Mileage Tracking

Timeero: Best GPS and Mileage Tracker that Works Offline

Samson Kiarie
Last update on:
April 18, 2024 1:43 AM
Published on:

It is common for internet connection to be lost while field employees are working in remote areas.  This is why using a GPS tracker with offline capabilities is a must-have for field teams. In this guide, we’ll shed light on how Timeero — the best GPS tracker with offline tracking features — works.

We’ll look at how time, location, and mileage trackers work when the employee is off-grid or disconnected. We’ll also discuss how different features like segmented tracking, time clocks, breaks and overtime tracking work when the employee is offline. 

We tested Timeero’s offline mode to give you first-hand information regarding the accuracy of its mileage, time, and location trackers. Before we disclose how these features performed, let’s get the basics out of our way.  

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What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigational system used to determine the location of an object on Earth. The GPS is made up of three components:

  • Satellites: The system comprises 24 satellites residing in the six earth-center orbital planes. The satellites transmit radio signals, which the receiver catches and interprets to determine the exact location of an object on Earth. 
  • GPS Receivers: Your smartphone has a built-in GPS receiver that uses radio signals to determine location. The receiver only needs signals from three satellites to produce the actual location. However, it may require signals from a fourth satellite to verify whether information from the other three satellites is correct.
  • Control Stations: The earth-based monitoring stations house the systems that control the satellites. There are many data uploading, master control, and monitor stations worldwide. 

Your smartphone GPS functionality doesn’t require an internet connection to work. After all, the phone is a receiver, not an emitter. Like a traditional radio, it doesn't need an internet connection to harness the frequencies from satellites. 

Whether you’re off-grid or have no cellular service, your phone GPS will still show your location for navigational purposes. The maps on iOS and Android work seamlessly in offline mode because the routes don’t require constant updating. 

GPS tracking apps rely on a phone’s GPS functionality to track mileage, time, and location accurately. While there are some apps that do require Wi-Fi connection or mobile data for tracking purposes, this is not the case with Timeero. With its robust offline mode, Timeero allows you to make the most of your phone’s GPS features without an internet connection.

Does Timeero GPS Work Without Data?

Timeero’s GPS tracker works flawlessly without data. The tracker is configured to utilize the phone’s GPS functionality without needing mobile data or a Wi-Fi connection. Even when the field employee has no internet connection, the app will continue to track location, mileage, and time with unwavering accuracy. 

timeero mobile app
Timeero is one of the best mileage tracking apps that work impeccably without internet. 

This app ticks the box for sales representatives, delivery drivers, service teams, and other field team members traveling in remote areas without cellular coverage. It also saves the day when a field employee runs out of mobile data during a shift. 

To decrease the amount of errors caused by inattentiveness in worklogs, field employees can intentionally turn off mobile data to disable the influx of messages, notifications, and social media updates, which are often distractions during the workday. 

How Timeero’s Offline Mode Works

To better understand what happens during offline tracking, you must first understand how Timeero works when mobile data is on.

With an internet connection, Timeero tracks time, location, and mileage and instantly syncs the data to the cloud. As a result, you can monitor the location of each employee and the task they are working on in near real-time. This encourages accountability and can be incredibly helpful when dispatching teams based on geographical locations. 

When the employee’s phone is offline, the app stores data and actions locally on the employee’s device, instead of uploading them to the cloud. The data is synced to the cloud once the employee’s device is connected to the internet.

Remember that storing the data on the device’s database makes it difficult to track employees' real-time location. Suppose an employee clocks in and suddenly goes offline after some hours of work. The Timeero app will only show the last updated location and mileage report, which is most likely the point where their mobile data went off.

The inability to track employees' real-time location means that the offline mode isn’t ideal for companies looking to enhance employee security in the field. For example, if an emergency happens during offline tracking — such as a lost employee — you wouldn’t know their location until they sync their data, which could be hours after the incident. 

Timeero Offline Mode: Hands-On Testing 

We put every Timeero feature, reminder, and notification to the test to determine how they work without internet connection. Our results should give freelancers, rideshare drivers, small business owners, self-employed workers, and independent contractors an idea of what to expect when using Timeero’s offline mode. 

Clocking In and Out

For this test, we asked one of our employees to switch off mobile data and clock in. The app let the employee clock in without difficulty but notified them that they clocked in while offline. The pop-up notification is meant to alert employees just in case they accidentally switched their mobile data off.

timeero clock out mobile
With Timeero’s Android or iPhone GPS tracker, no Wi-Fi or mobile data is needed to track time. 

After one hour of offline tracking, we asked the employee to clock out. Timeero tracked every minute the employee was offline, but the data wasn’t immediately available on the company desktop dashboard. The app automatically synced the employee’s work hours to the system when they switched on their mobile data. 

