We all need to know that your family is safe at all times. It’s a never-ending battle between granting freedom to your loved ones and wanting them to always be at your line of sight. This is why family locator apps are very essential when tracking your loved ones’ whereabouts.
Odds are, if you have teenagers, they could be carrying around a mobile phone with them all the time. Sometimes, you might wish they’d put it down and engage with the world around them more. If your adolescents are too hooked up, why not use this for everyone’s advantage?
Thanks to the newest technology, Android already has the capability to find a device and locate another mobile phone. All you need to have is a locator app. But with so many family tracking apps available, it could be confusing to find the right one for you. To help you decide, we’ve gathered the best family locator apps for Android that you could choose from.
How Does a Family Locator App Work?
A family locator app finds another phone based on an aerial map. It looks up another phone’s location through GPS. This technology is a simple way to help you and your loved ones locate each other’s phones in real-time.
How Do I Use a Family Locator App?
Using a family locator app is as easy as tying your shoelace. You can actually use your phone’s built-in GPS together with the Find My Phone feature of your Android device. But if in case you don’t want to share your Google ID, you can use a lot of alternative apps readily available on the Google Play store.
Family Locator – GPS Tracker
This world can be a scary place. Thankfully, there are apps like Life360’s, Family Locator – GPS Tracker. This app allows you to track your family members in real-time.
Family Locator can be set up to notify you when someone checks in at a certain location, like school or work. This can be handy for keeping track of more forgetful family members since it sends an automatic notification rather than relying on them to remember.
You can plot the location of your connections on a map, but it does allow those connections (and you) to control who can find him or her. A private chat is also provided, where you can exchange text messages or photos.
Life360’s Family Locator can also be used to track down your Android phone if it gets lost. Additional safety features include driving safety tips and a Crash Detection service.
Life360’s Family Locator is, by far, the most stable family locator apps for Android.
Find My Friends
Yes, Find My Friend is now available on Android.
Find My Friends is different than the identically named iOS app. First, it uses Google Maps to provide its plotted mapping. What is good about Google Maps is that it displays fire departments, police stations, and hospitals by default, which allows kids to find someone else who can help them if their parents aren’t around.
Find My Friends could potentially come to your aid in an emergency with its option to broadcast your whereabouts. It also provides a forum for messaging. Find My Friends is free, but you do have the option to try a free trial and then upgrade to the premium version.
For a monthly fee of about $5, the app will offer a more detailed location history, provide services even when your phone isn’t a smartphone, and roadside assistance.
Sygic Family Locator
Sygic is a real-time family locator with some handy unique features.
If there is somewhere you specifically don’t want your child to go, you can set up an unsafe zone. You will be notified if your child crosses these boundaries. On the other hand, if your child gets lost, all they must do is press the SOS button to give you their exact location.
Family Locator by ZoeMob
ZoeMob takes on a more holistic approach when it comes to your family—instead of focusing solely on location services, the app also strives to be your assistant when it comes to family communication, organization, and planning.
ZoeMob offers the same location services as the first 3 apps; real-time location monitoring and history. But what sets Zoemob apart is the additional feature that allows permissions for children (such as, “Is it cool if I play this game a little bit longer?”), a family calendar, and shared annotations.
It even allows you to check nitty gritty details like whether your child (or their school bus driver) is going the speed limit. All the detail might drive some teenagers insane, but the extra planning and organization features that help keep everyone in the loop may be worth it.
Glympse (Best Family Locator App for Android)
Glympse is a free family locator app that works on any web-enabled device.
Glympse user does get a say in who gets to track his/her information and for how long. This information is sent via text, email, or social network.
Users have the discretion whether they want to broadcast their location and ETA. This option could be a major downside because the location notifications aren’t automatic, and the location can’t be freely accessed by other family members. It requires your kids to remember to send you updates every so often, and you can’t track them in real time.
Foursquare Swarm: Check In
If you want an app that will appeal to your kids instead of making them feel resentful, this could be it. Like Foursquare City, Swarm allows you to compete for points by checking into places.
Related: 5 Best Android Phones for Kids
You could turn racking up points into a family game or offer incentives for earning points to get your kids to participate. Kids may also like that they can use Swarm to message friends that check in at a location, provided that those friends also have the app.
However, Foursquare City provides no real-time tracking, and that the emphasis of the app may shift more to your kids and their friends’ goals, rather than your own.
Verizon FamilyBase (Best Family Locator App on Verizon)
Verizon FamilyBaseOne thing to love about Verizon FamilyBase app is that it will show you the directions to get to your loved ones’ current locations. This is a handy feature especially if you have to pick them up somewhere both of you aren’t familiar with or respond to an emergency.
It does stand out from the other apps we’ve discussed thus far in that it offers many parental control features, including childproofing your internet, blocking unwanted contacts, and accessing your kid’s call and text histories.
While the app itself is free, it’s designed for Verizon subscribers who have paid for the Family Locator Service which costs $4.99 a month.
Sprint Family Locator (Best Family Locator App on Sprint)
The Sprint Family Locator plan will locate up to four phones, perform check-ins by default, offers text and website support, and time stamping, all without even requiring that you download its app. Downsides include the limit on devices, a lack of accuracy at times, and a cost of around $6.00/month after your free trial ends.
T-Mobile FamilyWhere (Best Family Locator App on T-Mobile)
T-Mobile offers a free check-in app, with a premium version for $10/month. Unless you truly need all the extra perks – which you can try during a 30-day trial – the free version will suffice.
The paid version does seek to make the process more fun and less of a chore for your kids, with options like emoticons, but that might be more effective for younger children than teenagers.
AT&T FamilyMap (Best Family Locator App on AT&T)
AT&T offers a trial and subsequent price identical to that of T-Mobile’s with 30 trial version, with a succeeding $10/month for up to 10 lines.
AT&T’s plan is available on any device. It provides scheduled check-ins, a map of safe places, and easy correspondence by text or email. You can add contacts, as well as the places they frequent.
This is one of the best family locator apps, but it doesn’t come cheap. You may, however, find that your peace of mind is worth it.
You can’t always be with every member of your family. But with these apps, you can at least keep tabs and know they’re safe.
Out of all these apps, Life360 stood out and is proven to be the most reliable while Find My Friends and Swarm are the apps that your children will naturally gravitate to. Sygic works well for parents of young children.
It will still be your discretion to pick the best family locator apps for Android because only you know your family’s unique needs.
Which ones have worked well for you and in what circumstances? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.