How Apple Watch Location Tracking Can Help Parents Keep Kids Safe

Apple Watch location tracking offers users a seamless way to monitor their whereabouts, providing enhanced safety features and peace of mind in an ever-connected world.  Location services are exceptionally helpful for keeping your child safe, and family setup on a watch is easier than you might think.

If you’ve purchased an Apple Watch SE for your child (or you’re thinking about doing so in the near future), then you’ll want to take a moment to learn about its functions. This includes the popular Apple Watch location tracking feature.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into exactly what the device has to offer for parents who want to keep tabs on their children’s whereabouts. We’ll also provide instructions for using certain GPS tracking functions to locate your kids. Finally, we’ll give recommendations for third-party apps to enhance the watch’s safety features.

Ready to learn more about the location features of this unique watch? Here we go!


Main Functions of the Apple Watch

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If you’ve done any research at all into this watch, you know that it’s much more than just a time-telling gadget. In fact, it functions more like a phone than a watch, with a ton of cool features that other devices might not even have.

Wellness Features

The Apple Watch is heavily marketed as a fitness watch. This application of the device is well-known. It has lots of features and applications to promote health and wellness. For example, the watch will track movements and activities, whether it be running, biking, or even swimming.

It even monitors heart rate and sends notifications of any irregularities. Newer versions of the watch, like the Apple Watch Ultra, have advanced health and wellness features. These include a blood oxygen sensor and ECG app.

Entertainment Applications

Kids are drawn to the watch because of its endless entertainment features. Not only can they text friends and post to social media, but they also have access to huge libraries of music, videos, and games. Plus, numerous apps are available for smartwatches from Apple on the AppStore.

Location Tracking and Other Location Features

One of the main appeals of the watch for parents is its ability to track their kid’s precise location. Moms and dads can set the watch to send alerts when a child leaves one location and arrives at the next. These advanced location features mean no more worrying that your kids didn’t make it home safely from school or a friend’s house, for instance.

There’s another convenience offered by the tracker besides these static location features for family sharing—and that has to do with cost.

We know that these watches aren’t exactly cheap and you can’t buy them every day. if your kid happens to lose their device, the tracker allows finding it easily. All you need to do is to activate the iCloud service and use the same Apple ID. Logging into that platform  for location access can help you know the watch’s current location if it gets lost or stolen.

Family Sharing

Family Sharing on the Apple Watch is a remarkable feature designed to foster connectivity and ensure the safety of your loved ones. By utilizing the Family Sharing feature, family members can stay connected and track each other’s whereabouts seamlessly, promoting peace of mind for everyone involved.

Read also Best Apple Watch for Kids.

Is There GPS Tracking on the Apple Watch?

apple watch 2 gps tracking

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Yes, Apple makes sure to use the benefits of the latest technologies for its location access, and that includes location tracking by using the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

This feature allows moms and dads to share their locations with their children and each other. Perhaps most importantly, parents can use the watch’s GPS for the purposes of tracing their kids’ whereabouts in real-time.

GPS on the watch works just like GPS on your phone or any other enabled device. Signals are sent to and from various satellites around the world, over 30 of which are operated by the United States.

Other countries have satellite navigation systems, too, so the watch gives you international GPS capabilities. Specifically, the watch Series 3 and SE use GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS. The Apple Watch 7 uses all of these plus China’s satellite system known as BeiDou.

There is a built-in app on the watch called Find People. Once you open the app while using your Apple ID, you’ll see your child’s precise location on a map as well as any other contacts you’ve designated.

From the app, you can get directions to your child’s location via a route map and send messages to your son or daughter as well.

What is Family Setup for Family Sharing on Apple?


Apple has a unique solution to location services known as Family Setup. It goes beyond the boundaries of traditional communication.

Family Setup lets a smartwatch with a cellular connection be set up for someone who doesn’t have their own iPhone for location access, making it perfect for kids or elderly family members. It harnesses Location Services to offer peace of mind to parents by sharing the location of the watch wearer directly on their iPhone’s Apple Maps, enabling them to see not just the approximate location but also, when necessary, a more precise location or even an approximate address via their location in Maps.

One of the standout features is the streamlined and secure approach to location family sharing.

With Family Setup, parents can easily check on their children’s static location without calling or texting, ensuring they are safe and where they’re supposed to be. Whether it’s viewing an approximate location or approximate address on a quick glance or using the watch’s cellular capabilities to see a more detailed static location in Maps, the process is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly.

To get it, go to Privacy & Security>Location Services. Here, you can turn on the family setup and be able to access all the location features we’ve described.

