In this help article you will learn:

  • How your Whistle checks GPS in the background when not connected to WiFi
  • How your background GPS scan rate can affect battery life
  • What to expect by changing your GPS refresh rate

What is the GPS Refresh Rate?

When your Whistle is not connected to WiFi it is regularly checking-in with GPS satellites and sending the GPS coordinates to our server using cellular. This type of communication requires more battery power then when your Whistle is sending and receiving data in WiFi. The GPS refresh rate is defaulted to every 6 minutes and performs this scan when your Whistle is not connected to WiFi. These GPS check-ins occur in the background and are checking to see where your pet's GPS coordinates are: within the safe place perimeter or outside of the perimeter. When the device's coordinates are completely outside the perimeter, we send you notifications that your pet is out and let you know their last known location. The timeliness of that initial notification depends on the interval for the GPS refresh rate and when the last GPS check-in occurred. (The GPS refresh rate interval is completely different from the tracking interval. The tracking interval is not customizable; when you tap on the track button you will receive an updated location every minute for 30-minutes until you tap stop.)

Longer Battery Life

In an effort to extend battery life for our customers who have large fenced in backyards where WiFi does not reach, we have several options to customize how frequently the Whistle will verify their pet's GPS coordinates. Setting your GPS refresh rate to every 15 or 30 minutes may lengthen your Whistle's battery life because of the longer time interval between when the Whistle will be waking up to check the device's GPS coordinates. Because this GPS refresh rate has a longer interval, there may be a slight delay when you receive your notification that your pet is out of their safe place depending on when the GPS coordinates were last verified. This is why we recommend making this change if you know your pet cannot get out.

Faster Alert When Your Pet is Out

Alternatively, having the Whistle check on your pet's location every 3 minutes when not connected to WiFi, may result in a faster notification when your pet left their safe place, but could shorten your overall battery life. If you have a property that is not fenced in, and your pet has an explorer's sense of independence, you may want the Whistle to wake up and send the GPS coordinates to the server more frequently. Note that because the device is waking up so frequently to check-in, you may need to start charging your Whistle every night when your pet comes inside to ensure that they are never without their Whistle. (The GPS refresh rate interval is completely different from the tracking interval. The track interval is not customizable. So when you tap on Track to start a tracking session you will get a location update every minute non stop for 30-minutes unless you stop the track.) 

How do you change your GPS refresh rate?

  1. Tap on the paw icon located in the bottom bar at the bottom of the screen. If you have more than one pet, you can switch pets from the drop down list at the top of the screen.

2. Once you have selected the paw icon and are on the pet screen, scroll down to the Battery & Device section. 

3. You will see battery details, device details, and at the bottom of the screen, GPS Refresh Rate

4. When you tap into GPS Refresh Rate, if this is your first time changing the rate, the defaulted interval: 6 minutes will be selected. 

5. Once you choose your new interval, you will need to confirm that you want to make this change. 

6. After you have made this change, if you're Whistle is connected to Wi-Fi, this change won't go into effect for an hour. If you need the GPS refresh rate to go into effect immediately, you can take the device completely outside the perimeter of your safe Place so that you receive an alert that your pet is outside of their safe zone.