When the Fi Collar is in range of your charging base(s) or cell phone(s), it will use Bluetooth (instead of GPS antenna) to connect and send the collar's geo location. As your dog moves around your home or outside, the Fi Collar can jump from one Bluetooth connection to the other, saving battery power (Bluetooth uses hundreds of times less battery than GPS/LTE).
This ability for the Fi Collar to jump from different Bluetooth connections (or from Bluetooth to GPS, when necessary) is a technology proprietary to the Fi Collar and enables it to reach its incredible multi-month battery life.
Saving the battery of your collar goes beyond the simple convenience of not having to recharge the collar often. If your dog goes missing, your tracking device will have to use GPS/LTE to report his/her location quickly and accurately. It is critical that the Fi Collar has as much battery power as possible in the event of an escape, so you have as much time as possible to locate and recover your dog. Saving battery when your dog is in range of your cellphone can literally save your dog's life if he gets lost!
Is the Fi Collar Tracking Me When I’m Not with My Dog?
Absolutely not. While we have to ask for the location to be shared “Always On”, we never track your location when you are away from your dog.
The only exception to this is when you’ve activated Live Tracking/Lost Dog Mode. If you lose your dog, and turn on Live Tracking/Lost Dog Mode, Fi will have access to your phone’s location if you need our help to direct you towards your dog. See: How Do I Turn ON/OFF Live Tracking/Lost Dog Mode?
Then Why Does Fi Require Location Services “Always On”?
To conserve battery life, the Fi Collar needs to connect to your cell phone while running the Fi App in the background, without having to take the phone out of your pocket and open the Fi App.
To our regret, the only way we can do this is if the location service is authorized to “Always On” send the phone’s location. At this time, Google (Android) and Apple (iPhone) do not allow an “only while accessory connected" setting. The app can only connect when “the app is running” in the foreground, or “always”. This forces us to ask for the “Always On” permission to allow the Fi Collar to connect with the Fi App in the background.
Fi will never report from the Fi App a phone’s location when it is not directly connected to the Fi Collar and is only used to report the location of your dog. We hope that Apple and Google introduce a more granular authorization level shortly, so we can request from you the minimal authorization level that we need!
iOS - Why Does Fi Require Precise Location to Be Toggled ON in Addition to Location Services “Always On”?
iOS users must also enable Precise Location under location access settings, which allows the Fi App to use your mobile's specific location, with out this enabled the app can only determine your dog's approximate location when connected to the Fi App.