We are very happy to announce the launch of our next Product Update to the Hapn applications. This new version features several new functions, improved functions and fixes. We this it will make the apps more capable and easier to use.
Let's take a look at the changes and go through some bigger ones.
- New Cell Assist tracking
- New detailed device map card UI
- New detailed position card (mobile)
- New detailed position card (web)
- Tracker Statuses Details
- Online + Stopped with GPS
- Online + Moving with GPS
- Online + Stopped + Inside cell radius
- Online + Stopped + Outside cell radius
- Offline + Last seen with GPS
- Offline + Last seen with no GPS
- Updates to Active Hours Tracking
- New web app layout to prepare for parity
- Improved follow mode on Web
- Improved large font performance on mobile
- Various other performance improvements and bug fixes
Cell Assist is the big feature for this update, and this handy new backend function allows us to use the cell tower infrastructure to show approximate locations for trackers, primarily when GPS is not available.
If you have ever had the anxiety that comes with a GPS tracker losing connection when it goes indoors, then this update is going to be quite a relief. Using this new way of tracking, we can still see the devices, even indoors or in an underground parking garage. So now, when that happens, the tracker will show much more than offline. We will let you know the closest location we can, using the tower information, in plain language.
GPS is always going to be a technology with limitations, and any tech with limitations should not be the sole source of truth for a product. Now, GPS becomes a location tool and works with Cell Assist, another tool. These two combine to give a much better tracking experience than either could on its own.
Here is a link to a technical look at the function : Technical Blog
This diluting of the data sources makes the end data much more complete and much more functional. Using multiple sources for location data makes the out stronger and more reliable. This will relieve some of what we call, location anxiety, and that is a big goal of ours.
Combined with the Cell Assist is a new detailed tracker status found on the tracker card. This is a plan language description of what is happening with the tracker right now.
The example above shows a tracker that pinged just before going into a parking garage. This tracker, therefore, lost GPS connection and is giving a still moving position. Now, we can use Cell Assist to get the location to the nearest cell tower, in this case less than 1 mile away. This allows me to understand that even though the tracker lost GPS, it is still connected to the cellular network. This means the tracker is still turned on and working. It is also connected to the cell tower, so it likely has not left the immediate vicinity. Both of these factors are good news, and let me infer that the tracker is inside or, in this case, underground in a garage.
This level of detail will be used in all the tracker statuses listed above and will take away the mystery that used to come with the previous online and offline status. That was very black and white, this new system lets us get into the shades of gray that exist with Hapn devices.
This is an improved feature that has been requested by several customers. We are adding the ability to set the custom active hours on trackers that have active hour tracking. This is vital, it allows for accurate data counts and ensures that you have control over the data generated by your trackers.
If you have a front loader that already has 23 active hours on it when you install a Hapn tracker, previously, you had to keep track of that difference externally. This update allows you to add the starting custom value to make sure it matches the real world data.
This was a more complex implementation than it seems due to the way trackers communicate and the way messages need to be received in order. Our engineering staff worked very hard on this, and we are happy to roll it out to the users.
This is a big Hapn product update. It changes the way our app obtains location and for a location and data company, when we improve that, we love it. We think you will too. The new web layout is another important building block, so this is another forward-looking update.
To the next one.
Hapn - Product Manager