Offline time tracking helps streamline expense tracking, particularly labor costs. It lets you track every second of your workforce’s work hours, including when workers are accidentally or intentionally offline. No more guessing or estimating your business expenses. 

Geofencing Automation

Geofencing curbs offsite punching, one of the time theft tactics employees use. But does Timeero’s geofence automation work in offline mode?  

To find out, we set a geofence around our test location and configured the app to restrict employees from punching in/out outside that virtual boundary. We also enabled notifications  that show when an employee enters or exits the geofence. 

timeero clock in no wifi
With Timeero’s offline mode, employees cannot clock in or out outside of their designated job site. 

First, we asked the employee to clock in a few blocks from the designated zone. Timeero displayed the warning: “You can’t clock in. You need to be within the job area boundaries to clock in.”

Then, we asked the employee to move within the geofence to determine whether the notifications work. Timeero’s offline mode sent our tester a notification, prompting them to clock in. The app let them clock in this time because they were within the geofence.

You can rest assured that even when an employee is offline, the geofence will prevent off-site punching. 

Tracking Breaks In Offline Mode

Timeero’s offline mode also tracks breaks accurately. You don’t have to worry about employees missing or taking prolonged breaks because all configurations work as defined, even in offline mode.  

During offline tracking, we started our break without any trouble. We attempted to end our lunch break early, only to be met with the usual warning: “You can’t end your break early.” The app automatically ended the lunch break after 30 minutes and reverted back to tracking our work hours. 

timeero offline break tracking
Timeero’s offline mode enables you to track breaks for compliance with labor laws. 

If your company uses the California break tool, don’t worry about employees failing to comply when they are offline. Timeero’s offline mode enforces the California break laws and displays the daily sign-off form when employees attempt to clock out. 

Tracking Overtime and Double Time On Offline Mode

Overtime and double time configurations will still apply when the employee is tracking time in offline mode. As usual, the app will track employee work hours and save the data in the device’s database. 

When the data is synced to Timeero, the app will calculate employees’ work hours, and categorize overtime and double time accordingly. No manual calculation is required to determine each employee’s earnings. Timeero will multiply the respective rates by the number of regular, overtime, and double-time hours. 

Automatic Mileage Tracking on Offline Mode

Tracking mileage for off-grid employees doesn’t get more accurate than with Timeero’s offline mode. The employee may be disconnected, but that doesn’t alter how the automatic tracker works. It utilizes the minimum speed threshold and motion detection technology (powered by GPS precision) to track employee business miles accurately. 

For this test, we had the employee clock in and drive five miles from the test location. The employee switched off their mobile data mid-trip to activate Timeero’s offline mode. The car odometer recorded five miles, whereas Timeero logged 4.89 miles. 

timeero offline mileage tracking 
Timeero’s offline mode tracks and computes mileage deductions accurately. 

The app didn’t log 0.11 miles, which is understandable since we’d set the minimum speed threshold to 4mph. The missed trip (0.11 miles) represents part of the trip when the vehicle never exceeded the speed threshold. 

All in all, our test trip proved that the offline mode works. Instead of relying on Excel spreadsheets to track the mileage of remote employees, use Timeero — the best offline mileage tracker. The app tracks mileage and creates logs that meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements. The mileage reports include vital details, such as: 

  • Starting and ending points
  • Starting and ending times
  • Purpose of the trip
  • Total distance covered

Business owners can use mileage logs for reimbursement and tax deductions. Before you approve business trips tracked via offline mode, we recommend using the ‘recalculate’ tool to update mileage accordingly. 

This tool recalculates employees' mileage, ensuring every business mile is included in their log. This enables you to use the correct figures for mileage reimbursement and tax write-offs. Learn more in our guide on how to track mileage for work.

Remember that Timeero computes reimbursement automatically using custom or IRS standard mileage rates. At the end of each pay period, simply generate reimbursement and other business expense reports for expedient employee compensation. 

Segmented Tracking On Offline Mode

Segmented tracking is beneficial for field teams that want to track the time each employee spends at a customer location. It lets you determine the time a sales rep spends with an assigned account. Field service teams can also use this tool to track billable hours for customer invoicing. 

The segmented tracking feature tracked our stops during the test trip without any issues. It also tracked our clock in/out addresses, duration at each location, and total mileage.

Segmented tracking will provide the insights you need for informed decision-making if you have sales reps, delivery drivers, or field service teams traversing remote areas. 

timeero segmented tracking ‍
Timeero doesn’t miss a single employee stop or address when auto tracking in offline mode. 

How Long Does Timeero Take to Sync Data Captured on Offline Mode?

