Find Your Friends via GPS With These 7 Free Android Apps
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Do you want an app to track the location of friends and family on a map?

Admittedly, it sounds a bit creepy, but these days most people continually broadcast their whereabouts on social media anyway. Surely one more privacy-eroding app won’t hurt.

If you want the best location finding apps, GPS tracking apps, and ways to find a friend’s location, keep reading.

1. Glympse

Over time, Glympse has become one of the most popular location apps on the Play Store. The central premise of the app is being able to quickly and easily share your GPS location with friends, family, and co-workers.

One of the best features of Glympse is that it doesn’t require recipients to sign up to see where you are on a map—they just need a web connection. That makes Glympse different from other location-sharing apps like WhatsApp and Google Maps.

Glympse also has an important safety feature—all “Glympses” automatically expire after a set period of time. There is thus no danger that you’ll forget to turn off location sharing and accidentally broadcast your whereabouts for hours.

Download: Glympse (Free)

2. Sygic Family Locator

Sygic Family Locator is the best app on this list for anyone who has kids and wants to keep abreast of their location all the time. You can use it to see the real-time location of anyone else in your family who uses the app. There’s also a built-in messaging service to contact the other users.

Most importantly from a child safety perspective, Sygic Family Locator has an SOS button for parents. When pressed, it will immediately flag their kids’ position on a map. It’s useful on family trips in large public spaces, where kids are prone to wander off on their own.

Parents can also set up notifications so they receive an alert when their child reaches a particular destination (such as school or a friend’s house). And the app supports the creation of safe/unsafe zones; if a child crosses a boundary, the parents get an alert.

Unlike Glympse, others must have Sygic Family Locator installed for you to see their location.

Download: Sygic Family Locator (Free, in-app purchases available)

3. Find My Friends

Lots of people want to know how to find a friend’s location by mobile number, but we’ve done some research, and there aren’t any solutions worth recommending. One app that was once a popular way to find a friend’s phone location was Mobile Number Locator, but the vast majority of recent reviews are poor.

As a result, we’d recommend Find My Friends for anyone who needs an app to locate friends. The core feature is obviously plotting their GPS location on a map in real-time, but the app has a few other functions that help it stand out.

These include temporary location sharing, a built-in instant messaging chat service, a directions finder, and an estimated time of arrival calculator. You can enable and disable the location sharing as needed, and it offers granular settings to control exactly who can see your location.

Download: Find My Friends (Free, premium version available)

4. A-GPS Tracker

Although the primary use case for many apps in this category is to keep an eye on your children, they are also handy for anyone who spends a lot of time off the beaten path. Specifically, we’re talking about hikers, walkers, and campers.

Hiking in unfamiliar areas can pose a real danger to your safety. If the weather suddenly changes, it’s easy to get lost. As such, it might make sense to install A-GPS Tracker on your device before you depart.

The developers created the map with hikers in mind. All the maps have elevation measurements, and latitude and longitude coordinates for your location are provided in both degrees and UTM-WSG84. You can also load other users’ routes and get an audible alarm if you stray too far away from where you’re supposed to be.

Impressively for a free app, it contains no ads.

Download: A-GPS Tracker (Free)

5. Google Maps

Did you know that you can use Google Maps to track friends and family?

It relies on the person sharing their location with you, so it might not be the best option for some situations. However, for groups of friends or colleagues trying to arrange a meetup, it will more than suffice.

If you want to know how to share your location with friends on Google Maps, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Google Maps app.
  2. Tap on the Menu icon in the upper-left corner.
  3. Choose Location Sharing from the list of options.
  4. Tap the Add People icon in the upper-right.
  5. Set a duration for the sharing or select Until you turn this off.
  6. Choose the people you want to share with from your list of contacts.

Remember, if you are a member of a Google Family Group, you will already have access to the GPS locations of any participating children.

Download: Google Maps (Free)

6. Life360

Life360 uses “Circles” to manage who you share your location with. So whether you want an app to track friends or your family, it’s worth checking out.

You can choose when you share your location with each Circle. For example, you might want to share your location with your buddies while on a night out, but not during the rest of the week. The Circles approach affords you that level of control.

Each Circle has a private map and a private message service that only other Circle members can see.

Download: Life360 (Free, subscription available)

7. GeoZilla Family GPS Locator

GeoZilla Family GPS Locator is another location finder app worth looking at.

