Sign Up for Free

RunKit +

Try any Node.js package right in your browser

This is a playground to test code. It runs a full Node.js environment and already has all of npm’s 400,000 packages pre-installed, including cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation with all npm packages installed. Try it out:

cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation lists no main file and has no index.js, so it can't be directly required. If this is a mistake, please let us know. It may however contain internal files that you can require manually:

// require("cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation/[??]")

This service is provided by RunKit and is not affiliated with npm, Inc or the package authors.

cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation v2.4.5

Cordova Background Geolocation Plugin



Cross-platform background location tracking plugin for Cordova / PhoneGap with battery-saving "circular region monitoring" and "stop detection".

This plugin can be used for background location tracking when app is running in foreground or background. It is more battery and data efficient than html5 geolocation or cordova-geolocation plugin. It can be used side by side with other geolocation providers (eg. html5 navigator.geolocation).

On Android you can choose from two location location providers:


See Which provider should I use? for more information about providers.

Sample Application

Checkout sample app repository cordova-plugin-background-geolocation-sample.

Submitting issues

All new issues should follow instructions in Properly filled issue report will significantly reduce number of follow up questions and decrease issue resolving time. Most issues cannot be resolved without debug logs. Please try to isolate debug lines related to your issue. Instructions how to prepare debug logs can be found in section Debugging. If you're reporting app crash, debug logs might not contain all needed informations about the cause of the crash. In that case, also provide relevant parts of output of adb logcat command.

Semantic Versioning

This plugin is following semantic versioning as defined



Installing the plugin

cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation

Default iOS location permission prompt can be changed in two ways:

  1. In your config.xml:

    <plugin name="cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation">
        <variable name="LOCATION_ALWAYS_USAGE_DESCRIPTION" value="This app requires background tracking enabled" />
        <variable name="LOCATION_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION" value="This app requires background tracking enabled" />
        <variable name="LOCATION_ALWAYS_AND_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION" value="Always use is required for background location tracking" />
  2. Or, you can pass the following variables on plugin install:

    • LOCATION_ALWAYS_USAGE_DESCRIPTION for NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription
    • LOCATION_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION for NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription
    • LOCATION_ALWAYS_AND_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION for NSLocationAlwaysAndWhenInUseUsageDescription


    cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation --variable LOCATION_ALWAYS_USAGE_DESCRIPTION="Your always usage description" --variable LOCATION_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION="Your when in use usage description" --variable LOCATION_ALWAYS_AND_WHEN_IN_USE_USAGE_DESCRIPTION="Your always and when in use usage description"

Registering plugin for Adobe® PhoneGap™ Build

This plugin should work with Adobe® PhoneGap™ Build without any modification. To register plugin add following line into your config.xml:

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-saralweb-background-geolocation"/>

NOTE: If you're using hydration, you have to download and reinstall your app with every new version of the plugin, as plugins are not updated.



Plugin versionCordova CLICordova Platform AndroidCordova Platform iOS

Please note that as of Cordova Android 6.0.0 icons are by default in mipmap/ directory not drawable/ directory, so this plugin will have a build issue on < 6.0.0 Cordova builds, you will need to update Authenticator.xml to drawable directory from mipmap directory to work on older versions.


You will need to ensure that you have installed the following items through the Android SDK Manager:

Android SDK Tools24.4.1
Android SDK Platform-tools23.1
Android SDK Build-tools23.0.1
Android Support Repository25
Android Support Library23.1.1
Google Play Services29
Google Repository24

Quick Example

document.addEventListener('deviceready', onDeviceReady, false);

function onDeviceReady () {

    * This callback will be executed every time a geolocation is recorded in the background.
    var callbackFn = function(location) {
        console.log('[js] BackgroundGeolocation callback:  ' + location.latitude + ',' + location.longitude);

        // Do your HTTP request here to POST location to your server.
        //, JSON.stringify(location));

        IMPORTANT:  You must execute the finish method here to inform the native plugin that you're finished,
        and the background-task may be completed.  You must do this regardless if your HTTP request is successful or not.
        IF YOU DON'T, ios will CRASH YOUR APP for spending too much time in the background.

    var failureFn = function(error) {
        console.log('BackgroundGeolocation error');

    // BackgroundGeolocation is highly configurable. See platform specific configuration options
    backgroundGeolocation.configure(callbackFn, failureFn, {
        desiredAccuracy: 10,
        stationaryRadius: 20,
        distanceFilter: 30,
        interval: 60000

    // Turn ON the background-geolocation system.  The user will be tracked whenever they suspend the app.

