We live in a world that provides us with some pretty amazing technology. One such form of technology that most of us can’t seem to live without is the ever popular smartphone. We’ve become so reliant on our smartphones that if we happen to misplace it, we can hardly function. Today’s smartphones are much more than just simple communication devices. They are like a pocket computer, personal assistant, and entertainment center all wrapped up into one tiny little package.
Today we’re going to be talking about how you can make use of a very special type of application called a “cell phone tracker“. Follow along and I’ll teach you why everyone should have this kind of app installed on their phone!
What Is a Cell Phone Tracker App?
Let’s start off by telling you exactly what a cell phone tracker application is. In its simplest form, it’s just a clever piece of software that is specially designed to make use of the GPS receiver that is built into cell phones for the purpose of determining the GPS coordinates of a particular phone.
Once this software is installed on a smartphone a user can use a web-based interface or another smartphone to determine the location of the mobile device that has the software installed on it.
Let’s Set Some Ground Rules First
This type of technology can be extremely useful and in a minute we’ll talk about some of the many positive uses for a cell phone tracking application. Having said that, there is the potential for it to be misused.
It’s extremely important that if you choose to use this type of technology that you follow a simple rule. You should never track somebody without the express knowledge and permission to do so. This type of technology should never be used to spy on another individual. If you secretly install the software on someones cell phone without them knowing about it, you are violating their privacy and you maybe even breaking the law. The bottom line is that if you are going to use this technology on someone else’s phone, you must get their permission first.
Some Possible Uses for Cell Phone Tracking Technology
Now let’s take a minute and talk about some of the positive uses of this type of technology. The first, and possibly the most common use of this type of technology is to track down a lost cell phone. Everyone, regardless of how careful they are, will eventually misplace their cellular phone. If you have one of these applications installed on your phone, you can use it to quickly determine the location so that you can easily retrieve it.
The second most common use for this type of technology is in keeping track your family members. This can be a great parenting tool. If you have teenagers who are busy with their day-to-day lives, a concerned parent can quickly determine the location of their teenager if they happened to be late getting home.
Another common use is to keep track of employees. One good example would be a business that employs delivery drivers. If each of the employees had a cell phone tracking application installed on their phone, the dispatcher could easily determine their exact location and use this information to more effectively schedule upcoming deliveries.
How It Works
There are basically three types of technologies that may be used to determine the location of a smartphone. The first is with GPS. Nearly all cell phones today come with a GPS receiver built into them. When the application uses GPS, what happens is the app communicates with the global positioning satellites to extrapolate the phone’s exact GPS coordinates. These coordinates are then relayed through the cell phone service provider’s network to the web-based interface of the GPS cell phone tracking application. In most cases, the exact location of the cell phone will be displayed on a map on either a computer or another smartphone for the owner to use to determine the location of their phone.
Another method that is often used to determine the location of a cell phone is via Wi-Fi. In this case, the application attempts to determine if the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot. If it is, the software will extract the IP address of the Wi-Fi router to determine its approximate location. This information can then be sent over the Internet to the user who is trying to determine the location of their phone. It should be noted that this method of determining the location of the smartphone can be quite inaccurate.
The last method is called triangulation and in this case the cell phone service provider makes use of its network to determine the three cell phone towers that the phone is nearest to. It then calculates the approximate location of the phone based upon the data it is able to receive from the these towers. This is the least commonly used method of determining the location of a phone.
Cell Phone Service Provider Based Tracking Systems
In some cases, cell phone service providers have a service that they can make available to their customers for the purpose of tracking their cell phones. For example, Sprint has a service called the “Sprint Family Locator”. Customers can pay a small fee to Sprint and they will be able to track the cell phones on their service plan. AT&T also has a program that is called “AT&T Family Map”. Verizon has a similar program called “Family Locator”. You may want to check with your cell phone service provider to see if they offer a service for tracking cell phones on their network.
Stand Alone Tracking Applications
There are both free and paid versions of cell phone tracking applications to choose from. Perhaps the easiest way to find an application that will be suitable for your needs is to go to your favorite app store. For example, if you have a Google Android powered cell phone, simply go to the Google Play Store app on your phone and type in the keyword “cell phone tracker”. A list of both free and paid versions of this type of software will instantly be displayed for you to make your selection from.
In most cases the free versions will work just fine for almost all of your needs. It’s worth pointing out that many applications have both a free and a paid version of their particular app. The free version contains the basic tracking functions but the paid version contains functions that are only available for paid members. These premium features may be useful but you’ll have to make the decision as to whether or not you want to pay to have access to them.
Once you install the application that you would like to use on your phone, follow the simple on-screen instructions for setting up a free account and you’ll be ready to begin tracking your phone.
It’s worth pointing out that you need to have the GPS receiver turned on for your phone or these applications won’t be able to determine the location of your device should you ever need to use it.
I hope this article has been helpful to you and if you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend installing a phone tracking app on your phone before you actually need to use it.