

A: Yes. However, you should have this setting enabled to ensure reliable tracking. To enable this setting, go to Home -> Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh. Please note that in iOS 8, this tracker app is not in the background app list. In this case, you just need to turn on Background App Refresh.

When Background App Refresh is disabled, this GPS tracker app is running under the following limitations:
  • The app cannot restart itself if it is forced terminated
  • The app cannot run with track interval less than 10 minutes
  • The app will have much less time to obtain GPS fix, resulting in less accurate location
  • When the device restarts, the app does not restart itself until user unlocks the device screen. If you have this setting enabled, the app can restart itself even before user unlocks the device screen (after a cell tower switch precisely)

Q: Does this GPS tracker app continue to run if the device is disabled?

A: Yes, this GPS tracker app is designed to run when the device is disabled. If a user (or a thief) tries to unlock the device for too many times, the device is disabled. this GPS tracker app continues to track. If the device is powered off and then powered on, the app can continue to track without the screen being unlocked (Background App Refresh need to be enabled for this feature. See previous FAQ). This design is ideal for recovering your device if it is stolen or lost.

Q: I sent the force update request. Why does this GPS tracker app does not update the map?

A: On the map page, you can send a request to the remote GPS tracker app to force a location update. However, this function does not work 100%, especially under the following situations:
  • If this GPS tracker app is forced terminated by a user, it can restart itself and continue tracking. But force update request does not work. You need to reboot the device to make it work. After rebooting, this GPS tracker app will restart itself. Force update request will resume working.
  • For iOS 7 devices, force terminating this GPS tracker app will make force update request non-workable, regardless if the devices are rebooted or not.
  • Notification is disabled for this GPS tracker app in the device settings.
  • Background App Refresh is disabled for this GPS tracker app in the device settings.
  • This GPS tracker app has been stopped by pressing the stop button.

Q: I have enabled stealth mode for the Android GPS tracker app but it still shows up in my installed app list of Google Play?

A: For easy install of the stealth app, the stealth app shares the same package name as the normal app. Because of this, the FollowMee stealth app might still show up in the installed app list. To fix this problem, go to Google Play, then My Apps, locate FollowMee and uninstall it. Then install this stealth app from the following link.
Download stealth tracker app for Android

Q: Why I cannot set the track interval less than 30 minutes?

A: All editions of the GPS tracker app for Windows Phone 8, including the paid edition, cannot set the track interval less than 30 minutes. This is limited by the Windows Phone 8 platform. The platform api does not allow the app to wake up in less than 30 minute interval.

Q: Why this GPS tracker app stops after 2 weeks?

A: This is another Windows Phone 8 limitation. Background app has to be pinned to the start menu, or added to the lock screen (to show quick or detailed status). Otherwise, the OS will kill the app after 2 weeks. The only workaround for this is to open the app manually at least once every 2 weeks.

Q: It pops up an APN error when I start this GPS tracker app in my Blackberry

A: You need to supply your carrier's APN (Access Point Name). See Carrier APN List. Look up your carrier's APN by country. Then open the app in your phone and press the "Settings" button. Enter it to the APN field and save the change. Press the "Start" button to start tracking.

The app should work now. If still not working, go back to the Settings screen and append "apn=" (no quote) before the APN value. For example, if your carrier's APN is "internet", your entry should look like this: "apn=internet" (no quote).

If you still have error, continue reading the next question.

Q: I already entered an APN in app settings, but this GPS tracker app still cannot start

A: Go to Options - Advanced Options - TCP to access the TCP screen. Enter APN, User Name, and Password. Look up carrier APN. Please note that once you have saved the setting, you should restart your handset by removing the battery, wait 30 seconds, and replace. Then go back to the TCP screen to verify that your entered values are still showing.

If you have version 6 device, use Options - Device - Advanced System Settings - TCP IP to access the TCP screen. Make sure to check the check box for APN Settings Enabled and APN Authentication Enabled.

Q: I have a problem with the Blackberry app. How do I obtain technical support?

A: To obtain technical support, you can send an email to us at support.fmee@gmail.com. If necessary, you need to attach the application log which resides inside the phone. The easiest thing to do is to send the email or MMS from within the app (About - Report A Bug or Send Us Feedback). The log will be automatically attached to the message.