    // If you wish to turn OFF background-tracking, call the #stop method.
    // backgroundGeolocation.stop();


configure(success, fail, options)

successFunctionallCallback to be executed every time a geolocation is recorded in the background.
failFunctionallCallback to be executed every time a geolocation error occurs.
optionsJSON ObjectallConfigure options

Configure options:

desiredAccuracyNumberallDesired accuracy in meters. Possible values [0, 10, 100, 1000]. The lower the number, the more power devoted to GeoLocation resulting in higher accuracy readings. 1000 results in lowest power drain and least accurate readings. @see Apple docs
stationaryRadiusNumberallStationary radius in meters. When stopped, the minimum distance the device must move beyond the stationary location for aggressive background-tracking to engage.
debugBooleanallWhen enabled, the plugin will emit sounds for life-cycle events of background-geolocation! See debugging sounds table.
distanceFilterNumberallThe minimum distance (measured in meters) a device must move horizontally before an update event is generated. @see Apple docs.
stopOnTerminateBooleanallEnable this in order to force a stop() when the application terminated (e.g. on iOS, double-tap home button, swipe away the app). (default true)
startOnBootBooleanAndroidStart background service on device boot. (default false)
startForegroundBooleanAndroidIf false location service will not be started in foreground and no notification will be shown. (default true)
intervalNumberAndroidThe minimum time interval between location updates in milliseconds. @see [Android docs](,%20float,%20android.location.Criteria, for more information.
notificationTitleString optionalAndroidCustom notification title in the drawer.
notificationTextString optionalAndroidCustom notification text in the drawer.
notificationIconColorString optionalAndroidThe accent color to use for notification. Eg. #4CAF50.
notificationIconLargeString optionalAndroidThe filename of a custom notification icon. See android quirks.
notificationIconSmallString optionalAndroidThe filename of a custom notification icon. See android quirks.
locationProviderNumberAndroidSet location provider @see
activityTypeStringiOS[AutomotiveNavigation, OtherNavigation, Fitness, Other] Presumably, this affects iOS GPS algorithm. @see Apple docs for more information
pauseLocationUpdatesBooleaniOSPauses location updates when app is paused (default: true)
urlStringallServer url where to send HTTP POST with recorded locations @see HTTP locations posting
syncUrlStringallServer url where to send fail to post locations @see HTTP locations posting
syncThresholdNumberallSpecifies how many previously failed locations will be sent to server at once (default: 100)
httpHeadersObjectallOptional HTTP headers sent along in HTTP request
saveBatteryOnBackgroundBooleaniOSSwitch to less accurate significant changes and region monitory when in background (default)
maxLocationsNumberallLimit maximum number of locations stored into db (default: 10000)

Following options are specific to provider as defined by locationProvider option


intervalNumberAndroidRate in milliseconds at which your app prefers to receive location updates. @see android docs
fastestIntervalNumberAndroidFastest rate in milliseconds at which your app can handle location updates. @see android docs.
activitiesIntervalNumberAndroidRate in milliseconds at which activity recognition occurs. Larger values will result in fewer activity detections while improving battery life.
stopOnStillActivityBooleanAndroidstop() is forced, when the STILL activity is detected (default is true)

Success callback will be called with one argument - location object, which tries to mimic w3c Coordinates interface.

Callback parameterTypeDescription
locationIdNumberID of location as stored in DB (or null)
providerStringgps, network, passive or fused
locationProviderNumberLocation provider
debugBooleantrue if location recorded as part of debug
timeNumberUTC time of this fix, in milliseconds since January 1, 1970.
latitudeNumberlatitude, in degrees.
longitudeNumberlongitude, in degrees.
accuracyNumberestimated accuracy of this location, in meters.
speedNumberspeed if it is available, in meters/second over ground.
altitudeNumberaltitude if available, in meters above the WGS 84 reference ellipsoid.
bearingNumberbearing, in degrees.


Platform: iOS, Android

Start background geolocation.


