Robert Dempster

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*** Welcome to my PMB blog, the sixty ninth! ***
Sports Tracker and the Huawei P10
Does not exactly work
17 October 2017

About six years ago I installed Sports Tracker application on my then Nokia N8 in order to track my cycling. The phone was a superb device and Sports Tracker did not disappoint either. The next phone I acquired was an LG G2 and it was also a good phone. So was the LG G4. They all ran Sports Tracker without any problems and the recordings of my approximately 500 rides and the 12000 kilometers I covered can be seen on the Sports Tracker web site.

A couple of months ago I became eligible for a new phone in terms of my Vodacom contract and set of to the local Vodacom store intending to replace the LG G4 with an LG G6. Instead I was swayed by the sales folk and came home witha Huawei P10. Using this phone to record my rides has been problematic from the outset and to date I am still unable to use my Huawei P10 to reliably record a ride. What I discovered is that theHuawei P10 is falling over itself in order to prolong the life of the battery. One of the things it does in order to do so is to shut down running applications as soon as the screen is blanked.

To be fair Huawei had realized that some users may run applications that they do not want shut down as soon as the screen blanks. So there are boxes that can be ticked in order to prevent the phone from shutting specific applications when the screen blanks.

As my rides can last for three hours I will sometimes haul the phone out to check for messages when I stop for a snack and a drink. I might also stop to take a photograph if I happen to find something interesting along my cycling route. Typically I like to have at least one photograph taken from within the Sports Tracker app to serve as a signature for the ride.

So what is the problem? - Well despite my best efforts to tick the Huawei P10 boxes to keep Sports Tracker running while it sits in my pocket with a blank screen, the Huawei still stops or pauses the Sports Tracker application when it is not supposed to. If Sports Tracker stops before the ride is over, well then that is it. If Sports Tracker pauses during the ride and I notice that it has done so, then I am able to get Sports Tracker to resume. Unfortunately that results in the route that I took from the point where Sports Tracker paused, to the point where it resumed, being a straight line. Not exactly what I want.

I have spent considerable time and effort trying to sort this problem out. It goes without saying that I would have Google'd the problem and there were more than enough posts relating to the problem, not only with Sports Tracker running on the Huawei P10. There were also posts regarding the same problem being experience by users of the Strava sports tracking application running on the Huawei P10.

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Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a bicycle.

Conclusion: Since I retired seven years ago I have been cycling. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and as such it plays a major role in my current lifestyle. Being able to use Sports Tracker running on a cell phone to track my rides while cycling has contributed significantly to this experience. So has being able to share the rides with family and friends by sharing my experiences and those of others. So I am sure that I am not being unreasonable when I say that I would like a phone that works, and for me that means I must be able to record my rides as I have done with every other cell phone I have used since I started cycling in 2012. Vodacom should do the right thing and allow me to replace the Huawei P10 with a similar cell phone that does work with Sports Tracker.

PS: On Friday, 20 October 2017 I found myself in the vicinity of a large shopping center and thought I should try and speak to someone at a Vodacom (my cell phone contract provider) store about my Huawei / Sports Tracker problem. Much to my surprise I found that the center not only actually had a Huawei store, the individual whom I dealt with in the store was a technician who had switched to sales. Basically he listened to my story, checked my phone to see whether I had ticked all the boxes, and then agreed with me that there was something wrong, either with the Huawei P10, or the Sports Tracker app. He also suggested that I check out signal problems on the routes I ride. Well I did more than that on my next ride. I ensured that the maps that would be required had already been downloaded. I also checked to ensure that the mode of the downloaded maps were, "Satellite", the mode that Sports Tracker uses. Sad to say, it did not help!

PPS: It is now Wednesday, 25 October 2017 and I am thinking of trying the Strava app. Stopped when I read the recent (2017), "Strava. Huawei. Sort this out. Now." post (see link below). This post pretty much sums up my Huawei P10 / Sports Tracker experience to date. I personally am now convinced that this is a phone / Android problem and that the solution for me has to be a new phone. While I am waiting for that to happen I will try Strava. even if it is only to prove my point.

        Some links

If you have any comments, corrections, suggestions or plain criticism, I would appreciate it if you would communicate the same to me.

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