If you cannot use the above function because your phone does not have email or MMS setup, you still have alternative ways to obtain the application log. You can view the log file inside the phone by going to Home screen - Media. Once in the Media screen, press Menu - Explore. Explore to the path: Device Memory / home / user / fmee. There you will see two log files: log.txt and/or log_arch.txt. Use one of the following methods to copy the log files to your computer. Then you can send us an email and attach the log files.

  • Media Manager
    You can copy files to your BlackBerry by connecting it to a computer with a USB cable and using the Media Manager application, which is part of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. The Media Manager allows you to access files on the Device Memory of any model, so this is usually the best option if you do not have a Media Card and your BlackBerry does not support mounting the Device Memory via Mass Storage Mode.

    How do I copy documents to my BlackBerry using the Media Manager?

  • Bluetooth
    You can wirelessly copy files to the handheld if your computer and Blackberry are both equipped with Bluetooth. If you need help using Bluetooth on your computer, please refer to the documentation that came with your computer or Bluetooth hardware.

    How do I copy documents to my BlackBerry using Bluetooth?

  • Card reader
    You can copy files to your BlackBerry if you have a Media Card for your BlackBerry and a card reader for your computer. Take the media card out of the BlackBerry and insert it into the card reader. The card will mount as a disk on your computer, just like using Mass Storage Mode. You can copy files to the Documents folder on the Media Card, or to another folder of your choice. You can also copy files from the card to the computer.

  • Mass Storage Mode
    You can copy files to your BlackBerry by connecting it to a computer with a USB cable and enabling Mass Storage Mode on the handheld. Mass Storage Mode allows you to mount a Media Card (and Device Memory on some models) as a storage drive on the computer. This is usually the best option if you have a Media Card, or if you have a BlackBerry model that supports mounting the Device Memory via Mass Storage Mode.

    How do I copy documents to my BlackBerry using Mass Storage Mode?

Q: I have touch screen Blackberry and this GPS tracker app is not in full screen with the virtual keyboard occupied the bottom half of the phone screen

A: this GPS tracker app is in compatibility mode for the touch screen. All you need to do is to disable this compatibility mode and the app will be in full screen. To do it, go to the phone Options - Applications. Select FollowMee and click on the Menu hardware button and select Disable Compatibility Mode.

Q: When I run this GPS tracker app, the phone repeatedly prompts for security permission

A: This is a known issue for some of the OS 5.0 devices. This GPS tracker app makes a one-time security permissions request on its startup. However, this request fails in these devices and therefore each time that app needs to do something with the phone, the phone prompts the user for permission. This problem can be fixed by granting all permissions to the app. Go to the phone Options - Applications - FollowMee - Edit Permission. Allow all permissions to the app.

Q: I have enable Call-In function but the phone does not auto answer the phone call.

A: The app requires input simulation permission for this function but the permission is denied. To grant this permission, go to phone Options - Applications - FollowMee - Edit Permissions. Make sure that Interactions - Input Simulation is allowed. Then pull the battery to reboot the phone.

Q: I have enable Auto Reboot function but the phone does not reboot automatically. It leaves a message box asking to reboot.

A: The app requires input simulation permission for this function but the permission is denied. To grant this permission, go to phone Options - Applications - FollowMee - Edit Permissions. Make sure that Interactions - Input Simulation is allowed. Then pull the battery to reboot the phone.

Q: I have enable Stealth Mode. When I dial the special number, the app does not open.

A: The app requires input simulation permission for this function but the permission is denied. To grant this permission, go to phone Options - Applications - FollowMee - Edit Permissions. Make sure that Interactions - Input Simulation is allowed. Then pull the battery to reboot the phone.

Q: I have enable Stealth Mode but this GPS tracker app still shows up in the application list under device options.

A: When you install an app to your device, the app name appears in the installed application list in your device. Enable Stealth Mode hides the app icon from the device home screen but does not hide it from the application list. You are required to perform the following steps:

1. Uninstall the app from the phone. This will remove the app from the application list
2. Reboot the phone
3. Install the app from this OTA url - http://www.followmee.com/download/followmee_stealth.jad
4. Open the app by pressing the secret code and press yes if the app asks for permission
5. Make sure that the app is running normally



 
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