Platform: iOS, Android

Stop background geolocation.

isLocationEnabled(success, fail)

Platform: iOS, Android

One time check for status of location services. In case of error, fail callback will be executed.

Success callback parameterTypeDescription
enabledBooleantrue/false (true when location services are enabled)


Platform: Android >= 6, iOS >= 8.0

Show app settings to allow change of app location permissions.


Platform: iOS < 10.0, Android

Show system settings to allow configuration of current location sources.

watchLocationMode(success, fail)

Platform: iOS, Android

Method can be used to detect user changes in location services settings. If user enable or disable location services then success callback will be executed. In case or error (SettingNotFoundException) fail callback will be executed.

Success callback parameterTypeDescription
enabledBooleantrue/false (true when location services are enabled)


Platform: iOS, Android

Stop watching for location mode changes.

getLocations(success, fail)

Platform: iOS, Android

Method will return all stored locations. This method is useful for initial rendering of user location on a map just after application launch. NOTE: Returned locations does not contain locationId.

Success callback parameterTypeDescription
locationsArraycollection of stored locations
  function (locations) {

getValidLocations(success, fail)

Platform: iOS, Android

Method will return locations, which has not been yet posted to server. NOTE: Locations does contain locationId.

Success callback parameterTypeDescription
locationsArraycollection of stored locations

deleteLocation(locationId, success, fail)

Platform: iOS, Android

Delete location with locationId.

Note: Locations are not actually deleted from database to avoid gaps in locationId numbering. Instead locations are marked as deleted. Locations marked as deleted will not appear in output of backgroundGeolocation.getLocations.

deleteAllLocations(success, fail)

Note: You don't need to delete all locations. Plugin manages number of locations automatically and location count never exceeds number as defined by option.maxLocations.

Platform: iOS, Android

Delete all stored locations.

switchMode(modeId, success, fail)

Platform: iOS

Normally plugin will handle switching between BACKGROUND and FOREGROUND mode itself. Calling switchMode you can override plugin behavior and force plugin to switch into other mode.

In FOREGROUND mode plugin uses iOS local manager to receive locations and behavior is affected by option.desiredAccuracy and option.distanceFilter.

In BACKGROUND mode plugin uses significant changes and region monitoring to receive locations and uses option.stationaryRadius only.

// switch to FOREGROUND mode

// switch to BACKGROUND mode

getLogEntries(limit, success, fail)

Platform: iOS, Android

Return all logged events. Useful for plugin debugging. Parameter limit limits number of returned entries. @see Debugging for more information.

Real world example

backgroundGeolocation.configure(callbackFn, failureFn, {
    desiredAccuracy: 10,
    stationaryRadius: 20,
    distanceFilter: 30,
    url: '',
    httpHeaders: { 'X-FOO': 'bar' },
    maxLocations: 1000,
    // Android only section
    locationProvider: backgroundGeolocation.provider.ANDROID_ACTIVITY_PROVIDER,
    interval: 60000,
    fastestInterval: 5000,
    activitiesInterval: 10000,
    notificationTitle: 'Background tracking',
    notificationText: 'enabled',
    notificationIconColor: '#FEDD1E',
    notificationIconLarge: 'mappointer_large',
    notificationIconSmall: 'mappointer_small'

  function (enabled) {
    if (enabled) {
      // location service are now enabled
      // call backgroundGeolocation.start
      // only if user already has expressed intent to start service
    } else {
      // location service are now disabled or we don't have permission
      // time to change UI to reflect that
  function (error) {
    console.log('Error watching location mode. Error:' + error);

backgroundGeolocation.isLocationEnabled(function (enabled) {
  if (enabled) {
      function () {
        // service started successfully
        // you should adjust your app UI for example change switch element to indicate
        // that service is running
      function (error) {
        // Tracking has not started because of error
        // you should adjust your app UI for example change switch element to indicate
        // that service is not running
        if (error.code === 2) {
          if (window.confirm('Not authorized for location updates. Would you like to open app settings?')) {
        } else {
          window.alert('Start failed: ' + error.message);  
  } else {
    // Location services are disabled
    if (window.confirm('Location is disabled. Would you like to open location settings?')) {

HTTP locations posting

All locations updates are recorded in local db at all times. When App is in foreground or background in addition to storing location in local db, location callback function is triggered. Number of location stored in db is limited by option.maxLocations a never exceeds this number. Instead old locations are replaced by new ones.

