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AstroTrack is the live tracking solution provided by the Astro Fitness Windows Phone 8 app.

Live tracking is a new feature added in v1.0.5.0 of the app, released on 2 April 2014. It is only available in the fully-paid version of the app, and not in the free trial. At present, the service is in beta stage and is free to use, but it will become a subscription service in future.


Register

 

The home page of the app now includes a "live track" icon (of a satellite) on the toolbar at the bottom. Tapping this launches the AstroTrack UI.

On first launch, you will be prompted to register your Garmin Connect account for the service. You don't need to provide any further information - only your Garmin username is needed (no password) - your username is used to tie your Garmin account to your AstroTrack one to check for valid subscriptions. Simply tap the "Register" button to get started.


After registering, your subscription expiry date will be shown (you will get a free 2 week window to start with).

This 2 week period should cover the beta period, but if for any reason the beta needs to be extended, free subscriptions will be extended to cover it.


Configuring a Session

Once your account is ready, simply tap the green "Get Started" button to create a new tracking session.

You can assign a specific type of activity to each session, and can specify the email addresses which should receive a notification and tracking link. Tap the relevant activity type to set it.

The list of email addresses that will receive links is shown below - this will initially be empty. It is recommended you add your own email address to the list, so that you will be able to see your tracking data afterwards - you can also export it via the web tracking interface to import into Garmin Connect or other tracking services.

There are 2 ways to add a new email address:

  1. Adding a contact from your phone's address book
  2. Manually adding an email address


 

To select an existing phone contact, tap the right-hand icon (). Your contact list will be displayed and you can select the appropriate name. The contact's email will be added to the bottom of the list shown.


 

To enter an email address manually, tap the left-hand icon (). A text box will be shown below the list to enter the email. After doing so, tap the disk icon to save it, or the cross to undo.

Each time you start a new tracking session, the list of emails used in your previous one will be reloaded ready to use again. To remove an email address, tap the relevant cross icon to the right.


Starting a Session

When ready, tap the green "Create" button to set up your tracking session. This will cause a tracking email to be sent to each address on your list of emails configured above.

The first time you tap "Create", you will be reminded that this requires the app have access to your phone's location - simply tap "ok" to allow it.


The app will then attempt to locate you using your phone's GPS. You cannot start tracking until it does so. The red GPS icon will turn green once your location is confirmed, and the map in the centre of the page will update to show your current location.

Once located, tracking will start automatically.


While the tracking is running, the map will update to show your progress as a line. The 2 icons at the top right indicate the current status of the upload of data to AstroTrack and the GPS location tracking:

  • The left-hand "wifi" icon shows whether the last upload of data from your phone was successful or not. Green indicates success, while red indicates failure. Data will not be uploaded if your phone does not have a sufficiently good data service (either wifi or cellular data). If it loses data service, it will continue to retry periodically until your phone regains signal.
  • The right-hand "satellite" icon shows the status of the GPS location on your phone - red indicates it has lost a satellite lock, green shows it has one.

Below the map, the total activity time and distance travelled are displayed, followed by your current speed and pace, then oyour average speed and pace. The units used (miles or kilometers) are based on your Garmin settings.

Below this data are 2 indicators showing how many data points are stored locally pending upload to AstroTrack, and the date/time of the last successful upload.


To stop tracking, either temporarily or because you have finished your activity, tap the red "Stop Tracking" button at the bottom. When stopped, location data will no longer be gathered and uploaded. You can either choose to start tracking again (e.g. after a brief rest stop), or to finish your activity by tapping "Finish"



Tracking Emails

When you create a new AstroTrack session, a tracking email is sent to each address on the list. This email contains the information shown on the right.

The tracking link is unique to each session, and contains a unique ID for your account and for the activity. These IDs are randomly generated and are thus unguessable by anyone without the email. This helps to secure your information.


Tracking Interface

The screenshot to the right shows the AstroTrack web interface that users will see after clicking the tracking link in an email.

