Need goTenna Mesh product support? I am here to help!


#1

Hello goTenna friends! I’m Noah, the Product Support and Customer Experience specialist.

I’m here to answer any questions you have or anything you want to discuss once you have your goTenna Mesh devices in hand. For super-specialized queries, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at support@gotenna.com. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Mesh 5.0 is here!
#2

Hi Noah,
ahvs here. Been practicing with mesh. In our typically-suburban area; first test yielded about 1/4 to 1/2 mile.
Need some tech support for use with the app under Android 6.0 (on an LG G3)

  • even though pairing via the app seems to have worked fine, checking Settings/Networks/Bluetooth shows no listing for the device. Should the mesh device be listed there and shown as connected or at least paired?
  • with the app running and the mesh powered off, the app seems to be always “Looking for device”. Is there a way to stop it from looking? I can “Clear” the app, but after doing so I still see the goTenna icon in my upper screen. Does “Clearing” the app stop it from using power to look for the device?

#3

Hi Denis,

We are happy to hear you are enjoying your use of the units and will address your questions below.

  • The pairing is completely handled by the goTenna application and may not show up under the bluetooth settings menu. As long as it is showing in the goTenna app and not flashing you are all paired up.

  • There is no way to stop the “looking for device” as the goTenna application expects the hardware to be available in order for it to fully function. The application relies on the hardware to fully operate and that is why it’s always looking to pair. The goTenna icon on the top status bar may be due to unread notifications. Please clear your notifications and check if the icon goes away. You can also force close the app and you will no longer see it running and it will not be using your battery.

Please let me know if you have any other questions we can help with.

Thanks,
Noah
goTenna Support


#4

Noah,

I sent in a message to support, but I realize that the answer here might help others as well. With Android 8.0 the Mesh will disconnect from the phone within about 10 seconds of the screen turning off randomly. It reconnects once I open the application, but it means a more proactive checking of messages since when it’s “disconnected” it is constantly flashing, you can’t tell if you have a message waiting. With 7.1.2 that isn’t an issue (Testing on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and Google Pixel.) I know Android O changed up Background Processes, but they made exceptions for such accordingly. I have turned off the Optimization, but it still has the problem. It’s a bigger issue because when the phone disconnects the GoTenna seems to keep searching for the phone which makes me think it’s going to drain more power.

EDIT: It looks like if I keep GoTenna open in the foreground when I turn off my screen it will not disconnect. If I move it to the background at any point, it will disconnect soon after as soon as Android “Caches” the process.


#5

@scotchlover thank you for moving this conversation here.
I assume you are testing on a Pixel phone running Android O. We tested goTenna app on Android O and released goTenna app v4.0.1 on 8/28 with fixes.
I am surprised we missed this. I shall try to reproduce this and see if there are fixes we can implement to work around Android O’s battery optimization features. In the mean time, do keep these in mind:

  • After goTenna Mesh disconnects from your phone, the LED will stop flashing after ~5 minutes.
  • In this disconnected state, goTenna continues to receive messages. These get stored in the flash memory and are instantly retrieved upon reconnection to your phone.
  • Disconnecting from the phone will not adversely affect goTenna Mesh’s battery life

#6

Rahul, you are correct about the phone and thanks for the information regarding how it will function when disconnected. I wasn’t sure on a timeout. I know a status bar icon will work, but that will definitely negatively impact the battery.

In the short term as I said, if I keep GoTenna in the foreground while turning the screen off it does seem to stay connected. I’ll test it a bit further and see. I pulled an old Android 6.0 (Moto X 2014) device out of storage to see if it might be related to the Deep Doze. I know this kind of disconnection doesn’t happen with Android Wear so there has to be an API to allow a connection, just not skilled enough in programming yet to have an idea.

I also do want to add, the disconnection means that if you do want to enable location tethering with Android O precautions need to be taken and advised for the end user. I think that’s where my biggest gripe when it comes to the disconnection actually is.


#7

@Rahul_Subramany, I’ve done a little bit more testing and it looks like if you don’t press the back arrow it won’t close the application in 10 seconds. It seems to close in around 20ish minutes.


#8

Hi Noah,
So here is the scenario (and stop me if it has already been asked or if I am going down the wrong path with this). Should I be able to transmit/received without cell service? as in i went into the settings on my phone and turned of cell access to the gotenna app itself. If this is supposed to work in that manner then i have an issue because the message i receive after it timed out was “unavailable”. If its not supposed to work then…following the rabbit down that hole to ask the question of what is the purpose then of a device that is supposed to communicate without cell service that needs access to cell service.

