Smart Stick: Setup or Reading errors on Android

Although Kinsa has discontinued the Kinsa Smart Stick, we will do our best to you get your Smart Stick working as it should.  If you see an error when taking readings, this article can help. Using about 3 minutes of your time we will check a few things in the app and on your phone.  Let's get started!

By checking each of these settings, the most common issues with the Smart stick can be solved right away. 

Turn off Silent Mode and Do Not Disturb Mode

With recent Android updates, we've found that Silent Mode and Do Not Disturb Mode can interfere with how your phone routes audio signals coming through the headphone jack. In some cases, this can block the Smart Stick's signals from reaching the phone at all.

Before proceeding, please make sure that Silent Mode and Do Not Disturb mode are both turned off. To do this, please follow the guides below. However, please note that each phone manufacturer and Android version may handle these modes slightly differently.

Limit interruptions with Do Not Disturb

Where to find Silent Mode

Connection Problems

Sometimes connection problems happen between the app and the thermometer. To be sure there aren’t any, the following tips should be applied.  

  1. Launch the Recent Applications menu.
  2. Swipe right to close the Kinsa app.
  3. Be sure the headphone jack is clear of lint. You can clean the headphone jack by gently using a toothpick to clear it out.
  4. Make sure you listen for a ‘click’ when you use any of these combinations of plugging your:
    • Kinsa into the black adapter (setup only)
    • Black adapter into the phone (setup only)
    • Kinsa into the phone
    • Kinsa into the extension cord
    • Extension cord into the phone

Audio Problems

Now that everything is clean and connected, let’s check some of your smartphone's audio settings as these can cause setup and temperature Nadia issues as well.

NOTE: We will be calibrating / setting up the thermometer after checking these settings. If setup was completed once before, don’t worry. Calibrating the thermometer a second time can only help with temperature reading accuracy.

Most Androids will look something like this, but with slightly different names and locations.

  1. Open your Android Settings.
  2. Navigate to Accessibility > Hearing.
  3. If turned on, switch “Turn off all sounds” to off.
  4. If turned on, switch “Mono audio” to off.
  5. Access the Sound Balance section (you might need to tap “Left and right sound balance”). Nexus 6 users: Because you DO NOT have a sound balance section, if you have installed an app that allowed you to change the audio balance, open that app to center the audio.
  6. Move the audio balance slider to the far left and release it.
  7. Move the slider back to center. It should snap into place once you're close enough. Make sure the slider is completely centered. If it is even slightly off like the first image below you’ll need to try again. The second image is centered.
  8. Tap SET (if displayed).



NOTE: In order for Kinsa to work every time you take a temperature reading:

  • “Mono Audio” and “Turn off all sounds” need to be off
  • Audio balance needs to be centered
  • Apps that amplify sounds or music, like BoomSound or PowerAmp, need to be disabled in order to use Kinsa. This is because Kinsa utilizes the headphone jack for calibration, and requires the audio settings to be at the system default values. 

Update the Kinsa app

Finally, let’s update the app in case it is an older version (skip these steps if you just installed the app).

  1. On your phone, go to the Google Play app store.
  2. Tap “Menu > My Apps & Games”.
  3. Scroll down and see if there is an update for the Kinsa app.  If so, update the app.

Reopen the Kinsa app, navigate to the menu option (upper left), and tap “Set up Thermometer”. Do not touch the volume during setup.

If the app doesn’t appear to sense the adapter/thermometer, make sure the flat side of the thermometer is even with the surface it is resting on. You can even give the adapter and thermometer a quarter or half turn each. Turning the audio plug(s) may help the phone detect the connection and initiate setup.

If still an issue, restart your phone and try setup once more (leaving volume untouched).

After set up completes, try a reading but:

  • Avoid eating or drinking any liquids, exercising, taking showers or baths, or smoking for 15 minutes prior to use, as these activities can cause mild elevations in temperature.
  • Leave the thermometer still while you take a temperature.
  • Don’t change the phone volume.
  • Wait about 30 seconds between readings. Kinsa takes its best readings from room temperature, so back-to-back readings can confuse it.

Reboot your phone

Lastly, we recommend rebooting or restarting your smartphone to clear out any junk settings or glitches that may be causing trouble.

This should resolve your setup or reading issue.  Note that if your phone is running Nougat, please see our other FAQ here for additional information.