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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

I received my first G-shock this afternoon, a GGB100. I think I have a handle on the operation of most of the modes, but there is one thing bugging me.

The G-shock app works perfectly on my Huawei P20 light when it is open and running in the foreground. Time syncs, I can connect, add a location memory and initiate mission log. No problem.

However, once I disconnect, and the phone screen switches off the G-shock app appears to be running in the background and opens instantly if I unlock the phone and tap on it in the notification list, yet, while in the background, after the phone has been locked for about a minute the watch is not able to connect to the app. In order to use location memory, activate mission log, or manually trigger time sync I need to open the G-shock connected app first and then initiate the connection from the watch. Note the G-shock connected app still shows in the status bar as waiting for connection and opens instantly when I tap on it, it just does not seem to be listening to Bluetooth.

Is this normal operation of the application? I suspect not. I have a suspicion there is a power management setting somewhere that I have not managed to find and disable for the G-shock app.

If you have any insight into this do let me know.

Regards
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Apologies for my monologue. I may have found where to allow G-shock connected app to scan constantly. Even though permissions and power saving was disabled for this application, there was yet another place to disable battery management for this app.

Under Settings, Apps, the drop down top right (three dots) has a menu item called Special Access with yet another Battery optimisation menu item. Listing all apps one can choose G-shock connected app and choose the option Don't allow, which it claims "May drain your battery more quickly." We will see how bad the impact is. This optimisation is apparently called Doze mode and does not kill apps, but prevent them from waking the CPU too frequently. But of course this causes problems with applications such as the connected app as it is not actually listening all the time and misses when the watch wants to sync. Since disabling all optimisations for the G-shock app and rebooting I have consistently been able to connect without waking the phone from its slumber.

https://blog.oomap.co.uk/2019/02/bluetooth-connectivity-problems-with-huawei-smartphones/

It seems this is a common problem with the Huawei phones. This probably explains the excellent battery life of the phone. If I'm frugal with its use I get three days out of a charge.


I hope this may be of use to somebody else.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Argh, the above did not solve the problem. It is an immense improvement, but not the solution. The G-shock app now stays operational, and when for example I activate mission log the app logs the route, but I cannot disable mission log from the watch without first opening the G-shock app. So it appears the app runs correctly in the background, but it is something to do with bluetooth, where it is not listening for incoming bluetooth requests all the time.
 

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Knowing Android and Google's recent aggressive efforts to combat battery drain, it's probably a similar Sleep setting but for Bluetooth. Or maybe a general/global "Put unused apps to sleep" setting like Samsung uses under the Battery settings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It seems it might not be Android but rather Huawei. They really do a lot to get the best battery life out of the phone, but there is a price.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/mate-10/help/issue-keeping-apps-running-background-t3729303/page2

After a ton of Googling I happened upon the link above. Seems to allow other apps to start unencumbered, so it has solved some other problems for me. But the G-shock app issue persists.

Using ADB,
pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.huawei.powergenie
This doesn't require the phone to be rooted and works on ADB shell for standard user. However, problem still not solved.

So I stumbled across something else...

https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/en-us/articles/204280494-Android-Bluetooth-Troubleshooting
It has been observed that apps that have background Bluetooth sync features such as FitBit and Pebble can interfere with a stable Bluetooth connection, please disable all background Bluetooth features on apps like these.
So I killed off the Fitbit application, which I know is a problem with Bluetooth because it is never able to sync successfully for various reasons. But alas, no joy.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/mate-20-pro/themes/remove-powergenie-to-allow-background-t3890409/page15
Then I killed off the powergenie application, which is what manages power hungry applications on Huawei devices.

Lastly out of desperation I tried the app on an old phone and success. So it is definitely a problem with the P20 lite. The old Xiaomi with LineageOS works without any problems and syncs regardless of how long the screen has been locked. There is also the obvious difference in Android version, version 8 for the old phone, and version 9 for the P20 lite.

The above is a list of some of the things I tried to get this to work.

Where I am now:
1. The app is not capable of running for extended periods of time on the P20 lite.
2. After anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes the watch cannot communicate with the app.
3. Power management settings are mostly inneffective in resolving this.
4. Although the application does run in the background, i.e., if I enable mission log, it logs perfectly, the watch is unable to terminate the mission log unless the phone is unlocked and the G-shock app is running in the foreground.
5. From all the tests I have done I am fairly confident this is an issue with the power management on the P20 lite.

If you have the G-shock app on Android 9, please confirm that your application works in the background as expected.