As we mentioned, when in offline mode, Timeero stores data on an employee’s device. This begs the question: How long does it take to sync the data to the cloud?

The answer is less than a minute. During our testing, the app synced the data on all occasions in less than 10 seconds. In one instance, we asked the employee to switch mobile data on and turn it off after a count of three. Interestingly, Timeero still synced the data for the employee’s offline session.

This means that the employee doesn’t have to reconnect for an extended period of time in order for time, location, and mileage data to sync. If the app gets even a whiff of the internet, it will upload every byte of offline data to the cloud without the employee lifting a finger. This is possible because of how Timeero’s offline mode is configured.

When Timeero tracks data and actions in offline mode, it stores them on the employee device with an automatic update command. This command is constantly scanning for the next sync event or the next time internet connection is restored. The command is triggered instantaneously when the device is reconnected, and the timesheet is uploaded immediately.     

Best Practices When Tracking Location and Mileage in Offline Mode 

You don’t need to tweak a setting or flip a switch to use Timeero’s offline mode. The mode springs into action automatically when your mobile device is disconnected from the internet. The following practices will help you get the best out of offline mode: 

  1. Download the App Beforehand

If you expect field employees to be in an area without cellular coverage, ask them to install the Timeero app beforehand. Remember that you can only install the app from Google Play and Apple’s app store on an internet-enabled device. 

  1. Don’t Use Offline Mode to Track Real-time Location

While the offline mode tracks time, mileage, and location with unprecedented accuracy, there’s one area where it falls short: real-time location tracking. When field employees are offline, don’t rely on the app information for live GPS tracking. 

The information on the “Who’s Working” tab shows the employee’s last updated location. An employee shown to be 13 miles from the office could be a hundred miles away. 

  1. Ask Employees to Buy Enough Mobile Data

Ask field employees to purchase enough data when traveling to remote areas. Having enough mobile data is indispensable, especially if you need to track employees' real-time location. This will ensure they have enough bandwidth to stay online during the shift rather than resorting to offline tracking. 

  1. Set The Team’s Sync Frequency

To minimize the risk of losing workforce data, ask employees to ensure they are connected to the internet at least once every day to allow Timeero to sync data to the cloud. This decreases the risks associated with losing data if an employee’s device is lost or damaged before the next sync event.

  1. Make Sure the Tracker Checklist is 100%

Regardless of whether you are tracking in offline or online mode, the tracker checklist should always be 100%. The checklist is a set of configurations an employee should make on their phone for accuracy and efficiency. The settings include:

  • Turn on the GPS.
  • Set background location access to “ all the time.”
  • Set location accuracy to “high.”
  • Turn off battery optimization.
  • Turn off physical activity tracking.
  • Turn on Wi-Fi.

Timeero Pricing

Timeero offers affordable plans for all workers, including freelancers, self-employed employees, and small business owners. The 14-day free trial gives you ample time to test all the features. 

Beyond the free trial, there are three pricing plans. Each plan’s prices vary based on the available features. The plans are scalable and don’t require a base price. 

Timeero pricing table

Segmented tracking is an optional add-on that costs $5 per user. Timeero integrates seamlessly with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero. It also integrates with payroll solutions like Gusto, Paychex, Rippling, ADP, Viventium, and Paylocity. 

Track Offline Location and Mileage With Timeero

Timeero doesn’t require an internet connection or mobile data to operate efficiently. The location, time, and mileage trackers, as well as geofencing automation, reminders, and notifications, work just fine without an internet connection. 

The good thing is that the accuracy of employee mileage logs and timesheets isn’t affected when in offline mode. This enables you to compensate and reimburse all employees fairly, regardless of whether they log data in offline or online mode. 

Start a 14-day free trial today to get a first-hand feel for Timeero’s offline mode. No credit card is required — just create an account and use all the features risk-free. You can also contact our excellent customer support agents or book a consultation for free live demos. 

GPS Tracker Without Internet: FAQs

Does Timeero Work Offline?

Yes, Timeero works offline. The time, location, and mileage trackers don’t require an internet connection. 

Can a GPS Mileage Tracker App Work Without an Internet Connection?

Yes, the best mileage tracker apps, like Timeero, work flawlessly without an internet connection. Track time, mileage, and location offline without experiencing major challenges.

The Ultimate GPS and Mileage Tracking App: Accurate, Reliable, and Works Offline.

Explore more of what Timeero has to offer.
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Samson Kiarie

Samson is a mathematician turned content marketer specializing in SaaS and Tech content. He focuses on the practical aspects of software systems while keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge principles to create informative and engaging content. When he’s not writing, Samson spends time playing or watching soccer.

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