Learn more about Family Trips

Family Trips gives you more peace of mind that your pet is out safely with a family member. When your pet leaves their Safe Place with a family member, Whistle will connect to your family member’s phone, and let the whole family know who your pet has left with.

Family Trips also improves your Whistle’s battery life, and gives you more choice over your Location notifications.

Included in this section:

How Family Trips works with your pet’s Family

You can invite family members and other caretakers to the Whistle app to be notified when they leave with your pet.

Once they’ve joined your pet’s Family on Whistle, Family Trips will work like it does with your phone. If multiple family members leave a Safe Place with your pet, Whistle will recognize the family member's phone closest to your pet when they leave.

If they have an iPhone / iOS device, they will also need to enable Family Trip Notifications.

How we use location services

The Whistle app uses the location services setting built into iOS and Android phones. The Whistle app uses location services to connect to your Whistle device via Bluetooth, even when you are not using the app. We do not use location services to track your location, ever.

How to enable Family Trips

For iPhone/ iOS

You can enable Family Trips from your notification settings. Family Trips is available on app version 2.5 and above, and Whistle firmware update .91 and above.

How to enable:

  1. Go to Human Stuff
  2. Tap the notification you want to adjust (push, email, text)
  3. Tap Enable

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I don’t see Family Trips in the Whistle app >

How to keep your Whistle device and Whistle app up to date >

How to change notification settings for Family Trips >

For Android

Family Trips will automatically be enabled once you have updated your Whistle device and Whistle app. Family Trips is available on app version 2.5 and above, and Whistle firmware update .91 and above.

To check that you are on a version supporting Family Trips:

  1. Go to Human Stuff
  2. Tap Push Notifications
  3. Family Trips should be listed under Location notifications

If you see an orange alert icon, your Whistle devices do not have the latest update.

How to keep your Whistle device and Whistle app up to date >

I don’t see Family Trips in the Whistle app >

How to change notification settings for Family Trips

  1. Go to Human Stuff
  2. Tap the notification you want to adjust (push, email, text)
  3. Toggle Family Trips on or off

! IMPORTANT: If you turn Family Trip notifications off, you will not receive any Whistle notification when we recognize your pet is near your phone, or near a family members’ phone.

Android — How to disable / turn off notification in status bar

The notification is an Android system feature that lets you know that the Whistle app is running even when you don't have the app open. Whistle does this so we can look for your pet and connect to their device when you leave a Safe Place together.All apps that run in the background will use some of your phone's battery. 

You can hide this persistent notification from your phone's settings. Instructions will vary based on the Android version you are on. Learn how to check your Android version.

Android 8.0 and up.

  1. Go to the Settings app on your phone
  2. Tap Notifications
  3. Tap the Whistle app
  4. Under the Categories section, turn off Bluetooth Notifications (see screenshot of Samsung Galaxy S8+ below).
    • Note: This will not turn off Bluetooth for the Whistle app
  5. In the Whistle app, make sure you have Family Trip notifications on, so you don't miss any notifications when your pet leaves their Safe Place.

Android will then notify you that the Whistle app is using battery. To hide this notification:

  1. Swipe down to see your notifications 
  2. Press and hold on the "Using Battery" notification, and then turn it off. 
  3. Tap Done

Android_Persistent_Notification.jpg

 

Android 7.0 and below:

Unfortunately, your Android operating system doesn't have the option for you to hide this notification permanently. If you can, update your phone to Android 8, then follow the steps above.

If you can't update your phone, you can hide the notification temporarily, or if you're not interested in using Family Trips, can opt-out of the feature. 

To hide the notification temporarily (Family Trips will still work):

  1.  Press and hold the notification
  2. You should see a gear icon or info icon. Tap it to go to notifications for the Whistle app. (If you can't see this step, go to your phones settings > tap apps > tap Whistle > tap Notifications)
  3. Turn off Whistle notifications
  4. Turn on Whistle notifications

This will temporarily remove the notification until you restart your phone or open the Whistle app. 

To turn off the Family Trips feature:

Update: We are working on an easy way for you to turn off the feature in our upcoming release.  In the meantime, you can hide the notification you are seeing, or disable the feature by turning off location services for the Whistle app.

Please note that this will also remove the "You" pin in the app. If you choose this option, we encourage you to turn it back on when out update is available to turn off Family Trips directly.

