iOS Device Problems
This is a topic that has always caused some confusion and the changes introduced in iOS 8 have certainly muddied the waters even more !
Devices that aren’t capable of sending SMS messages directly cannot reasonably be used with the app at the moment. The iPad and iPod fall into that bracket and for that reason I can’t recommend using the app on those platforms.
The Messages app, available on both iPad and iPod since iOS 5, allows the devices to send text messages but only to other iOS or Mac OS X devices. For the GPS tracker devices it is not useable.
Having said that, with iOS 8, Apple introduced the new “hand off” feature which allows devices on the same Apple Id to use the call and SMS capabilities of other devices. This means that if you have an iPhone connected to the same account as your iPad then you CAN send SMS messages from an iPad (or iPod or Yosemite OS X) via your iPhone. It is important to remember though that the text message will still appear to originate from your iPhone’s number as that is the device that actually sends the text or makes the call. This does make the TKController app viable on an iPad although it’s actually the iPhone that does all the communications.
In short, an iPad cannot send SMS messages without going through a 3rd party service such as iMessage from Apple or TextMe. It has no way of sending an SMS message directly to a GPS tracker device.
SIM Tips and Troubleshooting
When you get your SIM and before installing it in your tracker it’s always a good idea to install it in a normal phone first. There are often unlock codes and similar that are sent to you when the SIM is first used that you need to respond to to complete the SIM activation.
Checking that you can send and receive texts and make and receive calls with the SIM before installing it in your tracker will save a LOT of potential problems later. If nothing else, at least you’ll know that the basic communications are working OK before you start configuring the tracker.
There are so many different SIM providers out there and so many different contracts and PAYG deals that choosing a SIM can be harder than choosing a device !
Remember that the provider you use needs to have a decent signal available in the areas you want to use the tracker. There’s no point in just going for the cheapest deal if you don’t have coverage most of the time !
The SIM needs to be able to work in a 2G environment. Some providers (Three and EE in the UK, for example) work exclusively on the 3G and 4G networks and these sims are not compatible with the current tracker units available.
If you use the tracker daily you will potentially be looking at sending at least 10 texts a day from the unit. If you forget to turn off the stockade function or get some false alarms due to GPS issues etc… this can soon ramp up and eat into your text allowance. If you have more than one admin phone number then that will double/triple etc… the number of texts the unit is sending. Bear this in mind when choosing a PAYG or contract deal as 300 texts a month may sound a lot but used regularly your tracker is more than capable of using that up in under a month. For more occasional use (vehicle parked up most of the time and only used a couple of times per week) it’s far less of an issue.
Some providers offer unlimited free texts within their network so don’t forget to check if that’s an option, choosing a SIM from the same network your main phone is on. Be aware that many of these free options have terms and conditions that exclude automated devices such as a tracker and they may turn the SIM off if they realise what it is being used for.