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Cell Phone GPS Tracker

Cell Phone Tracking

When it comes to cell phone tracking, perhaps you’re considering it as a way to safeguard against losing your phone. Perhaps you want a cell phone tracker so that you can keep a better eye on what your children are doing or where they are. Or maybe you want a way to keep track of where your employees are, via their employee cell phones.

Regardless of why you want a cell phone tracker, the truth is that cell phone tracking can help make the world significantly smaller for you. No longer is mapping software confined to vehicle GPS tracking systems; the truth is that with the right combination of software and hardware, you can track nearly anything—and cell phones are no different. Now let our experts at GPS Tracking Review provide you with some helpful information when it comes to cell phone GPS tracking and GPS technologies!

How to Track Your Cell Phone

When it comes to actually tracking your cell phone, a cell phone tracker likely works in the same way as any other device that tracks a moving object. Just like with car GPS trackers, using satellites to triangulate a position (via a process called trilateration) is a handy way to keep an eye on the position of your cell phone.

GPS stands for the Global Positioning System, and includes somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 satellites in orbit at all times, each roughly 20,000 kilometers above the earth’s surface. Because those satellites are so far above the earth and because there are so many of them, you almost always are within sight of at least 4 GPS satellites.

As you can imagine, the more satellites there are above your location, the more accurate your cell phone tracker can determine your cell phone’s location. Of course, there are factors—such as thick woods or extremely mountainous terrain, for instance—that can make satellite tracking more difficult. Still, as each satellite sends information about its position at regular intervals, and your cell phone uses that information and the speed of light to determine how far it is from the satellite. The GPS receiver in your phone can then pinpoint its location as long as it has that distance from at least three satellites, courtesy trilateration.

So what’s trilateration? Think of using three circles to make a Venn diagram. Your phone, because it knows the distance to each satellite, can use that information to create a circle (or sphere, really) to represent the area that is that distance from satellite A. As soon as your phone has similarly built spheres that represent the distance from the other two satellites (satellite B and satellite C) as well, it can use the intersection of those three spheres to pinpoint the GPS location of the phone.

And that’s a vast improvement over the old methods of using cell phone towers to triangulate a cell phone’s position, as the spheres better account for topography and the distance information is both more precisely and more readily available. As a result, the location data courtesy those GPS satellites is frequently accurate within a few meters or less, meaning you can track your phone’s precise location.

The cell phone tracking location doesn’t do you any good, of course, if you can’t see it. So, for instance, if you have a cell phone tracker installed on your children’s’ phones, you still need a way to access that information remotely.

That’s where remote servers come into play. The cell phone tracking app installed on your children’s’ phones uploads that location information to remote servers. You can then access that information from that server as long as you have access to it, such as via a web-based application.

Does Cell Phone Tracking Really Work?

Okay, so now you know how cell phone tracking works. But does cell phone GPS tracking really work? That is, does it do what you need it to do?

Truthfully, it depends a fair bit on what you’re asking from your cell phone tracker.

Consider these 5 best reasons to use a cell phone tracker.

Top 5 Reasons For Using Cell Phone GPS Tracker

  1. Employers can track their employees. With the important caveat that this cannot be done legally without consent unless the phones are also owned by the employer, it’s worth noting that for employers who may have trouble tracking their mobile employees while those employees are on the job, cell phone tracking can be a great way to keep track of where everyone is. Of course, whether or not this helps with employer-employee trust is a wholly different conversation, but there may be instances where an employer wants this capability. 
  2. You can track down your phone if it goes missing. If you have a cell phone tracker installed on your phone, you can use the web-based side of the app to find your phone if it goes missing. This can greatly assist in recovering a phone should it be stolen or lost.
  3. You can stay connected with friends or loved ones while doing group activities where you might be separated. For instance, if you visit an amusement park with a group of friends, you can use cell phone tracking to keep track of where the rest of your group is should you become separated. 
  4. Parents can keep track of their children’s’ locations and activities. Even if this isn’t a feature you need to check very often, simply knowing that the option exists can be cause for relief. If your child is late coming back from a friend’s house, for instance, being able to see where their phone is and that they are on their way home can alleviate a great deal of worry.
  5. It might save you in case of an emergency. If you happen to get stranded somewhere or lost in the backcountry, your cell phone’s location may end up saving your life if loved ones know how to search for it and can alert authorities as to how to search for your phone.

