If you’re a parent, there’s a chance you’ll want to track your child when they’re not home.
There are physical devices for doing this, but there are also a bunch of apps that make it really simple. Your child is likely to keep their smartphone on them at all times anyway, so tracking them using an app is easy. Let’s look at a few of the best.
Life360 Family Locator
Life360 is the reigning leader in the GPS tracking arena. They’ve been around the longest and had a popular family tracking app for a while now. If you want the tried and true app, you’ve found it.
You can create multiple Circles that can be used for any group of people you want, like specific family members or friends. Then you can create Places and receive notifications when someone leaves or enters one of those places, like home or school.
Everyone in the Circle can see everyone else’s locations, and you can send off an emergency alert if something goes wrong that will notify everyone in your Circle.
The free version only allows you to have 2 Places and to have 2 days of location history, but the premium version, Life360 Plus, gives you access to unlimited Places, 30 days of location history, and 24/7 support. One subscription covers all the members in a single Circle (meaning you’ll need multiple subscriptions for multiple Circles, but not every member in a Circle needs a subscription). Life360 Plus costs $2.99 per month or $24.99 per year.
There’s also Life360 Driver Protect, which is an optional upgrade that gives you access to roadside assistance as well as helpful analytics about your driving. That plan costs $7.99 a month or $69.99 a year.
Download for Android: Life360 Family Locator (Free)
Download for iPhone: Life360 Family Locator (Free)
Visit: Life360 Website
My Family GPS Tracker
For an alternative to Life360, check out My Family. This app is available not only on Android and iPhone, but also on Amazon devices and Windows devices. While Life360 requires an account, My Family ditches that in favor of an invite code, meaning you don’t have to register for anything.
You can see location history for up to three years in the past, and if necessary, you can force call someone (they automatically answer) or force their phone to take a photo. While that might sound intrusive, ideally it would only be used if something had gone wrong. And of course, there’s an emergency button for alerting the family of a problem and geofencing for knowing when someone enters or leaves a particular area.
The interface is modern, and you can adjust the colors however you like. It’s about as simple to operate as possible, without missing out on any functionality. Plus, it’s free, and there are no ads.
Download for Android: My Family GPS Tracker (Free)
Download for iPhone: My Family GPS Tracker (Free)
Download for Amazon devices: My Family GPS Tracker (Free)
Download for Windows Mobile/Phone: My Family GPS Tracker (Free)
Visit: My Family Website
ZoeMob Family Locator
This locator app bills itself as more of a “family assistant”. It allows you to track family members, but it also encourages chatting with them over its built-in messenger and sharing lists and calendars.
Other than that, it’s a pretty standard app. You can track everyone’s location, check-in to places, set up specific location notifications, and set speed limits for family members who can drive.
Unfortunately, there are ads in the app that require an in-app purchase to get rid of, and quite a few reviews have complained of a lack of customer support. Still, if the others haven’t tickled your fancy, it might be worth a try.
Download for Android: ZoeMob Family Locator (Free)
Download for iPhone: ZoeMob Family Locator (Free)
Visit: ZoeMob Website
KidControl GPS Tracker
KidControl GPS tracker is as simple as they come. You can set up geofences,track locations, and see battery percentages. That’s about it. It gets the job done.
The app is easy to use and setup without getting you lost in superfluous features. Unfortunately, it does have ads, but you can get rid of those for a lifetime KidControl Premium license for $19.99. That also allows you to create an unlimited number of geofences and view battery and location history for up to two weeks.
That might seem pricey, but it is a lifetime license, unlike Life360, which charges you monthly. However, it is important to note that it only works on Android and the Web — there’s currently no version for iPhone.
If you prefer a barebones solution and don’t have any iPhone users in the family, try the KidControl app.
Download for Android: KidControl GPS Tracker (Free)
Visit: KidControl Website
Which Is the Best?
Honestly, this is a market where apps often pop in for a while before dying out and leaving their users hanging. If you want the most stable option, you want Life360. It’s around to stay.
Though I was very impressed by the My Family app, and if you’re wary about paying for Life360, I would suggest trying that one first.
It’s tricky navigating the digital age as a parent. Thankfully, we have a few more tips for you, like how to find the right children’s books, how to see if your kids are circumventing internet filters, and how to protect your kids from online advertisements.
Do you have any tips for raising kids in the modern era? Which of these apps was your favorite, or did we miss one? Let us know in the comments!
Need something to track your pet instead? Try one of these GPS trackers.
Originally written by Riley J. Dennis on August 23rd, 2013.