1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2017 5:07 AM by CarlSchwarz

    Android GPS tracking app

    CarlSchwarz

      I have made an Android GPS tracking app that will background track an Android phone and post co-ordinates and battery level to your FileMaker server.

      FileMaker Android Tracking - Android Apps on Google Play

       

      The app will send a GPS point every 5 minutes as long as the phone is turned on and the app is installed.  Stop tracking by uninstalling the app, closing the app will not prevent tracking.

      Tracking locations will go directly to your FileMaker server.  The app does not save off-line locations to re-send when online, that feature may be added in the future.  The app has minimal battery life impact.

       

      The instructions are on the play store listing.

      1) Ensure that "Enable PHP publishing" is turned on for your FileMaker server.

      2) Download the GPS location receiver file from here and upload to your FileMaker Server ( admin username GPS, password GPS): https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/schwarzsoftfms/FMAndroidGPSReceiver.fmp12

      3) Install this app to a mobile and enter the FileMaker server url into the app.

       

      Privacy policy here:

      https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/schwarzsoftfms/Schwarz+Software++Privacy+Policy.docx

       

      The app has been in use since January and is reliable.

       

      Please give me any feedback!

        • 1. Re: Android GPS tracking app
          mikebeargie

          Have you done testing on what the battery life drain is like?

           

          Also, what happens if the connection fails. Does it cache the positions in a queue and send them later?

          • 2. Re: Android GPS tracking app
            CarlSchwarz

            I get a few days out of my test device that is syncing mail and also tracking, I just looked at my records and 20% battery drain was recorded in 24 hours, this is on a Galaxy note which has a larger battery than normal phones.

             

            If the connection fails there is no position caching but that is something I will add if there is interest in that.

            • 3. Re: Android GPS tracking app
              mikebeargie

              Cool, just a suggested feature then. Thanks for releasing it and hopefully you can get some traction!

              • 4. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                gofmp15

                Very interesting. Imagine if this code were buried inside a keyboard app or a game, etc. Of course keyboard apps already scrape every bit of data they can off our devices "to improve our service to you".

                 

                The interesting point is that it is not connected in any way to FileMaker, right.

                 

                GPS data can also be extracted from photographs taken with iPhones, etc.

                 

                Just another example of why privacy is a thing of the past... 

                • 5. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                  CarlSchwarz

                  gofmp15 wrote:

                   

                  Very interesting. Imagine if this code were buried inside a keyboard app or a game, etc. Of course keyboard apps already scrape every bit of data they can off our devices "to improve our service to you".

                   

                  The interesting point is that it is not connected in any way to FileMaker, right.

                   

                  GPS data can also be extracted from photographs taken with iPhones, etc.

                   

                  Just another example of why privacy is a thing of the past...

                  In this case the tracking app leaves a notification permanently in the top bar and the notification pull-down of the phone letting you know that the tracking is active. No secretive gathering of data involved here!

                  • 6. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                    CarlSchwarz

                    I have made a video demoing the data you receive, the app running on a phone and also the set-up process:

                    FileMaker Android GPS Tracking System - YouTube

                     

                    Thanks.

                    • 7. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                      gofmp15

                      If they conform to the rules...

                       

                      Of course FileMaker Pro and Filemaker GO do not do that nor does the camera which stores gps data with each photo.

                       

                      Filemaker does indicate that it is getting the gps data but that clue can be bypassed by taking a photograph and putting it into a container field and using getcontainerattributes. I haven't tested this but I will to see if the photo can be taken without the user knowing it.

                      • 8. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                        CarlSchwarz

                        If you want you can use a tool like Wireshark on your network and get an idea of what "anonymous statistics" these apps are collecting.  I haven't done it for many years but in the past it was fairly simple to do and the apps I checked were sending data unencrypted so you could read it all.  I'm guessing if I did it now most would be encrypted.

                        My app only sends encrypted information.

                         

                        It sends

                        - Device UUID (which is unique to my app only and not to the phone)

                        - Phone Date

                        - Phone Time

                        - Java.sql.Timestamp formatted UTC time stamp

                        - Lat

                        - Long

                        - Battery percentage

                        - speed

                        - heading

                        - accuracy (radial accuracy of lat/long)

                        - client Filemaker server URL (once only at installation)

                        • 9. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                          gofmp15

                          Sounds like your customers might be the FBI, police, anti-terrorists and Uber.

                          • 10. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                            gofmp15

                            ...and most of that data can be gleaned from a photograph taken with iPhone or other camera that stores gps data,etc. Most of them do now.

                             

                            Check out the getcontainerattirubers(photocontainer;"all")

                             

                            I use this to import references to my Dropbox folder that stores the photos on my iphone. The photo doesn't have to be stored inside the container.

                             

                            Can you tie into the Google or Apple maps where they track you as you drive?

                            • 11. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                              CarlSchwarz

                              gofmp15 wrote:

                               

                              Sounds like your customers might be the FBI, police, anti-terrorists and Uber.

                              ? Generally my customers for tracking are transport companies or other fleet workers and tradies that need to schedule appointments.  GPS tracking saves hours in phone calls compared to calling your staff to work out where they are.

                              I do a little bit of tracking expensive machinery with Bluetooth tags via the phone.  It's nice for the admin staff to know the last location of that $30k scanner

                              • 12. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                                CarlSchwarz

                                gofmp15 wrote:

                                 

                                ...and most of that data can be gleaned from a photograph taken with iPhone or other camera that stores gps data,etc. Most of them do now.

                                 

                                 

                                Can you tie into the Google or Apple maps where they track you as you drive?

                                I think that all phones have been storing this information since knowing a network position was enabled on the phone.  One of the first fleet phones I worked with (the Nokia 6120 classic) certainly did that.  Doesn't every phone ask you if you want to store that data before the first photo you take?

                                 

                                gofmp15 wrote:

                                 

                                Can you tie into the Google or Apple maps where they track you as you drive?

                                 

                                I integrate GPS data with a number of online services that do the live tracking maps and reports like trip history, distance travelled, geo-fencing (hours at location reports, in/out notifications) etc.

                                • 13. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                                  gofmp15

                                  Understood. My point was a bit tongue in cheek...or was it?

                                   

                                  I've talked with truck drivers and seen the units they have attached to their trucks.

                                   

                                  Parents might be a good customer and perhaps there is already tracking apps for the phones.

                                   

                                  Apple has for decades tracked its software users with dial home in its apps and iPhones seem to do something.

                                   

                                  Free apps want to copy our address books and keyboards want to download every file in our phone...

                                  • 14. Re: Android GPS tracking app
                                    gofmp15

                                    Sounds like a serious project.

                                     

                                    I thought I was advanced because I use 24U to get the users IP address, not the wifi address but the connection point to the internet.

                                     

                                    FileMaker should add this as a function.

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