Author Topic: FollowMee  (Read 720 times)

fernman

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FollowMee
« on: 11:49:14, 16/08/19 »
The What3Words thread got me thinking about what might be available for my Fred Flintstone Windows Phone, on which What3Words is not available.

Searching, I found FollowMee, an app which when installed (on Windows or Android phones) will use the phone's GPS to record its location, and this can be monitored on the website followmee.com

It sounds so simple that even my wife would be able to keep an eye on me when I'm backpacking for a few days (though I hope it could be switched off for any other time  ;) ).

I'd be glad to know what the more tech savvy amongst you think of it. One concern of mine is that it might drain the phone battery faster.




fernman

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #1 on: 17:56:12, 18/08/19 »
Bump!

Anyone?

Mel

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #2 on: 18:15:57, 18/08/19 »
I've no experience of it but reading the blurb it works similar to ViewRanger.  It would record/track your walks using the GPS function of your phone but you would need a mobile data signal for "live tracking". 



No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

fernman

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #3 on: 20:01:36, 18/08/19 »
Bless you, Mel. You have encouraged me to give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My wife hasn't proved to be too much of an obstacle (so far). She has said "Do I have to?", and that she might have a look at it if I don't show up for a fortnight, but I think that deep down she cares about me because I've been told off in the past for trifling little things like phoning her from the top of a mountain and then forgetting to let her know when I'm down safely.

(Perhaps we ought to start a marriage guidance topic in the Hikers Bar  :D )

vghikers

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #4 on: 20:50:29, 18/08/19 »
A bit late here, but I posted a similar question about live tracking years ago involving the Memory-Map live tracker and there was no response, nobody interested at all.
FollowMee looks quite undemanding, at least it's a simple system where you don't even need an App to obtain a current location, just a web browser, though you do of course need a cellphone signal which is a disadvantage. You also need a subscription for tracking, albeit a small one.
I was originally thinking more of a system that would send coordinates to our own website for display on a map, but I never followed up that idea - I still don't know if it's possible even today.

ninthace

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #5 on: 21:00:08, 18/08/19 »
VGH  You need the FollowMee app on the mobile to send the location which you can track via the FollowMee website.  In this regard it is no different from ViewRanger's Buddy Beacon.  When I use VR, if I start Buddy Beacon going when I start to record my track another person with the right login and PIN can see where I am and where I have been using the ViewRanger website.
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vghikers

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #6 on: 14:57:30, 19/08/19 »
Yes, the App is required for tracking remotely by other people. To obtain just the current location locally for the walker, only web access via a browser is required, according to their website:-

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Monitor Location
You don't need the mobile app for monitoring location. Simply login to this web site in your web browser. 3-day history is maintained for the paid app and current location for the free app. Extended history ranged from 14-day to 3-year is available for subscription.

ninthace

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #7 on: 15:23:40, 19/08/19 »
Yes, the App is required for tracking remotely by other people. To obtain just the current location locally for the walker, only web access via a browser is required, according to their website:-
  As I read it, you do not need the app to monitor the location of the device that has the app loaded.  So if you wanted to know where you were, you would have to install the app on your phone and then log in, on your phone, to see where your phone says it is - using the web site.  When I logged into the demo account and it asked which device I was looking for, it did not tell me where I was,  so I think I am right.  Have you tried it yourself?
Why not just set a track running on the OS mapping app or ViewRanger?
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vghikers

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #8 on: 15:44:00, 19/08/19 »
You're very probably right and it's I who misunderstood that paragraph, after all mobile devices are the one gaping hole in my experience.

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Have you tried it yourself?
Why not just set a track running on the OS mapping app or ViewRanger?

That might be quite interesting if I had a Smartphone  ;D

fernman

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #9 on: 17:09:48, 19/08/19 »
So if you wanted to know where you were, you would have to install the app on your phone and then log in, on your phone, to see where your phone says it is - using the web site.  When I logged into the demo account and it asked which device I was looking for, it did not tell me where I was,  so I think I am right.  Have you tried it yourself?
Why not just set a track running on the OS mapping app or ViewRanger?