Ultimately Family Setup is a great feature for family sharing that every parent should know about.

Accessing More Location Tracking Features Via Third-Party Apps

is there gps tracking on apple watch

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The watch itself has some great features for kids and parents. Don’t forget that you need to turn on location services from the device’s settings. It will take a few seconds to tap activate and take advantage of the device’s full tracking features. It’s also worth downloading a few third-party apps, most importantly Findmykids and Pingo, both of which are designed for static location tracking and history on Apple Maps, as well as provide parents with family-sharing features.


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The Findmykids app eliminates the need for Find People as it tracks your child’s location and sends notifications upon your kid’s arrival and departure from certain places like home or school. The app also has additional features that Find People doesn’t have.

For instance, one of the best capabilities for the safety of your son or daughter is the app’s listening function. Once the app is downloaded, you’ll be able to access the speaker on your child’s watch so that you can listen to what is going on around them. It’s the next best thing to actually being with your kid.

Findmykids also has an emergency SOS feature. If your child is in danger and isn’t able to make a phone calls, he or she can use this feature instead. As soon as you receive the SOS message, the app will immediately begin recording your son or daughter’s surroundings.

Download the Findmykids app on your watch for free right now to always be sure that your child is safe!


Pingo is your child’s companion app to Findmykids. Once downloaded on your child’s watch, Pingo can be used to share location and much more. For example, kids can send stickers to their parents and share their mood. These features can help parents and kids bond and make meaningful connections throughout the day, even when they’re not physically together.

There are other useful features for children too. If they misplace their phone, for instance, they can use Pingo to help them find it.  They also can even use the location features to share their static location with friends.

Most importantly, they can use the app to send a loud signal if they’re in danger. Parents will also receive a notification when the SOS feature is activated to share location information in this way.

Related: SIM Card for Kids Smart Watch

Best Apple Watch Location Tracking App

apple watch 2 gps tracking


This watch is a smart investment as it’s famous as a durable and long-lasting devices that works reliably. That means its location tracking features can provide parents peace of mind regarding their children’s location.

The device has powerful location tracking features, but if you want to use their full potential, we recommend combining them with third-party apps. Downloading apps like Findmykids and Pingo will ensure you make the most out of the device’s safety features.

If you’ve learned something from this article about using Apple Watch GPS tracking to keep your kids safe, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with other moms and dads in your parenting circle!


is gps tracking worth apple watch 3


Can Apple Watch be Used as a GPS Tracker?

Yes. There is built-in functionality for GPS on the watch. Plus, parents can download third-party apps like Findmykids for additional location-tracking features.

Can Someone Track You From Your Apple Watch?

Definitely. If you don’t want your location to be traced, you can turn off this feature in settings.

How Do the Location Tracking Features Change for Different Apple Watch Models?

There aren’t many differences between the different watch models when it comes to location tracking and location sharing with family setup. The only real differences are the satellite systems and compass.

For instance, the Apple Watch 7 uses an additional satellite navigation system called BeiDou. This is in addition to the satellite systems on Series 3 and SE: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS.

In addition, a compass feature is available on Apple Watch SE as well as Series 5 and later. This app with a family setup can access limited location features even when Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity is unavailable.

Can I Get My Kid an Apple Watch without a Phone?

Yes. If your child isn’t old enough to have a phone, you can still use the GPS on the watch to monitor his or her location. First, make sure you have the latest version of iOS downloaded. Go to Privacy & Security>Location Services. Then using Family Setup, simply connect your child’s watch to your own phone, and location tracking will be enabled. Keep in mind though that this feature is not available on Series 3 watches.

How Do I Turn on Location Tracking on Apple Watch?

You will need to activate location services on the target device to track the watch. Enter the Settings, pick Privacy, and then Location Services. Tap activate and you’ll see the service is now turned on.

Can You Track an Apple Watch?

If you use the same Apple ID, you can log into iCloud and use those credentials to log into the service. After choosing All Devices, select your smartwatch from Apple to see its current location, but that will only be possible if you activated location tracking on the missing device.

Can I track my child with an Apple Watch?

You can track your child with the GPS feature, which can be a helpful form of location sharing especially if they don’t yet have a phone.

Can I see my Apple Watch location if it’s off?

If your watch is turned off, you won’t be able to see its real-time location until it’s powered back on and connected to a network.

Can you track the history location of an Apple Watch?

This watch does not have a native feature to track its location history over time, though its location-sharing features are quite helpful in determining your child’s approximate address at any point in time.

Can the Apple Watch track location without cellular?

Yes, it can track your location without cellular connectivity by linking to known Wi-Fi networks or being paired with your iPhone.

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