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.
Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones. So far, auto close is still working reliably for me. As for auto open, it normally works, but twice the WRONG door has opened. Is that one of the iOS 15 failure modes you're seeing or do I have a different problem? Thanks.
Yes that is one of the failure modes. It actually also existed in iOS 14 but seems to be worse in iOS 15. We have been able to compensate for that failure mode in our upcoming app release, so once you get the updated app (you'll see the "what's new" pop up), that should not happen anymore.
Unfortunately there are failure modes in iOS 15 that just cannot be compensated for on our side of things no matter how creative we get with our coding.
I hadn’t been using *my* door for a while so disabled it in the app, and I’ve been on the iOS 15 public betas since July without an issue opening *my wife’s* door when driving the other car (neither of us uses Auto-Close, though it worked when I tested *her* door in July). Recently her phone took the iOS 15 general update, and since then *my* vehicle sensor opens her door while *her* sensor opens mine… kooky, huh? I’m on 15.2 (19C5026i) while wife is on 15.1 (19B74); patiently awaiting Apple fixes for this! :)
So we do have an app update coming out shortly (in beta now) that should fix the mixup of the doors. Despite iOS messing that up, we did find a way to deal with that particular bug and it is fixed in the beta app in testing now.
But for everything else we just have to wait for Apple. I got another update from them today and in a nutshell it said "we're working on it".
Thanks, Scott and Team!! Yes, I tell everyone about my Tailwind and the great customer service. I even sang your praises to the Door Doctor tech who came to replace a torsion spring a while back, and he actually took notes. He was impressed!
I'm blushing! Thank you very much!
iOS 15.1 broke my geofencing. But turning off location services on most of the apps seems to fix it. I am not sure it will work on every iOS device since I have not tested on other devices besides my iPhone. If you want to try, here is howto: Go settings->privacy->location services: turn “Always” to “Never” or “While Using” for all apps except Tailwind and maybe a few other apps like Nest which uses geofencing. The point is turn off “always” geofencing as much as possible.
It turns out IOS 15.1 wasn't the problem for me - I needed a new battery in my vehicle sensor and everything seems to be working fine now. The 3V CR2477 battery has a "cut-off" at 2V and will no longer work when it gets below that.
So, maybe there's still a problem with IOS 15 for some, but for me the issue was just a low battery and not IOS software. Hope that helps some with iPhones!
UPDATE: Well, I thought it was fixed by just changing the battery, but was only working during the in-app test. Since then, the auto-open/close is still not working during day-to-day use - confirming a software glitch. Come on Apple!
Tim, I just changed my battery, before I researched more about what was going on. So a new battery did not help me. Still not working for me, I am hoping 15.2 will fix it all. My arm is getting tired of hitting the button!
We did receive an update from Apple developer tech support recently and they at least disclosed more specifics about what's going on "under the hood" in iOS 15. I don't think I am permitted to share the details, and I certainly don't want to upset the folks at Apple that are feeding us breadcrumbs trying to help while Apple fixes their bugs. They even sent us some code to try as a countermeasure / short term solution. Unfortunately that code only appears to execute AFTER the fact. So basically if iOS fails to launch our app when it should, the next time you tap on our app to launch it, the countermeasure code runs and basically tells us "yeah, it happened again".
If I get the green light from our contacts at Apple that I can share more about what I know, you can bet money that I will share with you.
It does not appear to be fixed in iOS 15.2.
I have the updated version of the tailwind app on both phones. My phone is an IPhone 6 running 15.2 and my wife’s phone is an IPhone 8 Plus running 14.2. The center door does not work at all with her phone and the wrong door opens with my phone. I have updated the sensor firmware on the vehicle sensor and the app reports the battery at 93%. The other door seem to work intermittently.
Everything works spotless for me, just the auto open does not work. I have not tried Auto Close, but it does alert me when it is left open for my specified time. Scott this must be so frustrating for everyone. I really hope it is sorted out soon though. Ohhh, just got an update for the iPhone app right now!
Hi Brian and Marc,
We pushed out an app update today. Did you get that one? Yes it is super frustrating to say the least Marc. I haven't had a good night's sleep since iOS15 came out. Between Apple's patch code they sent us plus some really creative coding the update we released today should work for most customers.
We don't actually test with the iPhone 6. Our testing only goes back as far as iPhone 7 and it worked perfectly with iPhone 7.
Thanks Scott. I just downloaded and tried driving around a few times and it did not auto open. Any suggestions and things to check or set? I have it set to always allow location, my battery is new in the puck. I turned it off and on. The app shows my firmware is updated. Thanks.
Please send a bug report after you arrive home Marc, and let me know once you send it. We tested this version so many times it is really disappointing to hear that it failed on you like that. We had a team of people testing it and nobody could get it to fail even once.