The whole point of my interest in it was so my other half can check that I'm OK when I go for a walk for 3 or 4 days, and I'm not stopped at some remote spot for too long, which will mean something's wrong with me. I don't want it to tell me where I am, I have other apps for that.

I intend to register on the website tomorrow morning and install the app on my phone, then I'll check it later to see if it's followed me around the shops and back home.

BTW, someone mentioned a subscription for tracking. The small print says that's available for android or iphone only, while the free tracking is at 1 or 2 minute intervals, which I reckon is adequate for me.

ninthace

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #10 on: 19:45:48, 19/08/19 »
I understood your interest fernman but I got the impression that vghikers was interested in it as a web based self locater.  I am not sure how the FollowMee app has the edge over ViewRanger's BuddyBeacon.  BB allows you to set the interval that your position is passed and gives height speed and direction.  It is also free.  Position reporting on BB can either be public or private.
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Patrick1

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #11 on: 10:22:05, 20/08/19 »
You know that Google Maps has a similar ability (at least on Android and iPhone,  I don't know if its available on a Windows phone)? Just go to "Location sharing" and you can choose one or more of your contacts to share your position with. You then appear as a little icon at your current location whenever they look at Google Maps on their phone - or on a PC if logged into Google. My wife and I share location continuously - its as handy for checking when to put the dinner on as for finding someone in an emergency.


Obviously, though, it does rely on a mobile data signal, and thus is not going to be much use in some of the remoter parts of Britain.

fernman

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #12 on: 18:33:42, 21/08/19 »
My final word on this (I hope):
FollowMee didn't work for me two days ago because, I found out, the data connection on my phone was turned off. Don't ask, don't ask. I won't repeat the name one of my sons called me.

Tested it today on a bus trip to physiotherapy at the hospital, all up and running BUT....

The tracking interval is 30 minutes. Apparently this is limited by the Windows Phone platform, which doesn't allow the app to wake up more frequently than this interval.

Therefore the track shows my five minutes walk to the bus stop as one straight line, and then shows a track directly to the hospital, ignoring the fact that I went via Harrow bus station where the next bus appeared as I got off the first one. Similarly the journey home shows me going straight to the police station. There's a bus stop there, honest guv.

Obviously results should be a little bit better on a 3 to 3.5 days walk, but as has already been pointed out in this thread, the app is dependant on a wifi connection, which I'm probably not going to have in the mountains.

Worth it? Hmmm, when I get a better phone, but then I'll probably be able to get a better app too.


 

ninthace

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #13 on: 19:09:57, 21/08/19 »
The app should only need a mobile data connection as distinct from a wifi connection.  It does of course have to be on in your phone settings.  Buddy Beacon can be set to ping your location at chosen intervals, the shortest is every 30s.  Every 5 or 10 min might be more suitable for a day walk.  There is a discussion on tracking intervals on the FollowMee forum - use the search term "tracking interval"  It seems your conclusion is correct though
Why I cannot set the track interval smaller than the default?[/size][/b]
All editions of the GPS tracker app for Windows Phone, including the paid edition, cannot set the track interval less than 30 minutes for windows phone 8/8.1, or 15 minutes for Windows 10 Mobile. This is limited by the Windows Phone platform. The platform api does not allow the app to wake up more frequent than this interval.
« Last Edit: 19:15:01, 21/08/19 by ninthace »
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fernman

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Re: FollowMee
« Reply #14 on: 19:54:21, 21/08/19 »
The app should only need a mobile data connection as distinct from a wifi connection.
Someone's going to need to explain the difference between the two to me, I'm afraid. Sophicticated mobile phone technology wasn't around in the days when I was cutting my teeth on word processors (they used to be separate machines, kids, not part of MS Word), Windows 98 and MS-DOS databases.

You're ahead of me, too, if you have time to read forums (other than this one) and I thought you were retired like me.