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Announcing new app: RTT2

Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 12:32 pm
by admin
As Real Time GPS Tracker was initially designed for Android 1.6 I decided to create a new app which will use some of the cool UI features provided by Android 4. The new app will be available for all devices running Android 4 or higher.

The new app is called "Real Time Tracker 2" (I know quite boring). I kicked out "GPS" from its name to make it shorter.

- New UI (hopefully better than the old one - at least a little bit :-))
- Improved Chat Window - Now there is one chat window per friend (in RTT1 all messages have been displayed in the same window)
- New Map Engine. Switched to Google Maps V2 which supports vector graphics. Terrain Mode supported.
- Multi Map Mode. I don't know if it's useful but I like this feature :-) You can now add one or more maps to the same screen. For example, you could open two maps where one is following your own location, and the other map is following your friend's location. This way you see both locations at the same time. Or you could switch one map to satellite mode and one map in normal mode. This way you see the same locations in different layers. I haven't measured it but I assume that the multi map mode will need a bit more battery.
- Zero Map Mode: You cannot only add maps but also remove them. In fact you can remove all maps. If you don't use any map (i.e. you use an empty screen) you will save battery.
- Multi language mode: The app supports different languages. Would be great if some of you could help translating. More information below.

If you have the latest version of RTT1 installed RTT2 will import your settings (including username and password), and you can start out of the box.
If RTT1 is not installed a setup wizard will assist you to enter username and password. I hope this will make the setup easier for new users.

Feedback I'm especially interested:
- Is the user interface easy to use or is there anything confusing?
- Is there anything in the user interface I should improve?
- Is there anything in the user interface which is even worse than in RTT1?
- Is the setup wizard useful? Will it help new users or will it confuse them? If the setup wizard is not displayed automatically you can start it in the settings.
- Are there any crashes?

Translation support required
In contrast to RTT1 the new app supports multi language mode. The only missing thing are the translations :-)
If you want to help to translate one or more phrases into your language please join the translation community. I have setup a translation project here:

Note: I have added instructions for translators in the discussion section of the translation portal.

As English is not my native language I guess there are millions of errors in my initial translation :D. So it would be great if you could help me to make the English translation more professional. For this reason I have added the language "English (US)" to the project. Feel free to change any content.

If your native language is not English just add the language you are interested in. If there is any problem post here.

I'm curious about your questions and your feedback.


Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Thu May 08, 2014 10:43 am
by Dusha
Hi Florian,

Very quick test today and few findings

1. STOP Tracker shortcut is not working properly. Instead of stopping the service silently, it pops up RTT2, stops and restarts the service.
START Tracker shortcut works fine, as expected

2. The status bar (scrollable) design / layout in the RTT2 has to be revisited. In both portrait/landscape modes it does not fit the screen. User have to scroll it with the finger anyway (SGS3, 1280x720)
At the same time, when Map is removed, 90% of the scren remains free.
As idea - make it auto-fit (wrap-text) in 2-3 lines when required ... .26.12.png ... .26.34.png

3. IDEA: make an optional "dark" theme available in the RTT2. This will save battery and will not disturb too much during the dark time (e.g night).

The rest of the UI options (Messaging, Visitors) - I have not tested yet.

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:51 pm
by admin
Many thanks for your bug report - it was very helpful. You can download the new version now.
- The shortcut problem should be fixed
- I'm aware that the status bar is too large. Therefore I made it scrollable. The most important fields are at the beginning, the not so important ones at the end. I expect that most users don't care about the hidden fields. If they want to seem them they just need to swipe the status bar.
- I'm also aware that there is much unused space when no map is added. I also thought about providing a statistics panel instead. In fact it's on my list but priority is not so high.
- I will think about a dark style option. When designing RT2 I decided to choose the light theme because in my opinion it looks more user friendly. I think the best way to save battery is to put the app to background or even better to switch off the screen.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:52 pm
by admin
I noticed that some users started to add some translations. Many thanks for that. Welcome Turkey, Czech, and Italy :-)

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:39 pm
by jknorst
Once I download this to my tablet how do I get it installed on my phone?


Never mind. I found it.

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 12:14 am
by Dusha
admin wrote:I noticed that some users started to add some translations.
I have just finished Russian :)

There might be a little bit to tune up later after testing it in reality.

P.S. Pesronally, I do not use Russian on my device, but maybe some of Russian users will find out this app helpfull :)
I'm personally more concerned about other "Tracking" features in the context of track recording / server updates and caching logic / track decimation / traffic consumption optimization / etc.
(which I was talking before in a separate thread)

I'm struggling now between RTT and LocaToWeb competior product (I really love their simple client but at the same time having powerful AI update logic behind with traffic optimizations maintaining tracks accuracy; simple individual tracks sharing on per track basis without need to filter out old/new trackpoints everytime which is the case for RTT). But at the same time I'm missing Viewer notification/Messaging service which RTT offers :)
Maybe I'll use both simultaneously during my upcoming vacation (travelling ~8000km by car this summer) Will see - what will be the difference in traffic consumption between these two :)
Roaming charges are still enourmous, I have to be very carefull while I do want to have precise and accurate tracks online recording at the same time...