I have updated the app on both phones and will try it out in the morning.
Hopefully that fixes it for you Brian. If it doesn't, please send a bug report and let me know you sent one. We have not been able to get the auto-open or auto-close to fail in our testing, but I've learned not to trust that.
Scott I just submitted a bug report. I think I will buy a new battery for the puck.
Scott, I have also submitted a bug report.
Marc I checked your bug report. At no time is your phone detecting the vehicle sensor. I think the battery is dead, or perhaps it is not turned on.
Brian I looked at your bug report and it appears as though the Apple patch code is not working for some reason. I have asked the iOS team to check it, but would you mind doing the following to see if it makes a difference?
Please delete the Tailwind app from your phone. Then restart your phone. Then download the Tailwind app from the app store again - search "Tailwind Smart". Login with your credentials and grant all requested permissions. See if that helps. That should at least give us a fresh, clean slate to work with. All your settings will return automatically so you won't need to do any configuring.
Note: It is normal for the Diagnostic Tool to show "leaving" as you return home, and then switch to "Arriving" shortly before actually arriving home. This will only happen if you are driving back and forth doing testing. If you were to run the Diagnostic Tool on your trip home from work for example, it would not do that. It's just the way the tracking algorithm works. It averages out a lot of data over time to determine the trend, so if you drive 2,500 feet away and then 2,500 feet back, it won't switch to "arriving" until you're most of the way back again - but it will switch. Also, as you drive away you'll probably see that it sends the close command multiple times. This is because it will continue sending it until it gets confirmation that the door did close - which takes a while. The beeping / flashing + closing time can easily be 20-30 seconds. So don't worry that it shows the "sending close command" message multiple times. Perfectly normal. But it should eventually show "Door closed successfully" and then a 60 second countdown should start.
On for the vehicle sensor is when it flashes right? Have i had it wrong all this time? I looked it up on your site and swear that was the way. I will order a new battery and try, I think the ones from Amazon I got maybe are not good. Should I delete and reinstall the app at all?
If it "flickers" it just turned on. One solid flash means it just turned off. If it is turning on then a new battery is not going to fix the issue. Based on what I saw in your bug report Marc everything is working fine but iOS is just not "seeing" the vehicle sensor at all.
If the vehicle sensor is turning on (it flashes rapidly when you press the button), then a new battery is not going to help unless for some reason the battery is so bad that it dies immediately after powering on, then the cell recovers enough over time to power up again. You can test for this by repeatedly pressing and holding the power button. If you can cycle it on / off by repeatedly pressing the power button every minute or so then it is remaining powered on and not instantly croaking.
If it seems to remain powered on and auto-open still isn't working you could try deleting the vehicle from the app and then adding it back again to see if that helps.
I deleted the app, restarted my phone and reinstalled the app.
I left home and shut the door with the with remote. I went out about 2500’ and returned home. The door did not open automatically. I did not have it in sensor diagnostic mode.
Darn it. Can you please send a bug report Brian? I would like to see if it looks the same as before.
Bug report sent.
Got it. I see this report is from an iPhone 6S. Our test phones only go back as far as the iPhone 7 so we have not tested with an iPhone 6. It does not appear to be responding at all to Apple's patch code from what I can see, which allows the iOS15 bugs to completely destroy the auto-open feature on your phone. You also mentioned that your wife has an iPhone 8 but her phone is running iOS14. We are not certain what impact Apple's patch code will have on devices running iOS14 because it was designed for iOS15 and may actually cause issues on iOS14. I will ask the team about detecting the installed iOS version and only implement the patch code if the installed OS version is 15.
That said, if you wish to go for a drive with your wife's phone Brian, and then send a bug report from her phone I will definitely have a look at it for you to see what's going on there. It obviously will not be the iOS15 bug but could be some strange issue with how Apple's patch code is interacting with iOS14. It could also be something else entirely. The only way to know is to look at a bug report.
Scott, well, I cannot tell you at what point, but the sensor selected in my app was not my sensor and I NEVER clicked on that box to retry it. So I did and well, you can rest just a bit easier, it works for me now!!
Good Luck Brian!
Ok great! Glad you're all set now Marc. We tested this version for a lot of cycles and it worked every single time - but we did not test every scenario and Brian unfortunately has 2 scenarios we did not test. An iPhone 6, and an iPhone running iOS14.
First I did not expect to have you work all weekend on this. Thanks for the extra effort.
Bug report sent from my wife’s phone operating under the same conditions as previously with my phone.
It may be the simplest solution for my wife’s phone if problems show up again is to convince her to allow me to update the IOS.
For me it may be to finally upgrade my phone.
Brian I have a 13 Pro Max, I was going to say time to upgrade, but did not want to overstep. :)
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