As noted before, however, ensure that you are using a cell phone tracker legally; tracking someone without their consent, for instance, is not legal.

Cell Phone GPS Accuracy

When it comes to cell phone accuracy, the model of your phone can actually make a pretty big difference. For older phones, the accuracy may be within a dozen meters (close to 40 feet) or maybe less. That’s not bad if you just need to know the general location, like if your kid is at school or playing hooky, for instance.

With some newer phones, however, the GPS accuracy just keeps getting better and better. For instance, Broadcom is supposedly making a new chip that can be accurate within a foot, compared to the three to five meter (10-16 feet) range that is most common in current phones. And given that there are now thirty satellites that support the new chips, people living in areas where accuracy can be a problem (such as in dense urban areas, for instance) should see a marked improvement with the new chips.

There are also a few things you can do to improve your phone’s GPS accuracy, too, so the cell phone tracking can better perform. For instance, you can activate high accuracy mode in your GPS settings. While it eats up battery life more quickly, updating your setting will result in greater GPS accuracy.

Similarly, you can download and use a compass app to recalibrate your GPS, which can also help your GPS function more accurately. Lastly, make sure you have good satellite reception by ensuring that nothing would block your cell phone’s signal from the GPS satellites. In general, you’ll get better reception outdoors, but even just making sure you’re not standing next to a big metal object, for instance, can help.

Which is the Best App for Mobile Tracker?

Let’s start with ten, then reveal our favorite. Without further ado, the 10 Best Mobile Tracker App.

Top 10 Best Mobile Tracker App

Let’s start with the best cell phone tracking apps that may come included with your phone. You may well have one of these apps already on your phone, and depending on what you need your cell phone tracker to do, may not need to download another mobile tracker app.

  1. Android Device Manager. Device Manager comes built-in on every Android phone that’s attached to a Google account, which means that you can use the web browser side of the app to track your phone from any computer. Additionally, Google Maps has added a location sharing service through which you can share your location with family and friends for up to 72 hours.
  2. Find My iPhone. iPhones come with this default app which allows you to track your phone via Apple devices or the online iCloud. Even better, Find My iPhone will track your phone’s last known location even if your phone has died or is turned off, giving you a better chance of finding your phone even if it isn’t turned on. Additionally, Find My Friends is the app add-on that allows you to share locations with friends.
  3. Find My Phone for Windows. Just like the iPhone version, Find My Phone for Windows allows you to track your phone remotely once you log in, and Squad Watch is the version that allows you to see where your friends are.
  4. Tsheets. One of the best employee tracking options, the Quickbooks-developed app also incorporates a time clock and significant reporting. Even better? It’s free to start, and after that, only costs a few dollars each month per employee.
  5. Famlio. Another app that starts free, one of the key features of Famlio is a panic button, which any family member can trigger to alert the rest of the group immediately. The chat function that allows all group members to compare schedules, ETAs, and more, is even better.
  6. MobiStealth. While certainly one of the pricier options out there, it also might be the most thorough when it comes to cell phone tracking, keeping detailed notes not just on location, but all other sorts of phone activity as well.
  7. FlexiSpy. Designed for intense monitoring of employees, it also works well for those who want parental controls on their children’s’ phones. It can also track whether or not users are using the apps they’re supposed to on company time, for instance, or when they’re supposed to be doing homework.
  8. mSpy. Think of FlexiSpy designed specifically for parents and you pretty well have mSpy, which allows parents to track their children’s cell phone usage. Capacities differ between the Android and iPhone versions.
  9. Spyzie. Spyzie is similar to FlexiSpy in that it allows parents to track both their children’s phones and their children’s’ phone usage. Unlike FlexiSpy, however, all of the features are also available for the iPhone app.
  10. Life360. Another great family option, Life360 not only helps coordinate schedules but can also offer driver services such as driving reports, crash detection, and emergency response services.

When it comes to the best app, though? Really it comes down to what you need. For many users, the default apps (Android Device Manager, Find My iPhone, Find My Phone for Windows) are probably great. For those who need more, though, there are options—including some great ones that we just discussed.

How Can I Track My Child’s Phone Without Them Knowing?

The short answer? It depends. As long as your child is a dependent and a minor, you’re most likely in the clear (though you should still do your due diligence to learn the laws in your state or region to be sure). When it comes to spying on anyone who isn’t your dependent or is an adult, however, you can’t legally track their phone.