A friend and I are testing and we in the same building but yet i get the “looks like you message may not be getting through” message


#9

I just found this
goTenna Plus
goTenna Plus is a premium, subscription-based upgrade to the goTenna app that brings some premium features many of you asked us for. The new features included in goTenna Plus enable new features like topographic maps and trip statistics, all with the goal of providing a more thorough, data-driven snapshot of your adventure. goTenna Plus also enables you to send texts via to on-grid SMS recipients via other goTenna Mesh users in the area who have service.

Shouldn’t that be a basic part of the communication? or how the device works? i mean the reason for using this would be to communicate right? and in an emergency, you are then stuck trying to send a message that will never get sent because you the sender is not a gotenna+ subscriber. I get the other features being subscription based, but the basic reason for using a device such as this is to reach someone in the event that you cannot communicate using normal communication methods. So let me know if i have this all wrong then, and then if i do i really am going to have to rethink my use of this, because then what is the purpose? i will either have cell service or i will not, I shouldn’t have to worry about if im in a situation that i do not have cell service, i must now subscribe in order for someone to know i am trying to communicate with them


#10

With the goTenna Plus upgrade you get access to SMS/telephone network relay which allows you to use people who DO have service as a gateway into normal SMS via the Internet. There are costs associated to piggy-backing into the normal on-grid SMS network.

To be clear, goTenna Mesh offers free peer-to-peer off-grid texting! You don’t need to upgrade to Plus for this.


#11

@Rahul_Subramany One last update on my testing that might help. It looks like the issue might be able to be resolved with an update that causes the application to auto-start. On an Android 6.0 device, I decided to test by powering the device off and the GoTenna off. Once I powered the device back on, I powered the Gotenna back on and it didn’t autoconnect until I opened up the GoTenna application. Since GoTenna isn’t auto starting and it won’t accept the connection. I think it has to actually do with how Bluetooth LE is handled in Android.


#12

@scotchlover auto-starting the application may not be a good option. Un informed users, may have the app running in the background all the time - draining battery life even if they aren’t using goTenna Mesh.


#13

@Rahul_Subramany perhaps a switch to enable it not by default but something that can be turned on in advanced settings? I know that Android Wear when it’s not connected doesn’t have much of a battery impact though, and that’s always running and using bluetooth.


#14

@scotchlover will review with our Android team and get back to you.


#16

@scotchlover I was able to reproduce the issue you were experiencing. If you leave the goTenna app in the background on a device running Android O, the app will disconnect from goTenna Mesh after ~15 minutes.
Leaving the app in the foreground seems to solve this.

We are trying to dig deeper into this problem. We want to try a couple of tricks with the app to try and stop the Android OS from killing the goTenna app’s Bluetooth stream. Hope to roll out a fix soon.


#17

@Rahul_Subramany awesome, thanks!


#18

Hello @Rahul_Subramany

Below are a few product suport features I’d like to share with you, and get your feedback.

  • (Gotenna Pro feature) Auto share location. Currently when auto-share location ends there is no way to know that the auto-share feature ended. My experience using this feature so far had me thinking on numerous ocassions that there was a bug, something was not working correctly. Currently when the auto-share location ends (based on your set time) the auto-location just ends. It would be great to see in a future update a time stamp added to the chat window to confirm the auto-share feature ended. Would be nice to see a notification alert pop up to alert the end user that the auto-share location will expire soon with the option to add more time if needed. I can’t tell you how many times I had to scratch my head trying to figure out why the auto-share feature stopped working. Or even questioning myself if i set it up correctly, etc. I finally figured out that the only indicator at the moment is a blue bar at the top of screen that says Gotenna is using your location (for IOS). You only see this though during the duration of the auto-share location.

  • GPS- When launching the map and pressing GPS locator, the map stays zoomed out 100+%. Is it possible to have the map zoom to your location?

  • Topographic Maps - After downloading a map selection there should be a button or indicator that confirms the download was completed. Currently after the download is finished you see two buttons, Cancel / Download. This will cause some confusion until the end user figures out you are suppose to click Cancel.

Thanks


#19

Thanks for this. I think you mean goTenna Plus right? (Pro is our hardware for professional users). Adding @michaelryap who leads Product Design at goTenna so he sees this too


#20

Yes you are correct @danielagotenna I meant to say gotenna plus.


#21

Hi, Mark. My name is Michael—I lead design at goTenna. Thanks for your thoughtful feedback. All three suggestions make alot of sense to me and will likely increase usability for all. I’ve added them to the list of features @Rahul_Subramany and I are considering for future releases. :+1:

Sidebar: I’m curious about the framemaker of the bike I see in your profile pic, mind sharing? :grin: