goTenna App for non smartphone devices

I would like to request that the official Gotenna app be ported to run on Mac OS, Windows, Linux, & the Apple TV OS. It would be really handy for those who don’t have a spare smartphone available but might have a laptop, raspberry Pi, or Apple TV at home that they could keep connected to their home goTenna relay node so they can ping it while mobile around town.

A standalone Apple Watch app would be cool too!


It would be nice to intergrate to other devices like that, but I think the problem would be the fact that some “non-smart phone” devices lack GPS. goTenna needs to be able to connect to GPS so it knows your location.

Also, it must be able to read, write, store and display SMS text. And have Bluetooth 4 or better.

There’s this fashion trend in China to build your main cellphone controls into a tiny phone that is your headset/giant earbud. But they have no display, other than phone numbers and no GPS. They do have Bluetooth. Close but no cigar, perhaps in the next generation someone would realize there could be a nice little market for devices that could be used instead of full scale cellphone to operate the goTenna Mesh.

One way to deal with GPS would be to Bluetooth to a GPS that supported it’s use that way. My serious hiking days are done, I suspect, so haven’t kept up with the niche. My Garmin Legend(?) is at least a decade old, only doesn’t hold as much maps as I’d like and is decidedly pre-BT.

I have a wifi hotspot that can provide internet on the go even though I don’t have an actual cellphone. It has a tiny dispaly and I sure enough HP to run SMS, may even be native to the thing. Its 802.11sumtim, but no Bluetooth IIRC. More recent models may have BT? So it’s close, in a pager-sized form-factor

The iPod Touch lacks GPS, but it runs the goTenna app. I only see one reason why the Apple Watch couldn’t run a version of the app. Series 3 have GPS with Cellular optional, but Siri doesn’t work without an internet connection, even though the watch is powerful enough to do on-device speech recognition.

As a next step, I’d love to see a linux port of the goTenna app. That would open up so many devices, including Raspberry Pi, the upcoming Librem 5 phone, as well as regular computers.

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I’d love some Raspberry Pi-flavored mesh, but not sure I can personally do much beyond confuse myself. It was going better with new GUI’s etc, then mine forgot that it’s password is raspberry. Mind you, it’s not the wrong password, it just got tired of recognizing its given name and wants to be called something else. Yes, it’s a weird pi thing. goTenna’s have their quirks, but they’re like a Lexus vs pi and that could be a good ingredient.

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As of fall 2019, it will become much easier to port a iOS app to MacOS according to the wwdc18 keynote. Perhaps then we might see an MacOS version.


Gotenna mesh does not require a device with GPS.

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There are emulators for all of those platforms. Why not try to run the app inside the emulator, and see if it meets your needs?

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The emulators have many limitations. I don’t know the current status of the IOS emulator but Androids emulator can’t do Bluetooth.

When the USB SDK comes out a lot of these platforms will open up for us.

The app does need GPS to work properly. There is one case in another thread that demonstrates this point. A user had a very hard time figuring out why his two devices could not talk to each other. Turns out one device had a GPS and one didn’t. The app assumes the device is in the US if it can’t get a GPS location. If it does find a location it changes frequencies and power based on local regulations.

So if you are in the US you don’t absolutely need the GPS but in other countries it can play real havok on the whole system.

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The current and previous Android emulators absolutely support Bluetooth. The native, standalone emulators do not support Bluetooth because they assume you’re going to be testing your developed app on a “real” device.

However, you can get Bluetooth supported on the Android emulator built for x86 and run it in a virtual environment, using a physical (USB) Bluetooth adapter plugged into the host machine.

There are plenty of examples of how to do this with VirtualBox, VMware Fusion on Mac and VMware Workstation on Windows and Linux.

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I admit that will work. Virtual machines dont usually come to my mind when I’m discussing emulators even though the name is the definition of an emulator. With reguard to this thread we’ve crossed the line between possible and practical.

Actually the app doesn’t need gps for all functions. Just location sharing feature.

If you read my post again you will see why I still consider GPS necessary. You NEED GPS if you are not in the US. Otherwise you are probably breaking local laws AND causing incompatibility issues that won’t allow devices to talk to each other. That is unless Gotenna made a recent change. If they did let me know.

Maybe an update to the app to allow non gps capable devices to select a country from a list. Of course even non gps units such as an iPod touch or non cellular iPads can still geo locate when in range of any WiFi signal. Even WiFi that you are not connected to will allow you to geo locate.

A couple of those options were mentioned a while back but it doesn’t seem high on the list of priorities. They’ve been busy getting us more hops and the like. I’m really looking forward to the USB SDK.