The route taken by the user is automatically updated as the session continues - their last location is shown by the red "pin" icon. The statistics along the top such as distance, time, speed and pace also update dynamically.

Location data is updated every 30 seconds by default, and a countdown bar along the top of the page shows how fresh the current map view is. Markers are displayed every 1 kilometre or mile. The viewer can select the measurement system they prefer in the top right.

The orange bar at the bottom provides further inforation in two scenarios:

  • If the user's location data is not updated for some time, a message is displayed to reflect this, and to advise the viewer that the user's phone may have lost its data signal.
  • When the user taps the "Finish" button in the app, the activity is finished and the message is displayed as shown on the right.

Two buttons at the bottom of the page allow the activity track to be exported in either GPX or TCX format - both of these can be imported into Garm Connect and many other online exercise tracking services such as Strava. For this reason, it is recommended you include your own email address in the list of ones to be notified when starting an activity.


FAQ

  1. How much is AstroTrack™ going to cost?
    The service is currently in free beta, but will be charged for by the month or year. The montly price is expected to be £0.79 / €0.89 / $0.99, and the annual one £7.99 / €8.99 / $9.99 (12 months for the price of 10). If your subscription expires, you will be unable to track your activity until you renew it again.
  2. Is my information safe?
    To provide this service, your phone's location needs to be uploaded to the AstroTrack servers periodically through the activity. This is the only time that your location is captured and uploaded All communication between the app and the server is secured with SSL to prevent interception and snooping.
    In order for someone to view your activity and location, they will need the unique link from the tracking email - this link contains 2 randomly generated IDs (one for you and one for the activity). These make the link unguessable by anyone not in possession of the email. Please bear in mind that anyone you include on the list of notifications may forward the email on without your knowledge - this is an unfortunate fact of life with email. A person with one tracking link will not be able to access any of your other activities (as they will not know the correct activity IDs).
  3. What data do you capture?
    During a tracking session, the app periodically uploads the following data from your phone:
    • Latitude
    • Longitude
    • Elevation (height above sea level)
    • Battery level of your phone - this is to aid with gathering information on how much battery drain the tracking service causes and to help optimise it in future versions
    • Distance travelled since the activity started
  4. I have another problem/question - what should I do?
    Please contact us using the details below

Privacy Policy

Your privacy is important to us, and we understand that you want to ensure your personal information is safe and secure, and used only for legitimate purposes. In order to work, AstroTrack™ needs to be able to access your phone's location (using the standard Microsoft APIs), and your location and some other data is uploaded to the AstroTrack™ service on a periodic basis during a live tracking session.

This data is transmitted securely from your phone to our server(s) over an encrypted HTTPS channel to prevent eavesdropping or interception by 3rd parties. The data is stored on our server(s) after receipt. Your location data is made available to those people / email addresses you specified when starting a live tracking session. They will receive an email with a tracking link that directs them to the AstroTrack™ web interface. This shows them your route and current location, along with your average speed, distance travelled and other statistics.

Tracking links are randomly generated to prevent other users guessing the correct link to see your activity. Your activity details (including location, speed, etc) are not shared with any 3rd parties except via the tracking links in emails.

You may disable Astro Fitness's access to your phone's location services at any time through the settings page in the app. Please note, you will not be able to use AstroTrack™ until you re-enable it again.

If you have any questions about the collection or use of your data, please contact us.


Contact

If you have any other questions or issues, please feel free to email us at support@astroit.co.uk and make sure you mention that you are using Astro Fitness on Windows Phone so we can help as quickly as possible



This application makes use of the publically-available Garmin Connect™ REST API, but it is in no way affiliated with Garmin, and no endorsement by Garmin is implied. Garmin and Garmin Connect are © Garmin Ltd or its subsidiaries.

In-app icons are taken from the "Icon8" set provided courtesy of Icons8 - http://icons8.com



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