The Found Tracking modes - Which one should I be using?

Updated 7 months ago by Marina

Our team is continuously making updates to the FoundOS in order to improve battery life and user experience. We have recently made some changes and added a new tracking mode to give you more versatility to locate your belongings.

The Found LTE offers now 5 different types of tracking modes to best suit your different use cases.

Please check below for a more detailed description of each of them to know which one you should be using and when.

Finding Mode

Updates every 3 minutes. Battery life up to 24hrs.

Select this mode:

  • you lost your item and need to recover it as soon as possible.
  • you want real-time tracking over cellular.
  • you want updates even if your device is moving or not.
  • In this mode, you should plan to charge your device daily.

Don't select this mode:

  • If battery life is important for you.
  • If you want to save the battery for an emergency. You can switch to this mode when you lose something.
    PS! The mode changes don't happen immediately if the device is not connected to your phone over BLE. Depending on the current mode the device is running it could take a few minutes or up to 12 hours to update to Finding mode.
    Please note the explanation below.

Approximated tracking

Updates every 5 minutes (moving) or every 90 minutes (not moving). Battery life is up to 30 days depending on how often it moves.

Select this mode:

  • you want to daily track your pet or something that moves around on its own.
  • you want to receive regular updates, especially when there is some activity.
  • you are Ok with recharging your device every few weeks.

Don't select this mode:

  • If you want to receive precise GPS updates.
  • If you want frequent tracking when the device is stationary.
  • If you don't want to recharge every few weeks.

Motion triggered

Track your device only when it is moving. Battery life up to 6 months (no motion) and 24hrs (with continuous motion).

Select this mode:

  • if it's attached to something that rarely moves (e.g. off-road vehicle, a winter/summer sports gear)
  • you want to daily track your items only when they start to move. Ideal for things that are mostly stationary (e.g bicycle, backpack, car).
  • you want to receive regular updates, but only when there is some activity.

Don't select this mode:

  • If you want frequent location updates when the device is stationary.
  • If the item you want to track moves continuously.

Standby

No location updates. Allows you to switch to other modes in 30 minutes. Up to 1 month battery life.

Select this mode:

  • if you don't need to be constantly tracking, and want to save battery in case something happens.
  • if you only plan to track your device if it gets lost.
  • if you are ok with not receiving location updates until you switch to a different mode.

Don't select this mode:

  • If you want to check your device's location.

Bluetooth mode

Updates every 90sec - 9mins (depends on motion). Battery life up to 1 year.

Select this mode:

  • you will mostly use your Found inside the house and close to your phone.
  • you want the battery to last up to several months.
  • you want to store your device and will NOT be using it for a long period.
  • you don't have LTE-M coverage in your region.

Don't select this mode:

  • If you want to change tracking mode remotely.
  • If you select this mode, it will NOT track your Found if it is out of range or your phone.

Tip:

You don't want to select this mode if your intention is to save daily battery. The Found automatically connects to Bluetooth when your phone is nearby and will also switch to the tracking mode you have selected once the Found goes out of Bluetooth range (~500ft/ 150m).

Keep in mind that the mentioned battery life considers a fully charged device. If you have been using your device in one of the other tracking modes and switch to Finding mode, the battery could die faster.

How can I get more frequent updates?

If you only have access to Low Powered tracking you will now have access to Motion triggered and Bluetooth. If you wish to have more frequent updates over cellular, you may upgrade your subscription to either 1-year or 3-year premium subscriptions. This has additional access to both Finding mode and Approximated tracking.

You can upgrade your plan by going to the Tracking mode screen and selecting or in-app subscription upgrade.

If you are already on the premium plans and want more frequent updates, you can switch to the Finding mode to receive updates regularly. Keep in mind that in order to update more often, the battery will last less time. Check our article How long does the Found battery last.

What is an approximated location update?

In the Approximated tracking mode we use a more energy-efficient approximated location service based on cellular towers around the device. It has an error of 50-200 meters /60 -650 fts (depending on signal quality), but it works indoors and uses less energy than acquiring GPS signal. The device will also report its approximated location in the Finding and Motion triggered modes whenever GPS is not available.

How to prolong the Found battery life?

You can significantly prolong the battery life if you keep the Found connected with your phone via Bluetooth. If you keep Bluetooth enabled and the Pebblebee App running, it will connect automatically. This way the device knows that it is safe with the owner and it will not make any cellular activity effectively prolonging the battery life.

We recommend Approximated tracking mode for the best efficiency-usability balance. In this tracking mode you can make sure that the device is in some approximate location (eg. at your house or nearby), and if you notice that your dog run away you can switch to finding mode in around 5 minutes if the device is moving and up to 90 minutes if it is not moving.

How does the Found change its tracking mode remotely?

The Found periodically connects to the Pebblebee cloud to check for any tracking mode changes and reports its battery status. Those "messages" do not contain any location information, but are only meant to reassure the user that the device is in cellular network coverage, online, and with the battery charged. We call them 'heartbeats'.

When you request a change of tracking mode and the Found is nearby and connected over Bluetooth the change is done almost at the same time you confirmed the operation. When you don't have the Found with you, that change will only happen in the next 'heartbeat'. The next time the Found connects to the cloud it will receive the command and switch to the new tracking mode that you selected.

How long you should expect the tracking mode changes to happen:

Connected over Bluetooth - promptly changed.

Finding mode - up to 3 minutes.

Approximated tracking - 5 min (motion detected), 90(no motion detected).

Motion triggered - 5 min (motion detected), 12hrs (no motion detected).

Standby - up to 30 minutes.

Note: In order to switch the tracking modes the device must:
- be in an area with LTE-M coverage;
- still has battery;
- be able to connect over cellular - it must have a signal connection.


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