Home > Legacy iOS App > Recording your tracklog while the app is running in the background

Recording your tracklog while the app is running in the background

The Memory-Map app has the ability to record a tracklog using the GPS while you are using another app or while the device is turned off.

However, Apple is continually developing the operating system to aggressively prevent background use of the GPS. They do this in order to protect your privacy and to preserve the battery life of the device, but it is very frustrating for the developer as well as the user, if you want the device to reliably record a tracklog.

The information below is current as of iOS 13.4 (May 2020), but I would expect the details to change.

  1. First open the Memory-Map app, go to the flip side page, and tap the settings button in the toolbar. Tap GPS Settings.
  2. Where it says "Record track while the app is backgrounded", select one of the background activity types (more about these options below). Tap OK after reading the power use warning.
  3. On the flipside, use the Start Logging or Stop Logging button to start and stop recording the tracklog.
  4. Press the home button. If it is recording in the background you should see a special blue notification icon at the top right.

In the GPS settings, you have to select one of the "Background Activity Types" (Automobile, Walk/Run/Cycle, Boat/Train/Plane, Unknown, or Off).  Apple doesn't give any documentation of how these modes work, but their intention is to automatically stop the app when the specified activity ceases. For example, if you select the Walk/Run/Cycle mode, and you stop for lunch at a pub, or if you get in a car and start driving, it is supposed to automatically stop recording. There is no mode that allows the GPS to run indefinitely in the background no matter what.

To get around this, I can only recommend that you pull up the app and let it acquire the GPS after any change in the tempo of your activity, for example after you stop for a rest. You may have to try different Activity Types to find which one works best for your activity.

Checklist for background track recording:

  • GPS Settings has an appropriate Background Activity Type?
  • Logging button on flipside shows "Stop Logging"  (ie, recording is on)?
  • Blue location notification is shown top right in the home screen?
  • Launch the app to confirm it is running after every change in your level of activity?