UPDATE - January 26, 2022
iOS 15.3 has been released! Please update to this version of iOS as our testing has shown much better auto-open performance and Apple developer support has indicated there are "some fixes" in this update to the background location bugs that have been plaguing iOS since 15.0 was released. Please also make sure you are running the latest version of the Tailwind app.
I'm sure it hasn't been fun working as a developer at Apple lately if you're on any of the location or bluetooth teams responsible for iOS. There are some pretty significant bugs that cropped up in iOS 15. Frankly it hasn't been fun at Tailwind either. Some people are quick to point the finger at the small company. Customers are upset and they want answers as to why their auto-open / close features are not working properly. If you don't want to read the rest of this article, the short answer is "We have to wait for Apple to fix some bugs introduced in iOS 15". Period. If you want to know more, please read on. If you don't believe these are Apple / iOS bugs, check out the Apple developer thread here.
Since mobile phones need to be very careful when it comes to battery management, the operating system will suspend any app that isn't absolutely necessary at any given moment. Often this means that when an app is not displayed on the screen, it will stop running shortly after you swipe away from it. Of course there are exceptions such as apps that need to keep your playlist alive even when you put down your phone. But those apps are placed in a special category and they specifically have that exact permission to keep playing audio. Other apps, such as, oh I don't know, one that opens your garage door? Well, those will get suspended within seconds of putting the phone down.
When things are working properly, an app on an iPhone can tell iOS "Hey, wake me up if any of these things happen". These events can be things like entering within a certain geofenced area, or certain types of wireless devices are detected nearby, or a certain type of notification comes in. All these things happen in the background when are you are not actively using any particular app, and even when your phone is sitting locked in your pocket or on a table.
Some of these wakeup calls in iOS 15 are broken. They aren't reliable. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes you can restart the phone and they start working - or maybe not. Some people are experiencing consistent failures while others experience none. Tesla has hardware in their cars that is supposed to trigger one of these wakeup calls so that an iPhone can function as a key to the car. The user walks up to the car. iOS detects the hardware, wakes up the Tesla app, which then unlocks the door. All of this happens without the user even having to think about it. Except that now it doesn't do this reliably anymore. The Tesla forums have multiple threads of Tesla owners wondering why their doors don't unlock anymore since they updated to iOS 15. You can read about the Tesla problems here and here. You can also see developer threads discussing the issues here and here. Here is a thread on the Arlo forums where their tech support stated there is no choice but to wait for Apple to fix the bugs. You can do a Google search on "IOS 15 geofencing not working" and find lots more.
It's a similar situation with Tailwind. When you walk up to your car, iOS normally detects the vehicle sensor, wakes up the Tailwind app, and that enables the location tracking and auto-open / close to occur. If that wakeup call fails we have backup wakeup calls as well - and those are also failing.
Apple is actively working to resolve these issues and apparently they have some of them fixed, but we don't know yet which version of iOS those fixes will be included in.
We will continue to do our best to keep our customers updated on this issue and we really do hope the teams at Apple get these bugs ironed out soon. It can't be any fun for them working late hours and weekends, and I know our tech support inquiries have sky-rocketed over this.
Please hang in there. I really do believe they will have most of this stuff sorted out soon. You can bet that we will be testing every iOS beta update they make available.