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Cordova Background Geolocation

The most sophisticated background location-tracking & geofencing module with battery-conscious motion-detection intelligence for iOS and Android.

Also available for React Native, NativeScript and pure native apps.

ūüÜē The Android plugin requires purchasing a license. However, it will work for DEBUG builds. It will not work with RELEASE builds without purchasing a license.

Home Settings

ūüďö API Documentation

ūüĒ∑ Installing the plugin

From npm

$ cordova plugin add cordova-background-geolocation-lt

Phonegap Build

  <plugin name="cordova-background-geolocation-lt" source="npm">

From master (latest, greatest.)

$ cordova plugin add

Installing a tagged version.

This plugin has tagged stable versions. To install a particular version, append a version code to the github url prefixed by #.

$ cordova plugin add <git.url>#2.7.0

ūüĒ∑ Configuring the plugin

The plugin requires configuration within your App's config.xml:

<widget id="">
  <plugin name="cordova-background-geolocation-lt">
    <variable name="LOCATION_ALWAYS_USAGE_DESCRIPTION" value="Background location-tracking is required" />
    <variable name="LOCATION_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION" value="Background location-tracking is required" />
    <variable name="MOTION_USAGE_DESCRIPTION" value="Using the accelerometer increases battery-efficiency by intelligently toggling location-tracking only when the device is detected to be moving" />
    <!-- Android only -->
    <variable name="LICENSE" value="YOUR_LICENSE_KEY" />

‚ĚóÔłŹ To apply changes to these <variable />, you must remove/re-add the plugin.

ūüĒ∑ Disabling Background "location"

For those using useSignificantChangesOnly: true, possibly because Apple denied your use of the background location capability, you can disable background location by providing the BACKGROUND_MODE_LOCATION <variable /> with an empty-string:

<plugin name="cordova-background-geolocation-lt">
  <!-- Disable background "location" capability with empty-string -->
  <variable name="BACKGROUND_MODE_LOCATION" value="" />
@variable LOCATION_ALWAYS_USAGE_DESCRIPTION ["Background location-tracking is required"] iOS

[iOS] Customize the message displayed to the user when Always location authorization is requested. This variable is added to your iOS .plist in the NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription key.

@variable LOCATION_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION ["Background location-tracking is required" iOS

[iOS] Customize the message displayed to the user when WhenInUse location authorization is requested. This variable is added to your iOS .plist in the NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription key.

@variable MOTION_USAGE_DESCRIPTION ["Using the accelerometer increases battery-efficiency by..." iOS

[iOS] Customize the message displayed to the user when "Motion & Fitness" permission is requested. The plugin is highly optimized to use iOS CMMotionActivityManager API for intelligently toggling location-services only when the plugin is detected to be moving.

@variable BACKGROUND_MODE_LOCATION ["&lt;string&gt;location&lt;/string&gt;"] iOS

[iOS] Adds the iOS background-mode location to your iOS .plist file. This is the default behaviour. To disable this, (ie: for those using useSignificantChangesOnly), provide an empty-string:

  <variable name="BACKGROUND_MODE_LOCATION" value="" />

WARNING If you do want the default behaviour of background-location updates, simply IGNORE this variable -- Do NOT even provide it. If you do provide it, you must provide the full escaped XML value of &lt;string&gt;location&lt;/string&gt; (the default value when not provided), not just location.

ūüĒ∑ Using the Plugin

The plugin creates the object window.BackgroundGeolocation. See API Documentation for details

Ionic 2 and Typescript

Sample Implementation

platform.ready().then(() => {
  var bgGeo = (<any>window).BackgroundGeolocation;

#configure the Plugin

There are three simple steps to using BackgroundGeolocation:

  1. Listen to events
  2. #configure the plugin
  3. #start the plugin
// 1.  Listen to events 
bgGeo.on('location', onLocation, onLocationFailure);
bgGeo.on('motionchange', onMotionChange);
bgGeo.on('providerchange', onProviderChange);
// 2. Configure the plugin.   
  desiredAccuracy: 0,   // <-- Config params 
  distanceFilter: 50
}, function(state) {    // <-- Current state provided to #configure callback 
  // 3.  Start tracking 
  console.log('BackgroundGeolocation is configured and ready to use');
  if (!state.enabled) {
    bgGeo.start(function() {
      console.log('- BackgroundGeolocation tracking started');
// NOTE:  Do NOT execute any API methods until the callback to #configure 
// method above executes! 
// For example, do not do this here: 
// bgGeo.getCurrentPosition()   // <-- NO! 
// bgGeo.getState();            // <-- NO! 

‚ö†ÔłŹ Do not execute any API method (aside from #getState or adding event-listeners with #on) before the callbackFn to the #configure method fires, as noted above.

ūüĒ∑ Example

// As with all Cordova plugins, you must configure within an #deviceready callback. 
function onDeviceReady() {
    // Get a reference to the plugin. 
    var bgGeo = window.BackgroundGeolocation;
    //This callback will be executed every time a geolocation is recorded in the background. 
    var callbackFn = function(location, taskId) {
        var coords = location.coords;
        var lat    = coords.latitude;
        var lng    = coords.longitude;
        console.log('- Location: ', JSON.stringify(location));
        // Must signal completion of your callbackFn. 
    // This callback will be executed if a location-error occurs.  Eg: this will be called if user disables location-services. 
    var failureFn = function(errorCode) {
        console.warn('- BackgroundGeoLocation error: ', errorCode);
    // Listen to location events & errors. 
    bgGeo.on('location', callbackFn, failureFn);
    // Fired whenever state changes from moving->stationary or vice-versa. 
    bgGeo.on('motionchange', function(isMoving) {
      console.log('- onMotionChange: ', isMoving);
    // Fired whenever a geofence transition occurs. 
    bgGeo.on('geofence', function(geofence) {
      console.log('- onGeofence: ', geofence.identifier, geofence.location);
    // Fired whenever an HTTP response is received from your server. 
    bgGeo.on('http', function(response) {
      console.log('http success: ', response.responseText);
    }, function(response) {
      console.log('http failure: ', response.status);
    // BackgroundGeoLocation is highly configurable. 
        // Geolocation config 
        desiredAccuracy: 0,
        distanceFilter: 10,
        stationaryRadius: 25,
        // Activity Recognition config 
        activityRecognitionInterval: 10000,
        stopTimeout: 5,
        // Application config 
        debug: true,  // <-- Debug sounds & notifications. 
        stopOnTerminate: false,
        startOnBoot: true,
        // HTTP / SQLite config 
        url: "",
        method: "POST",
        autoSync: true,
        maxDaysToPersist: 3,
        headers: {  // <-- Optional HTTP headers 
            "X-FOO": "bar"
        params: {   // <-- Optional HTTP params 
            "auth_token": "maybe_your_server_authenticates_via_token_YES?"
    }, function(state) {
        // This callback is executed when the plugin is ready to use. 
        console.log("BackgroundGeolocation ready: ", state);
        if (!state.enabled) {
    // The plugin is typically toggled with some button on your UI. 
    function onToggleEnabled(value) {
        if (value) {
        } else {

ūüĒ∑ Advanced Sample Application

A fully-featured SampleApp is available in its own public repo. After first cloning that repo, follow the installation instructions in the README there. This SampleApp includes a settings-screen allowing you to quickly experiment with all the different settings available for each platform.

If you're using XCode, boot the SampleApp in the iOS Simulator and enable Debug->Location->Freeway Drive.

ūüĒ∑ Simple Testing Server

A simple Node-based web-application with SQLite database is available for field-testing and performance analysis. If you're familiar with Node, you can have this server up-and-running in about one minute.


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