GPS Tracking Overview

With AirWatch the GPS option does not work like traditional GPS apps (Real time data collection). Information only updates when the device moves across cell towers or Wi-Fi hotspots. Also GPS info is only updated when the Agent sends a sample of info (which is not continually). All of this is done only to get an approximate location of the device and not real time tracking. The reason behind this is that the GPS is a very battery intensive operation.

Based on privacy policies on iOS, MDM providers cannot enforce that an end-user share location info. The end user can always turn of location access to AirWatch agent in which case no info will be reported.  For some Android devices, GPS data can be required by navigating the AirWatch Console to Settings > Devices & Users > Android > Agent Settings > Force GPS On.

 

iOS GPS Data Requirements

GPS data can be collected when an application using the AirWatch SDK is manually opened and made active.  Additionally, GPS data can be reported when you make a "significant location change" as long as the device has access to a cellular network, location services is enabled for an application using the AirWatch SDK, even if the application is in the background.  Note that the distance required for a "significant location change" is defined by iOS.  If no applications using the AirWatch SDK are active in the foreground or background, no GPS data will be recorded or transmitted for the device.

 

Android GPS Data Requirements

GPS Data can be collected based on the interval set for GPS Time Poll Interval under Devices & Users > Android > Agent Settings, and then it is reported to server based on Data Transmit Interval setting.
If the device is stationary, duplicate GPS data can be discarded.

 

Enabling Location Services on the Device/Console

Location Services for the iOS device can be enabled under Settings > Privacy > Location Services. This cannot be done from the console, even for a managed device, and it is part of the new Apple policy to protect end user settings and ability from MDM vendor control.

Location Services in the AW console can be enabled under Devices & Users > Apple > Apple iOS > Agent Settings > Collect Location DataEnabling this and clicking Save will not force the device to immediately report GPS data. When you make the change to the settings in the console, they are updated immediately and the console will send out the commands. However, not all devices will receive it immediately. If a device is off, locked, or has not checked in to the console, it will not receive this command. It will receive these settings the next time they open the agent on their device and the device checks in.

AirWatch does not have a way to mass report if a certain console setting has been applied to each device other than viewing Device Events. You could run the "GPS Log" report to see the data that is reported, or you could view the GPS tab of each device details to see if it is reporting GPS locations, but we do not have a way for you to see which devices have not installed the settings that you changed in Apple iOS . Agent Settings.

In addition, under Settings > Devices & Users > General > Privacy in the AirWatch Console, "GPS Data" must be set to Collect and Display for required device Ownership type.

 

Lost Devices

We can still track GPS while the MDM agent application is running on the device, and the GPS coordinates will provide a last-known location on the console. If the iPad is found by someone who doesn't know the passcode, the passcode can be cleared from the console in order to allow access into the device, or also can be changed. You can also send a Request Device Check In command from the console to request that the end user open the AirWatch app and allow a compliance check command to be sent back, which will register it as active on the console as well as collect GPS data while the app is running.

 

GPS data reporting vs. Last Scan

GPS data reporting and Last Scan are not the same - last scan is based on compliance and GPS data is reported based on what's mentioned above.

Have more questions? Submit a request

0 Comments

Article is closed for comments.