If, however, you’re in the clear legally to track your child’s phone without them knowing, then it really just comes down to picking the right app. Some apps, for instance, are easier to hide on your child’s phone than others.

The below 5 apps for spying on your kids are some of our favorites at GPS Tracking Review

Top 5 Apps For Spying On Your Kids

  1. mSpy. As discussed above, capabilities differ between the ios and Android versions, but in general, mSpy does a great job of tracking both where your children are (without them knowing) and monitoring other features of their phones, including social media, texts, photos, browsing histories, and messaging apps, making it incredibly difficult for your kids to hide things on their phones from you.
  2. Cocospy. Similar to mSpy, Cocospy gives parents access to most of their children’s’ phone activity. Unlike mSpy, however, it may not require jailbreaking their phone if they have an iPhone—though it may require using their iPhone credentials. You still get all the same features as mSpy, however, making it another great option.
  3. MamaBear. While MamaBear doesn’t offer quite as many spying features as the two apps above, it does offer a feature most other hidden apps don’t: It monitors driving behavior. For those of you with new teen drivers, that might be all the argument you need!
  4. The Phone Sheriff. The Phone Sheriff offers a nice option many other similar apps don’t: Limiting how long your children can spend on their phone. While locking them out of their phone when they’ve reached their 60-minute limit, for instance, may give away that you have something monitoring their phone usage, it might also just be worth it.
  5. Mobicip. Mobicip is great for blocking content on your children’s’ phones; phones set at the high school level won’t allow access to sites with sexual content or violence, whereas phones set at the middle school level blocks chat sites and more.

GPS Tracker for Cell Phone

But what if you just want the option of cell phone tracking and don’t need anything fancy? Fortunately, there are still plenty of options available if you aren’t looking for fancy bells and whistles or don’t need to keep your tracking secret.

Top 10 Free Cell Phone Tracker:

  1. Android Device Manager. Device Manager comes built-in on every Android phone that’s attached to a Google account, which means that you can use the web browser side of the app to track your phone from any computer. Additionally, Google Maps has added a location sharing service through which you can share your location with family and friends for up to 72 hours.
  2. Find My iPhone. iPhones come with this default app which allows you to track your phone via Apple devices or the online iCloud. Even better, Find My iPhone will track your phone’s last known location even if your phone has died or is turned off, giving you a better chance of finding your phone even if it isn’t turned on. Additionally, Find My Friends is the app add-on that allows you to share locations with friends.
  3. Find My Phone for Windows. Just like the iPhone version, Find My Phone for Windows allows you to track your phone remotely once you log in, and Squad Watch is the version that allows you to see where your friends are.
  4. FoneMonitor. Available for both ios and Android, FoneMonitor works quietly in the background while still effectively monitoring both real-time location and app usage.
  5. Family Locator. While some of the more advanced features require in-app purchases, the free version is great for keeping track of where all of your groups’ members are, helping ensure no one gets lost on group outings.
  6. FamiSafe. Similar to Family Locator, FamiSafe is great for groups. Unlike Family Locator, however, it has far more ways to restrict access to certain sites and more if that’s something you want for certain phones.
  7. Prey Anti Theft. While a rather barebones app, it does track your phone, meaning if it is ever stolen, you will be able to track your phone back down, and it works for ios, Android, and Windows.
  8. Glympse. While it may have a reputation for battery draining, Glympse is one of the more efficient apps out there for tracking the location of a single phone or several and it also allows you to easily share locations from within the app.
  9. GPS Tracker. While also inclined to chew up battery life, GPS Tracker offers perhaps the best location feature of any of the free apps with a 12-hour history feature, meaning that even if you haven’t checked in on your kids in a while, you can see exactly where they’ve been.
  10. FollowMee GPS Location Tracker. Geofencing is one of the key features here, ensuring you’ll get notifications anytime the phone leaves the perimeter you’ve set for it—making it easy to know immediately when your kid is no longer where they are supposed to be.

When it comes to finding the right cell phone tracker for your needs, we hope this guide to cell phone tracking has been helpful. Whether keeping an eye on employees or your children, you need all the help you can get in watching how your people are faring in the scary world out there. These apps can help tremendously, so we hope our guide helped you find the app for you!

References

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