Regards
Paul
 

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Looks like you are pretty savvy and resourceful with the Android OS. I don't have any more to add, nor do I have a Connected watch to play with, sorry. ;-) Just want to say good luck with messing around with the Android configurations, and hopefully someone with more insights to the inner workings of the Connected App will reply.
 
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Sorry I can't be of more help since I've never used a Huawei phone before... I only have experience with a Touchwiz/OneUI device from Samsung.

For what it's worth, the Connected app worked fine on Android 9/Pie on a Note 9 and on Android 10 on an S10 for me. It's difficult to manage on the phone because the watch doesn't pair up in the traditional Bluetooth way where you find it on a list after scanning, and confirm or enter a passcode on both devices. With this G-Shock, only the Connected app can really see the watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks like you are pretty savvy and resourceful with the Android OS. I don't have any more to add, nor do I have a Connected watch to play with, sorry. ;-) Just want to say good luck with messing around with the Android configurations, and hopefully someone with more insights to the inner workings of the Connected App will reply.
Thank you. I'm not feeling particularly savvy with Android today. Android 1, Paul 0...

20200210 Drowning my BLE sorrows.jpg
Feeling a tad better though...


Sorry I can't be of more help since I've never used a Huawei phone before... I only have experience with a Touchwiz/OneUI device from Samsung.

For what it's worth, the Connected app worked fine on Android 9/Pie on a Note 9 and on Android 10 on an S10 for me. It's difficult to manage on the phone because the watch doesn't pair up in the traditional Bluetooth way where you find it on a list after scanning, and confirm or enter a passcode on both devices. With this G-Shock, only the Connected app can really see the watch.
Exactly what I wanted to know to confirm my suspicions. Thanks 6R15.


I did not know how to keep the Bluetooth alive to test if it is the connected app, so I opted to pair the phone with a speaker and play some tunes. It seems with the Bluetooth forced active while playing music the connected app is able to receive the calls from the watch. Watch and connected app can now consistently sync with the screen turned off. More pointing to the BLE scanning being disabled when the screen is turned off.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you can Ubuntu, you can Android. Surprised you aren't running a stock ROM for your phone!
I haven't found the right ROM for it yet. For some reason LineageOS isn't available for it, even though it is very popular with kick ass hardware (considering the price). But at some point it will happen.


An update on the above. It seems I was a bit hasty in accepting defeat. It seems my tinkering has solved the problem.
1. Powergenie is a bastard, and it definitely caused the bulk of the problems on the Huawei P20 lite. Uninstalled with ADB as above.
2. All available power setting must be set to manual, i.e., OS should never suspend the app.
3. Very important part I missed last night was that Notifications must be enabled for the app, and it should be able to draw notifications over other apps, who known why this is important. I had to specifically exclude the G-force app from Do not disturb which activates at 18h00, which is why I could not use it last night. Sync stops the moment notifications are disabled for the app.
4. Oddly enough, I need to force stop the Fitbit app, otherwise syncing in the background eventually stops.

Only niggle is that using the Location point while Mission log is active only works it seems at the moment the Mission log activates the GPS to log the location. If I activate Location point indicator at the wrong moment it fails to acquire the location, but Bluetooth comms and background operation still works flawlessly.

All this also tested on Wifi, on cellphone data as well as with no data.

So that wraps up this adventure...
 

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^ Are you saying the G-Shock Connected App is able to call up the phone's GPS even without data connection or wifi? Please clarify, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In order to answer you question as accurately as I can without actually going out into the wild, a future test, I disabled wifi, and removed the sim card from the phone just in case. So no Wifi, no 3G data or signal.

0. G-shock connecting no data.jpg
0. Watch and G-shock app connecting without any cellphone signal or wifi data. Mission log is activated on the watch.

1. G-shock activity log no data.jpg
1. Activity list with Mission log activated on the watch and the phone. Top most entry you can see it is measuring, however, it complains about no points at this time. Of course no map either which is to be expected.

2. G-shock map no data.jpg
2. Mission log off. Clearly the mission log entry doesn't show anything and it doesn't look very promising. However, it did log distance and elevation.

3. G-shock plot points no data.jpg
3. Mission log plot points (scrolling down from the map view) shows the start and end GPS coordinates as well as a photo I took of the deserted street.

4. G-shock activity list data.jpg
4. Activity list with data. Once home I enabled Wifi and immediately the map downloaded and a short route was shown in the activity list. It seems none of the plot points, new or past, can be seen without Internet. But they immediately show, even if they were recorded without Internet access, once data is available.

5. G-shock map data.jpg
5. Activity map with data. In the activity there is a detailed, albeit short since I didn't go far, route plotted.


