Troubleshooting Mobile Syncing Issues

From time to time, users may encounter syncing issues that may be more related to the environment they are in, the cellular or wifi service they are on, or the device that they have, rather than with the PlayMaker mobile application itself. The following topics explain some of the environmental, carrier or device specific issues that may contribute to syncing issues. 

Poor Signal Strength - Cellular or wifi

Reception on a mobile device, over wifi and cellular, can have a large impact on data capabilities, just as it can have an impact on making, receiving and maintaining phone calls. For users in more rural areas, or those that are far away from their wireless router, a single bar of service can be a visual indicator to not perform a sync until a better signal is available.

Poor signal strength will likely result in slow internet speeds, or a complete lack of internet access. As a test, a user can open the web browser on their device and perform a simple search, or load a new web page that isn't cached in the device's memory. Often, users will experience web pages that won't load, and apps that are unresponsive when trying to refresh (such as viewing new posts in Facebook or LinkedIn).

As stated above, this can happen on both cellular and wifi. Since devices prefer to use wifi (for the faster internet speeds, as well as to avoid using data in the user's plan), a device will likely cling to a weak wifi signal as a user moves through or leaves an office. Using wifi from the parking lot of the office will likely result in slow speeds, just as using cellular in a rural area may do the same. 

It is recommended that users connect to a strong wifi signal, or ensure that a strong cellular signal is available before performing a sync.

GSM vs. CDMA - Syncing while on a call

For cellular devices (smartphones and tablets), there are two different technologies that drive the networks and devices that cellular service providers use: GSM and CDMA. Examples of GSM carriers are AT&T and T-Mobile, while Sprint and Verizon offer CDMA devices. For PlayMaker mobile app users, there is a key difference to understand about the difference between the two services:

  • GSM allows for both voice and data to be used at the same time. As an example, a user with a GSM device can put a phone call on speaker, then go to their web browser and load web pages while on that call.
  • CDMA devices are limited to either having voice or data working in the same moment, but not both. If a CDMA user is on a phone call, the apps that require data on their device will not work until the call has been terminated.

This means that PlayMaker users that are on CDMA networks will not be able to sync the PlayMaker mobile application while on a phone call, and that an incoming call may interrupt a sync that is in progress. If a call is taken or placed, and the PlayMaker application is open, offline activity can still take place (events can be marked as complete, notes can be added, accounts and contacts can be created, etc.). While most smartphones can multitask, CDMA networks cannot. Any services that require internet access (such as searching for an account on the web, using dictation to add notes, or performing a sync) will not function due to internet access not being available. An error will likely display stating that a connection to the internet could not be made.

After the call has been completed (and there is no longer a green bar along the top of the mobile device's display, indicating that a call is in progress), a sync can be performed. Any data entered while "offline" should then sync to the PlayMaker web environment. Similarly, and web data that has been updated (such as incoming referrals) will then populate on the mobile device.

Mobile App vs. Device - Finding the culprit

Through a process of elimination, users can generally determine if a problem is related to the mobile application or an issue with the device. Logging into the user's account on a different device (such as a coworker's device or a personal device) can help determine if the issue is limited to the device that they normally use, or if the issue persists across multiple devices. It is suggested that users login with similar devices (same operating system) running the same version of the application.  Taking this step assists with ensuring that the issue persists within the same platform, or confirming that the issue is limited to the user's original device.

Common Troubleshooting Steps

  • Force-quitting the PlayMaker application. Mobile applications can misbehave from time to time, and force-quitting them is a quick way to clear out an application that may be frozen or otherwise not properly functioning. 
  • Performing a hard reboot. Performing a hard reset restarts the user's device, but clears out some of the data and settings that exist behind the scenes. To do this, simply hold down the sleep/wake/power button and the home button (the button on the face of the device below the screen) or volume down button (for Android users) down together for about 10 seconds. The phone will turn off, then will continue to boot, allowing the user to unlock the device and resume use. 
  • Updating the application. Keeping the PlayMaker mobile application up-to-date helps prevent syncing issues. Both Android and iOS devices have the ability to turn on auto-update (see links below for instructions) to keep the application up to date without needing to manually install the update. Before turning this feature on, users should confirm with their internal IT departments that doing so is approved.
  • Deleting and reinstalling the application. If the above steps have not resolved the syncing issue, deleting and reinstalling the application usually addresses most syncing conflicts. However, deleting the application will also remove any data that was input before a sync has been completed. It is recommended to perform a sync before deleting the application, to avoid any potential data loss. 
  • Updating the OS (operating system) of the device. An out of date operating system can have impacts on the software that is installed on the device. Before installing an update to the operating system, users should check with their internal IT department to see which operating systems are approved. Users will also likely want to discuss back up solutions, as any issues with an operating system update may result in data loss.
  •  Restore to factory settings. Sometimes, the operating system on a device causes issues for the device. Issues that seem like app or hardware issues can often be the result of the operating system not functioning properly. In these cases, it is best to restore the device to factory settings, which reinstalls the operating system onto the device, rather than simply updating it. It also removes all data on the device. Before starting a restore, users should partner with their IT department to discuss backing up data (contacts, photos, etc.), as well as the restore process, and making sure that they have appropriate passwords to restore any accounts or software on the device.



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