Android Cell Phone Tracker Apps
One of the most popular ways to tap into the GPS capability of your Android enabled mobile device is to install a cell phone tracking application. There are number of different reasons people want the ability to track a phone but topping the list are device recovery, monitoring kids or teenagers, sharing location data with friends, and tracking historical route data.
Since most apps are designed to be used primarily for one specific function, it is important that you choose the right application for your intended use. Below you will find a list of some of the most frequently downloaded Android tracking applications along with a description and suggested uses. Once you've learned a little bit about each one, you should have no trouble selecting the right app for your smartphone or mobile device.
Finding a Lost Phone and Securing Your Data
As smartphones have evolved and become more complex, they also carry an increasing amount of data. This can include everything from a simple shopping list to the most intimate personal details of our lives such as bank records and text messages exchanged with loved ones. At the very least, the idea of a stranger having access to this information is unsettling and in an extreme situation could potentially be dangerous. One way to restore a little peace of mind and eliminate stress is to utilize a GPS cell phone tracker that would allow you to quickly recover your phone if it's ever lost or stolen.
Seek Droid is an app that allows you to secure your data and immediately locate your device. When you need to find your phone, simply log-in to the online console from anywhere in the world and instantly see the exact location of your phone on a map. You can even enable GPS from the management interface without having access to your phone!
During setup, a secure code is created that gives you the power to remotely lock the device or even wipe out all of the data stored on your phone if the need arises. This app is available for $0.99 in the Android Market and there are no monthly usage fees. The developer offers plenty of online support and can assist you with any questions or setup related issues you may encounter. This program is one of the best investments you can make to protect your device and comes highly recommended.
Keeping Track of Kids or Teens
An important part of effective parenting centers on knowing where your children are at all times. Whether it's coordinating a pickup time after soccer practice or maintaining a watchful eye during a family trip to an amusement park, a GPS tracking app is a great way to help keep your family safe and remove some of the stress that comes along with being a parent.
The Family GPS Tracker developed by Life360 works with your Android powered cell phone to provide real time tracking data for your entire family. Simply launch the app from your own phone and see the location of each of your family members displayed on a map.
The app gives you full controls to customize privacy settings and determine exactly who can see the data so you can keep your personal network secured from outside access. The system allows you to set up check-ins and receive safety check notifications so you can be instantly notified when your child arrives at a friend's house or gets home from school.
Even if you have family members without a GPS enabled phone, you can purchase a fully supported add-on tracking device for $99. This application has been downloaded over 100,000 times from the Android Market and carries nearly a five star rating based on thousands of user reviews. Best of all, you can download it for free!
Tracking Workout Performance
One of the best ways to stay motivated and reach your fitness goals is to track your performance and observe your progress. The Endomondo Sports Tracker turns your cell phone into a personal trainer and coach. This convenient app gives you the freedom to toss your old workout journal and take your training to a higher level. Whether you are into running, hiking, walking, cycling, or even snowshoeing, this powerful application gives you instant tracking of time, distance covered, speed, and even the number of calories burned! As you complete your workout, the app stores your route history and can even include a record of the music you were listening to at the time. For those of you who like to compete with your friends, you can load a specific route and go head-to-head with a friend on a specific course or simply strive to beat your own personal best time.
This workout tracker has been downloaded well over 500,000 times and has continued to receive top ratings from users who have used it. There are two versions of this program available in the Android Market, one is free and has all of the features described above while the upgraded Pro version costs $4. The main added feature of the Pro version over the free download is an audio coach that provides tips on how to improve your personal performance.
Location Sharing and Social Networking
There are times when it can be useful to share your location with a specific set of contacts for a set period of time. One of the best applications in this category also happens to be one of the most well-known. While there are plenty of location-sharing apps to choose from, Foursquare remains at the top of the short list.
This free app lets you selectively share your location and even your photos with friends while you're on the go. You can even share tips along the way such as which menu item at a restaurant is your favorite or which hiking trail offers the best views at a local park. As an added bonus, you can earn points, discounts, and freebies at local businesses just by going about your everyday business.
To the right, you can see a sample screenshot showing the user-friendly networking interface. While this one makes our recommended list of Android location-sharing applications, it should also be noted that Foursquare is also available for the iPhone, Blackberry devices, and several other mobile operating systems as well.
Evaluating GPS Apps
As the Android Market continues to expand, more and more innovative apps are released every day. Finding a good cell phone tracker shouldn't be very difficult provided that you have at least some idea of what your primary use for the application will be. Once you have chosen the appropriate category, take the time to read some of the feedback provided by others who have downloaded the app. This should alert you to any potential problems associated with common bugs or frequently encountered errors. As you evaluate the reviews, be sure to take into consideration the number of times the app has been downloaded and what the overall ratings picture looks like.
Remember that no app is perfect and often times the free version of a program is designed to leave you wanting more to encourage you to upgrade to the premium edition. The apps suggested above should provide you with a good starting point to accomplish the most common tracking-related tasks. Be sure to check the Android Market frequently for updates to any programs you decide to download. This will ensure that your software is always up-to-date and performing at an optimum level. If you have a favorite GPS app, please share it in the comments section below so it can be added to the list!
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