What Are Family Phone Trackers and How to Choose a Good One
Have you ever sat up at night and worried about the safety of a loved one? It’s a feeling that many of us know well: you think about your daughter, coming home from a party with schoolmates. Or your son who is in another city taking part in a sports event. You tell yourself they’re quite grown up already, they can take care of themselves. But what if…
No matter how many times everything turns out for the best, we’ll always worry about the people closest to us. And while sometimes it’s easy enough to satisfy ourselves that all is well – a quick “how are you” call may do –, that is not always the case. Calling isn’t always an option, and besides your kids have probably had enough of that by now.
So what should you do? Since you’re here, you can probably see where we’re headed. A family phone tracker! These handy locator mobile apps have become a phenomenon of popularity in the past few years, and with good reason: they put an end to your worry. They let many a tired parent get a peaceful good night’s sleep for once.
- How can you track a family member’s phone?
- What is the best app for tracking family?
- So where do we go from here?
How can you track a family member’s phone?
In theory, there is nothing easier. We all know our phones come equipped with GPS receptors that allow them to be tracked. The only question: how can you assume enough control of a mobile phone in order to start tracking it?
The answer: a mobile phone tracking application. There are a ton of trackers out there nowadays, and you’ll find that the only real issue here is knowing which one to choose. But that’s what we’re here for!
What is the best app for tracking family?
Among the long list of tracking applications you can easily download and start using, a few of them definitely stand out. Our first pick is naturally Find My Kids, one of the leading apps for families in both Android and iOS platforms. Let’s take a closer look at it and, while we’re at it, walk you through a few other tried and tested choices.
Find My Kids
As the name indicates, Find My Kids is targeted at the most vulnerable members of every family: children. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used for other family members, though. Couples often find it a comfortable option for keeping track of each other and minimizing worry. And indeed, the app has something in store for every type of family out there.
Let’s take a look at some of its functions.
- GPS tracker: that’s what the app is all about, after all. With it, you can see the current position and movements of the tracked phone on a map in your own mobile device. This function tracks the targeted phone’s movements in the app’s free version.
- Live listening: one of the functions that set Find My Kids apart, this enables you to listen to the sounds around the phone or phones being tracked. This listening function recently made the headlines when it led to the solution of a murder case in the US.
- Geofencing: also taking advantage of the phone’s GPS system, the geofencing function allows you to set apart security-related areas on the map. Once the child (or whoever is the member of your family being tracked) steps in or out of these areas, you get a notification warning on your phone.
- Loud beep: your daughter’s not picking up their phone? The loud signal function will make sure she hears you even if her phone is set to silent mode.
- SOS: the other side of the coin – in an emergency, your child can send you an instant alert that will make your phone beep while pointing to their location on the map.
- Family chat: sometimes you just need to talk to your child directly and not be just one more WhatsApp notification on their phone. That’s what the Family chat function is for.
- App control: if your son has a problem with too many games on their phone, this can be a good way to go about helping them keep an eye on the time spent playing.
Installing Find My Kids couldn’t be easier. You download it in your own phone from AppStore or GooglePlay, download the equivalent tracking app to your child’s phone, and there you go: you’re all set to start tracking.
If you’re looking for an extensive array of tracking functions, Spyzie may turn out to be a good choice. Among all the choices of trackers for phones, it’s one of the most complete.
That comes with a caveat, though: unlike Find My Kids and other apps, it cannot be installed through the official application stores (App Store for iOS systems and Play Store for Android). That can potentially present security issues, as you have to install an apk file directly into your phone.
Among the many options that Spyzie offers, you have a tracking possibility for messages in most social media apps, a keylogger function, application control, etc.
Another popular option, Life360 plays a delicate balancing act between tracking family members and preserving each one’s privacy. The app allows you to set family groups, or circles, where each member can ask to see the location of any other one.
Besides, the app also presents a variety of useful functions: a family chat, a common family map, movement alerts for each member are only a few of them. In the paid version, more advanced functions such as speed control (for family members in traffic) and crash alerts.
The app is available for download both on the App and Play stores.
Another app that definitely makes it to any list of the most trustworthy phone trackers, FamiSafe is a popular option both for Android and iOS users.
Besides its location-tracking functions, FamiSafe brings to the table a special set of functionalities for families that need to track a child’s online activity. These include a web content filter, a function that detects explicit or inappropriate content for minors, usage reports on the tracked phone, and a smart schedule that can block a child’s phone at set times.
FamilyTime tends to be more of a parental control application, but it also makes do as a handy location tracker. And, if you do have a small child who’s still finding their way around the online world, FamilyTime can be of great help. With it, you can feel safe knowing your child is unlikely to come across any adult content online: that’s what the SafeSearch function is for.
That’s not all: you can also block any apps in the child’s phone, set the screen to automatically block itself at given moments (such as meal or bedtimes), see detailed usage reports, and so on. The app also offers an SOS function, should your kid find themselves in an emergency situation.
Google Family Link
If all you’re looking for is a trustworthy phone tracker, without most of the other functionalities that most tracker apps feature, then what better option than Google’s own service? The app is entirely free and can be downloaded for both iPhones and Android smartphones.
The app does offer some other functions besides geographical tracking, though. It allows parents to block access to individual apps or block the phone’s screen itself. Google’s own SafeSearch function is also at work here, preventing children from coming across any kind of inappropriate content when surfing the web.
So where do we go from here?
It’s no secret that the world is no longer what it was when you yourself were a child. With the immense technological leaps of the past decades, a whole new sphere of life imposed itself on us. Information and communication possibilities that you would only dream of a couple of decades back are now available at the tips of our fingers. But all that comes at a price.
Our lives have become more intense, busier. It’s hard to keep track of everything going on in your own day-to-day – let alone your children’s. With all that, making your loved ones safe can become a challenge that not all of us will know how to deal with, and that is reason enough to use a mobile tracker app.
But while the decision to use a phone tracker can greatly improve your life and that of your children or other close family members, it must be taken consciously and in agreement with all involved. Some children may strongly object to feeling their privacy invaded, so you’ll need to be tactful when installing the app onto their phones.
Talk to them. Make sure they understand what the app is for (helping them stay safe and dispelling your worry). Make them understand what the app is not for, that you will not use it to monitor every moment of their lives. If you need more tips on that, check out our article on how to negotiate with your children when installing a tracker app on their phones.
Are you ready to start using a phone tracker? Choose your pick, install it, and you’ll soon see its effects on your daily life. And, if you already use one and know a friend who could benefit from this article, go ahead and share it with them. As they say, sharing is caring!