Unlike many location-sharing apps, GeoZilla Family GPS Locator is less of a drain on your phone’s battery thanks to the SLC (Significant Location Change) feature. It ensures the app won’t fire up if you walk a short distance within your property. Instead, it will only start recording when you move a considerable distance.

Other features include alerts for when family members arrive at a destination, seeing a week’s worth of location history on a map, and a way to assign location-based tasks with family members via shared to-do lists.

Download: GeoZilla Family GPS Locator (Free, subscription available)

Other Ways to Track People

Apps are not the only way to track people that you want to keep an eye on. There are wearables, web services, and even some search engines that can help.

To learn more, read how to find information about someone online How to Find Information on Someone Online: 7 Simple Steps How to Find Information on Someone Online: 7 Simple Steps Want to track a person down? The web has several powerful search tools and networks to help you find someone online. Read More . If you’re interested in location data, you might also consider using the best offline navigation apps for Android.

Explore more about: Android Apps, Geocaching, Geotagging, Google Apps, GPS, Location Data, .

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  1. Fernando Adame
    April 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Hi! Nice article.
    Now with the last update of Google Maps you can share your location in real time and see your friends location either. :)

    https://support.google.com/plus/answer/3302509?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

  2. sunil
    February 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I want to know that, is this possible for iPhone to Android's phone. Is their any app like this.

  3. Anonymous
    June 8, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Hey guys! Do you know pozzr.com? They have no iOS version yet, but it works well for me.

  4. Daniël Brito
    June 4, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Have you guys seen App2Find already? I am using it currently and it works great. You can follow your friends on the basic map or with the augmented reality camera option. you can find out more on http://www.app2find.com/explore/

  5. Shash
    May 15, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Is there any android app which i can only install on my Samsung note 2 and still able to find location of my kids???
    I cant install same app on my kids mobile. He is expert in Mobile and He uninstall the same app. He wont allow anyone to handle his mobile.

  6. Cell phone tracker
    June 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I think Google latitude is one of the best tracking tools out there to keep track of your friends and family via GPS.

    • Anonymous
      February 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      I'm showing Google latitude has retired, is this true?

    • Daniël Brito
      June 4, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Yes that is true. Years ago already!

  7. Joel Margulies
    June 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    To Nat Jay, GPS Tracking from LOCiMOBILE for Android or iPhone works internationally. It is currently running in more than 80 countries.

  8. Ex Back
    June 17, 2010 at 8:31 am

    i look this site it is really beautiful!

  9. Steve Campbell
    May 11, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Hmm, you bring up a good point. I'm not sure how the apps work
    internationally, but I'm sure some of them do.

  10. Nat Jay
    May 11, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I checked a few of these apps and most of them seem to be for US cities, or made for the iPhone. I wonder if international tracking apps are available, specially for Asian countries which has such a thriving wireless population.

    • Steve Campbell
      May 11, 2010 at 4:15 am

      Hmm, you bring up a good point. I'm not sure how the apps work
      internationally, but I'm sure some of them do.

  11. Anonymous
    May 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I HAVE A SAMSUNG NO FRILES CELL PHONE AS DOES MY WIFE AND MOST OF MY KIDS.THE PROBLEM IS THEY KEEP MISPLACING THEM OR LEAVING THEM AT SOME ONES HOME. IS THERE A PROGRAM I CAN DOWNLOAD THAT WILL SHOW A MAP OF WHERE THE PHONE IS. THIS IS GETTING EXPENSIVE.

    • Steve Campbell
      May 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm

      If they are able to install any of the apps above or something similar that can broadcast their position then yes, you should be able to go online to see where the phone is at any given time, provided the battery didn't go dead.

  12. Darin
    May 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Why isn't Google Latitude mentioned? I use this app to keep track of my family.

    • Steve Campbell
      May 10, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      I did mention Google Latitude up above. We've already covered it in an article, so I felt no need to cover it again. I did provide a link, however.

  13. Jennifer Stewart
    May 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    These applications sound really cool (I actually have a couple of them) but at the same time, I'm a little nervous about this technology...what happens if my friend's sister's violent ex-boyfriend gets ahold of her phone and finds me?? This is great stuff, but at the same time it could potentially dangerous.

    • Steve Campbell
      May 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm

      You bring up a good point with this technology Jennifer. A few of these companies are taking security into account by giving you the option to shut off broadcasting or by making you sign in, which is a good thing.