How to turn off Location Services

  1.  Go to your phone's Settings app
  2. Tap Apps
  3. Tap the Whistle app
  4. Tap the Permissions section
  5. Toggle “Location” OFF 

Troubleshooting

Included in this section: 

Understanding how Family Trips works

  • Family Trips relies on the Bluetooth connection between your phone and the Whistle device
  • Bluetooth range can be up to 15 feet, but can be affected by interference from other devices and physical obstacles.
  • When your pet leaves their Safe Place, Whistle looks around to see if any recognized family member’s phones are nearby, and connects to the first family member it recognizes
  • Recognized family members are people who:
    • You have added to your pets family
    • Have enabled the Family Trips feature
    • Have Bluetooth turned on on their phone

I don’t see Family Trips in the Whistle app

Family Trips is listed under your location notification settings. If you do not see Family Trips in your notification settings, please update your Whistle app.

Android: How to automatically update apps >

iOS: How to automatically update apps >

I haven't gotten a Family Trip notification

For iPhone/ iOS

A quick look at your pet’s Battery & Device screen in the app will help guide you on why Family Trips might not be working.

  1. Go to the pet tab
  2. Tap Battery & Device
  3. Scroll down to Connectivity
  4. Check if anything is in red. This means one of your phone settings are not properly set up.
  5. Tap on the red text to see how to fix the phone setting.

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If Connectivity is not showing any errors (nothing is in red):

  • Check that your Whistle has the latest update. On the same Battery & Device screen, look at the FW version listed.
  • Check that your notification settings for Family Trips are on:
    • Go to Human Stuff
    • Tap the notification type you want to check: Push, Email, or Text
    • Check that Family Trips is on (the toggle should be green)

For Android

  • Check that your phone’s Bluetooth is on
  • Check that Location Services is on
  • Check that your notification settings for Family Trips are on:
    • Go to Human Stuff
    • Tap the notification type you want to check: Push, Email, or Text
    • Check that Family Trips is on (the toggle should be green)
    • If you see an orange alert icon next to Family Trips, your Whistle devices do not have the latest update.

How to keep your Whistle device and Whistle app up to date >

I’m not reliably getting Family Trip notifications

Family Trips depends on the Bluetooth connection between your phone and your Whistle. If you are getting some Family Trip Notifications, but not every time you expect, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Check your Whistle’s Connectivity status:
    1. Go to the pet tab
    2. Tap Battery & Device
    3. Scroll down to Connectivity
    4. Check if anything is in red. This means one of your phone settings are not properly set up.
    5. Tap on the red text to see how to fix the phone setting.

ios_connectivity.gif

Other tips:

  • Verify that you are leaving your Safe Place with your phone.
  • Verify that you are within 15 feet of your pet when you leave the Safe Place together
  • If you are not getting notifications for a specific family member, make sure you have added them to your pet’s family in the Whistle app.
  • Consider expanding your Safe Place if your pet is running ahead of you (more than 15 feet) past the edge of their Safe Place when you're together.

How to turn on Location Services from Settings

For iPhone/ iOS

  1. Go to the Settings app
  2. Tap Privacy
  3. Tap Location Services
  4. Make sure the Location Services toggle in on (green)
  5. Scroll down and tap the Whistle app
  6. Tap “Always”

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For Android

  1.  Go to Settings app
  2. Tap Apps
  3. Tap the Whistle app
  4. Tap the Permissions section
  5. Toggle “Location” ON

Family Trip notifications only include one family member

The family member's phone that Whistle connected to the fastest (usually closest to your pet when leaving the house), will be in the notification. We do this so we can notify your family as fast as possible that your pet is safely outside.

How to turn off the Family Trips feature

For Android

Update: We are working on an easy way for you to turn off the feature in our upcoming release.  In the meantime, you can hide the notification you are seeing, or disable the feature by turning off location services for the Whistle app.

Please note that this will also remove the "You" pin in the app. If you choose this option, we encourage you to turn it back on when out update is available to turn off Family Trips directly.

How to turn off Location Services

  1.  Go to your phone's Settings app
  2. Tap Apps
  3. Tap the Whistle app
  4. Tap the Permissions section
  5. Toggle “Location” OFF 

 

For iPhone/ iOS

  1. Go to the Settings app on your phone
  2. Scroll down to the Whistle app
  3. Tap Location Services
  4. Tap “While using the app”