P.P.S. I confirm that the issues reported above were fixed in a new version.

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 1:31 pm
by admin
Wow, that's impressing. I never thought that one person would translate the whole file. Thanks a lot. I hope the Russian users will like it. I've already included your translation. So if you want to check how it looks like just download the new version.

Currently available languages: English, German, Russian

I have already invested quite much time in bandwidth optimization and I will continue to improve. When you are roaming maybe it is an option for you to disable dataconnection and use free WLAN for example in restaurants. The tracker will uploaded all buffered trackpoints. Even if you upload buffered trackpoints using your data connection you will save bandwidth because the tracker compresses all buffered data.

Do you use the messaging feature frequently? At the moment this needs quite much bandwidth because location data will also be sent on messaging events. I'm going to change this in the close future.

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 1:34 pm
by admin
Another users started translating. Many thanks for that. Welcome Poland and Netherlands :-)

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:29 pm
by Dusha
admin wrote:When you are roaming maybe it is an option for you to disable dataconnection and use free WLAN for example in restaurants. The tracker will uploaded all buffered trackpoints. Even if you upload buffered trackpoints using your data connection you will save bandwidth because the tracker compresses all buffered data.
For offline track recoding / uploading to the cloud services - there are many other totally free alternatives on the scene. Even each of my navi devices has the track recoding feature (GPX).
Instead I want to post LIVE updates at a reasonable interval allowing our parents, relatives and friends to know where we are at any time given.

My ultimate goal is to have trackpoints transmitted LIVE at a reasonable interval, I would say every 60-120 seconds BUT at the same time:
1. Maintain track accuracy (for historical records), which is not possible in RTT as 120 seconds update interval = 120 seconds GPS point capture interval = poor track quality at the end. In RTT I'm missing the SEPARATE settings for "Server update interval" and "Location update interval". The only way to maintain track accuracy in RTT is to set Location Update interval (=GPS fix update=Server update) to a value of 5-15 seconds which will generate more traffic at the end.
2. Keep data traffic as low as possible (while maintaining track accuracy).
In other words I want GPS location to be captured every 1-5 seconds, some track decimation/speed/distance filter logic to be applied on the cached points and outcome to be posted to the server at a separately configured interval, e.g. every minute or two.

In the application I have spoken about above there is a very good trackpoints decimation logic built-in.
Quote from developer re track caching accuracy (I'm not adverting anything, but just giving ideas on what could be revisited/improved in RTT):
There is no configurable GPS location caching interval. But there is a decimation algorythm/logic built-in. It depends on many factors: speed, if you are doing lots of turns or moving in straight line. Course - a route with lots of turns will generate more coordinates and more data. Distance - if you location is not changing, extra coordinates are not cached. The goal is to upload as little data as possible, but still retain a detailed track. The logic triggers on changes in course, speed etc.. Moving for 500 m in a straight line will generate about 2 coordinates. Moving the same distance with lots of turns might generate 50 coordinates.
Quote re Server update intervals:
"Short" setting will post update to the web server almost instantly. Data will be posted every 5 - 15 seconds and the online map updated at the same time. Setting it to "short" then sends more data since it posts more frequent and the cache compression rate is lower. Setting it to "Long" give the opposite effect to short. Position data is posted less frequently to the server, about every 2-4 minutes on average. This makes the data transfer amount lower, since it’s less frequent and the compression rate is higher. The default is in the middle, which is a sweet spot. This gives a pretty good real time impression and the data transfer compression rate is good.
As you can see, location caching and server update are totally independant in that app which allows to maintain track accuracy irrespective from Server update intervals. This is something I would be really happy to see in RTT2 :)

My provider does offer 30mb daily data roaming allowance for a small fee which I can allow myself, wondering if 20 hours of RTT service running with every 15 seconds update configured will fit into it (4800 server updates)? :) (assuming the messaging will not be used much, e.g. 5-10 messages in a day)
admin wrote:Do you use the messaging feature frequently? At the moment this needs quite much bandwidth because location data will also be sent on messaging events.
No I don't, this is the first client with Messaging I've tried but I like this idea alot and keen to try it during upcoming travel when our parents and friends will be viewing our track online.
Wondering if Message/Viewer monitoring consumes lots of traffic? The updates on incoming Viewer/Message are almost instant, does that mean that RTT sends additional queries to the server on every update?
How much traffic is consumed for that?
In any case, if Viewer/Message monitoring consumes traffic - it would be good to have an option in the client to DISABLE viewer/messaging monitoring if users wants to save some traffic (e.g in roaming) an post only location updates to the server.

Apologies for a long post, but hopefully it will give you a few ideas and quickwins :)

Re: Announcing new app: RT2

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:49 am
by jknorst

Just started playing with RT2.

1) custom icon not displaying
2) additional guest URL parameters not being transmitted. &fs=1,&startdate=201405090000&enddates=enddate=201406050000
3) custom kml overlay not working (I forgot if it did in RTT1 - (it's not now either)