There are a ton of good reasons to install an iPhone tracking app. Of course tracking an iPhone is a great way to make sure you don’t lose it – and if you leave it in a café or somewhere, then you’ll be able to track it down and retrieve it. Likewise, if it gets stolen, you’ll be able to aid the police in getting it back.
But this is the worst case scenario. In the meantime, there are still a ton of practical uses for tracking apps – whether you want to keep an eye on your kids, or let your partner know where you are during the day. And this can just create a nice feeling of connectedness too. If you sometimes find yourself worrying about your partner when they’re home late from work, then being able to look at where they are on your phone is a perfect solution in many ways.
And as we’ll see, there are also some much more unique and specific tracking apps too that can be useful in particular scenarios. Running the marathon and want to let your friends, family, and other supporters keep track of you around the course? No problem! Want to leave pre-recorded messages for someone that they can ‘find’ on their travels? There are ways to do that too.
Read on and we’ll look at all the very best and most varied tracking apps out there. Here are some techniques, which you can use along with these apps. This is your definitive list!
Top iPhone Tracking Apps
iCloud is a service that comes pre-loaded on every iPhone. Of course, it comes with the very useful ‘Find My iPhone’, so if you’re looking to track down a phone that you left in a café, then you’ll be able to do that without installing any extra software. App developers the world over were likely cringing when Apple added this feature!
Find My Phone is a feature for finding your own phone though and if you’re looking for something you can use to track others then you’ll be out of luck. Though that said, there’s no reason you can’t just ask for your partner’s login details and that way you’ll be able to sign in on the computer to find their phone if ever you really need to.
iHound is a paid app that costs $3.99 for three months but offers an even more secure approach than iCloud. iHound is incredibly accurate and can find your phone within 94 meters. Like iCloud, it also lets you send push notifications to your phone to try and help people who find it return it to you. iHound also provides stickers you can add to your phone to add your details (which can be a bad thing if your phone gets stolen) and some useful location-based features such as ‘Geofencing’ which alerts you when your phone leaves a certain perimeter.
Unless you’re looking for one of these extra features though, there’s not really much reason to pay a recurring fee – just use iCloud.
Sprint Family Locator
The Sprint Family Locator is a great app because it’s ready to go for any families on Sprints Family Plan – though it does cost $5 a month for each phone, which really adds up. This is a nifty app that lets you see where each member of your family is at any given time. Great for peace of mind, for making sure the kids haven’t snuck out to go to that party, and for knowing the right time to put dinner in the oven so it’ll be ready just as everyone arrives in through the door.
The Lassy Project is one of the best iPhone tracking app that is designed specifically for finding missing children. It works by counting down how long the child has been missing and then providing the authorities with a photo as well as their last known location should the worst happen. There’s also a ‘call police’ button and an option to ‘spread the word’.
The app is a nice idea and it’s for a good cause. But it does mean being a little paranoid as you’re essentially asking your child to install an app for missing children before they’re missing…
For the truly nosey parent though, mSpy is on a whole different level. mSpy is a highly powerful app that will sit on an iPhone and spy on its activity. mSpy can show you your child’s location, but it can also record WhatsApp conversations, Skype chats, SMS and contacts used.
This is a lot of information for any parent to collect, so if your parenting style is somewhat ‘Big Brother’ then this might well appeal to your surveillance-centric sensibilities. Your kids, on the other hand, are likely to be a lot less pleased! Is this going too far? Really that’s up to you and depends on how much freedom and privacy you want to give your kids.
There is a limitation for this app too though, which is that it only works on jailbroken phones. These, of course, are phones that have been rooted to bypass Apple’s restrictions. The problem with that is that: a) jailbreaking a phone is quite an involved process that not every parent will be capable of and b) this act itself can present some security issues and other risks. If you can install mSpy on your kid’s phone, then bear in mind that malicious programs can do similar things. It also seems like quite a lot of trouble to go to in order to spy on your kids. And if they’re savvy enough to jailbreak their own phone? Then they probably know how to remove mSpy too.
But all that aside, this is certainly the most powerful tracking app and so it belongs on this list! You’ll get this one from the Cydia store.
GadgetTrak is an app that offers a useful extra feature on top of GPS tracking – the ability to snap a photo from the phone’s camera. This is pretty useful not only if you want to catch a thief red-handed, but also if you want to see precisely where in that bus carriage you left the phone (though the underside of a seat might not provide you with much usable information).
You can set GadgetTrak to take continuous photos a minute apart which is useful too. And this only costs $1 (in app) which is significantly cheaper than some other options. Unfortunately, though, the tracking features with the GPS aren’t quite as advanced as iCloud or iHound.
Instead of spying on your other half without them knowing, wouldn’t it be nicer to track them with their permission? To even make it a nice thing? There are a ton of apps designed for couples that allow you to do this, such as Avocado. On top of that, it also lets you upload photos as emoticons, to send messages like ‘I’m running late’ and to share relationship milestones on Twitter. It’s a bit twee perhaps, but if you prefer twee to ‘police state’ then this is a nice choice.
This is an app that lets you keep track of your friends, your children or your spouse. Why would you ever want to track a friend? One example might be if they’re going on holiday and you’re picking them up at the airport. This way you can find them more quickly and also know that they’re okay when they’re away (data charges allowing). The app syncs with the contacts on your iPhone so you can find people to connect with quickly and easily.
Connect is a very new app for following friends and family members through social media. To see where friends are, they don’t even need to have Connected installed – or to accept an invitation from you. Of course this doesn’t offer the same real-time tracking as other options on this list though, so you can’t use it to follow people around. Which is probably for the best!
Endomondo is a great app for tracking your walks and runs. This means you can see where you’ve been if you’re someone who enjoys getting a lot of exercise. Alternatively, it also means that your friends and family can log in to see where you are on your run and they can even leave pre-recorded messages to cheer you on!
As you can see then, there are a ton of different tracking apps, each of which has a different use scenario and different features. Find the right one for you and keep better tabs on the people – and phones – in your life!