I'll do a more comprehensive test when I get the opportunity to go out of coverage in future, and of course will record a bit longer route as that will be a better test.

But so far, with the information at my disposal, both the Mission log, and Location pointer work without any problems even in the absense of a cellphone signal or Internet data of any kind. The only limitation is plot points and maps are only visible once within data coverage.
 

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Thank you for the detailed explanation. Very neat to know that the G-Shock app is able to record points even with no data connection or wifi whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've noticed some peculiar behaviour.

Every night, or early morning the app dies. I'm not sure if some other battery manager decides to kill it, or if it terminates itself, what I do know is in the morning the G-shock app is no longer running.

I can start it again in the morning, but it will no longer operate in the background with the screen off. The only way I can get it to work again is by performing a force close and then restarting the phone. Once rebooted and all services such as bluetooth has started can the app be started. It will then work for the rest of the day.

Very peculiar behaviour. Other than this it now seems to work as it should.
 

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So finally, I may have found the last piece of the puzzle.

All described above are necessary to allow the G-Shock connected application to run in the background. However, without fail it will always stop working after a random interval. At that time the only way to sync, or connect would be to unlock the screen and bring the app to the foreground. Unless the phone is restarted, it will not connect while in the background.

I've been combing through the logcat and best I could find was that after an unspecified interval the G-Shock connected app was no longer allowed to transfer data via Bluetooth. Initially I though Bluetooth was just sleeping but other applications were still able to sync.

Digging around some more I found a setting which determines whether Android apps have a limit in terms of the amount of data it is allowed to transfer. I thought this applied only to wifi and 3G, but it appears this limits background Bluetooth activity as well. Toggled the toggle, and finally, the app seems to run stable in the background.

For anyone struggling with the same, the last setting that needed changing Settings -> Apps -> Special Access (via the menu dropdown top right) -> Unrestricted data access.

I toggled a whole bunch of system services in case they were related and didn't bother flicking the switch back to off. But I am fairly confident the toggle for G-Shock connected was the one that solved it.

Such a nice app when it does works.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It may be your phone, mine hasn't shut down or slept and it's been running since Feb 14th.

Sent from Capt Kirk's Communicator
Yup, as indicated above, I believe the issue is now resolved on my Huawei. Last piece was the Unrestricted data access. The app starts up if it dies again, it connects after Bluetooth has been disabled and reenabled and last but not least, it survives restarts and also works without needing a restart.

It seems the restart was necessary to clear some kinds of counter that keeps track of data transferred, or perhaps number of Bluetooth connects. Not sure, all I know it, the data limit kicked in in logcat, and then no Bluetooth for the app while in background until the next restart.

What phone and Android version are you using Steelerswit?
 

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So finally, I may have found the last piece of the puzzle.

All described above are necessary to allow the G-Shock connected application to run in the background. However, without fail it will always stop working after a random interval. At that time the only way to sync, or connect would be to unlock the screen and bring the app to the foreground. Unless the phone is restarted, it will not connect while in the background.

I've been combing through the logcat and best I could find was that after an unspecified interval the G-Shock connected app was no longer allowed to transfer data via Bluetooth. Initially I though Bluetooth was just sleeping but other applications were still able to sync.

Digging around some more I found a setting which determines whether Android apps have a limit in terms of the amount of data it is allowed to transfer. I thought this applied only to wifi and 3G, but it appears this limits background Bluetooth activity as well. Toggled the toggle, and finally, the app seems to run stable in the background.

For anyone struggling with the same, the last setting that needed changing Settings -> Apps -> Special Access (via the menu dropdown top right) -> Unrestricted data access.

I toggled a whole bunch of system services in case they were related and didn't bother flicking the switch back to off. But I am fairly confident the toggle for G-Shock connected was the one that solved it.

Such a nice app when it does works.
Thanks @Paul Greeff for the taking more care and time than me on a (possible) solution. As a “long time sceptic” I’m going to give it another shot one of my bluetooth squares, for a week or so anyway.
 

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Thanks @Paul Greeff for the taking more care and time than me on a (possible) solution. As a “long time sceptic” I’m going to give it another shot one of my bluetooth squares, for a week or so anyway.
Gave it shot. Worked brilliantly. So brilliantly in fact, that I paired up all 3 of my bluetooth 5600s over the weekend. All 3 synced successfully and faultlessly.

As the watches were at home and the phone was with me today, we missed the 12:30 connection attempt. So I waited and checked for the 18:30 connection. All 3 watches failed to sync. :-x

Watches reset to factory, app uninstalled. Happy to rely solely on MB6. :-!
 
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