When option.url is defined, each location is also immediately posted to url defined by option.url. If post is successful, the location is marked as deleted in local db. All failed to post locations will be coalesced and send in some time later in one single batch. Batch sync takes place only when number of failed to post locations reaches option.syncThreshold. Optionally different url for batch sync can be defined by option.syncUrl. If option.syncUrl is not set then option.url will be used instead.

When only option.syncUrl is defined. Locations are send only in single batch, when number of locations reaches option.syncThreshold. (No individual location will be send)

Request body of posted locations is always array, even when only one location is sent.

Warning: option.maxLocations has to be larger than option.syncThreshold. It's recommended to be 2x larger. In other case location syncing might not work properly.

Example of express (nodejs) server

var express    = require('express');
var bodyParser = require('body-parser');

var app = express();

// parse application/json
app.use(bodyParser.json({ type : '*/*' })); // force json'/locations', function(request, response){
    console.log('Headers:\n', request.headers);
    console.log('Body:\n', request.body);

console.log('Server started...');



On iOS the plugin will execute your configured callbackFn. You may manually POST the received Geolocation to your server using standard XHR. The plugin uses iOS Significant Changes API, and starts triggering callbackFn only when a cell-tower switch is detected (i.e. the device exits stationary radius). The function changePace(isMoving, success, failure) is provided to force the plugin to enter "moving" or "stationary" state.


Since the plugin uses iOS significant-changes API, the plugin cannot detect the exact moment the device moves out of the stationary-radius. In normal conditions, it can take as much as 3 city-blocks to 1/2 km before stationary-region exit is detected.


On Android devices it is recommended to have a notification in the drawer (option startForeground:true). This gives plugin location service higher priority, decreasing probability of OS killing it. Check wiki for explanation.

Custom ROMs

Plugin should work with custom ROMS at least ANDROID_DISTANCE_FILTER_PROVIDER. But ANDROID_ACTIVITY_PROVIDER provider depends on Google Play Services. Usually ROMs don't include Google Play Services libraries. Strange bugs may occur, like no GPS locations (only from network and passive) and other. When posting issue report, please mention that you're using custom ROM.


Note: Following section was kindly copied from phonegap-plugin-push. Visit link for resolving issue with facebook plugin.

If you have an issue compiling the app and you're getting an error similar to this ( Multiple dex files define):

UNEXPECTED TOP-LEVEL EXCEPTION: Multiple dex files define Landroid/support/annotation/AnimRes;

Then at least one other plugin you have installed is using an outdated way to declare dependencies such as android-support or play-services-gcm. This causes gradle to fail, and you'll need to identify which plugin is causing it and request an update to the plugin author, so that it uses the proper way to declare dependencies for cordova. See this for the reference on the cordova plugin specification, it'll be usefull to mention it when creating an issue or requesting that plugin to be updated.

Common plugins to suffer from this outdated dependency management are plugins related to facebook, google+, notifications, crosswalk and google maps.

Android Permissions

Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" introduced a new permissions model where the user can turn on and off permissions as necessary. When user disallow location access permissions, error configure callback will be called with error code: 2.

Notification icons

NOTE: Only available for API Level >=21.

To use custom notification icons, you need to put icons into res/drawable directory of your app. You can automate the process as part of after_platform_add hook configured via config.xml. Check config.xml and scripts/res_android.js of sample app for reference.

If you only want a single large icon, set notificationIconLarge to null and include your icon's filename in the notificationIconSmall parameter.

With Adobe® PhoneGap™ Build icons must be placed into locales/android/drawable dir at the root of your project. For more information go to how-to-add-native-image-with-phonegap-build.

Intel XDK

Plugin will not work in XDK emulator ('Unimplemented API Emulation: BackgroundGeolocation.start' in emulator). But will work on real device.




There is nice cordova plugin cordova-plugin-geofence, which does exactly that. Let's keep this plugin lightweight as much as possible.




Apache License

Copyright (c) 2013 Christopher Scott, Transistor Software

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.


RunKit is a free, in-browser JavaScript dev environment for prototyping Node.js code, with every npm package installed. Sign up to share your code.
Sign Up for Free