We all want to keep our family safe, and technology allows us to do this through family tracking apps and monitoring tools.
We’ve already written about the best apps on how to monitor your kids’ online activity. Now we will be focusing a little more on keeping your family safe in the physical world. The research may show a decline in crime and violence, but the world is still a scary place, and technology is here to help wherever it can.
We’re going to talking about the family tracking apps you should download, how they work and what features they offer. They are all easy-to-use and most will help you track phone location for free.
Before we can dive into the list of best tracking apps for family and friends, you should know what features to look for before accepting to share your data, and before investing your money in family safety. Remember, live-tracking or real-time tracking is something which is a given, so essentially this is the main or basic functionality of tracking apps and it’s a given that the app will no doubt be embedded with this functionality for free.
Geofencing. This is a must have feature if you want to keep a tab on your children. The function allows you to add virtual fences so you can get an alert when your child steps out of home, school, sleepover… or even things like when they reach certain places. It also doubles as a safety measure when and if they go towards areas that are unsafe.
Panic Button. This may be referred as an SOS in some apps and again, it’s a must have feature. Loved ones should have an easy access button to tap if they need your immediate attention.
Location History. As the term suggests, its something that allows you to check where your loved have been.
Battery. Some apps show you what the phone’s current battery status is and this helps you to understand why they may not be answering your call.
Cross-Platform. Not a function, but always pick a tracking app that has cross-platform availability.
Other functions such as in-app messaging, GDPR compliance, checking-in and even speed alerts are all something that if your chosen app has is something great, otherwise if its not there, not a huge problem.
Bonus Feature: Social Monitoring. If your chosen app offers social monitoring, screen limits and internet activity checks, then this is a huge bonus and indicates a paid subscription.
Now, let’s dive into the list of best family locator apps.
Zenly is by far the best family tracking app here. It is a free a real-time location tracking app available on both iOS and Android.
Zenly brings all the benefits of family location sharing such as live GPS locations, messaging, stealth mode, Covid-19 stats to both platforms in an easy-to-use way. The app displays battery backup available on your family/friend’s phone, which is great to understand why the other party may not be replying to texts or calls.
The privacy settings are simple; you can choose to either hide yourself completely, show the city name or share your precise location.
Although Zenly runs in the background, it is the least intrusive and power consuming of all the location sharing apps I’ve ever come across.
GeoZilla is the track of all trades. You can use their tracking app to locate family and friends (with their consent of course!), attach their 1-oune GPS tracking device to your child’s backpack, a pet’s collar or place it in your car!
The tech is all about tracking movement, whether by device or through their app. And yes, it comes with a price! The small device has a price tag of $59.99 and you get the tracker, USB cable, lanyard, eSIM, and rechargeable batteries.
The tracking app is just free for 7 days, after that you pay to keep the features like 14-day location history, geofencing alerts, real-time location update, and a stolen phone tracking as well. The app further sends alerts if it recognises a car crash and for all its purposes you get insights into driving habits such as over speeding, phone use, narrow misses, over speeding, and aggressive driving.
GeoZilla has a new gimmick in the works and is fairly new so no promises here, but they offer activity tracking for your fitness devices (also a great way to keep a tab on that heart rate!).
Mama Bear is another family tracking app allowing parents to track their kids’ location, as well as receive updates and messages from their kids.
Doubling as a monitoring app, Mama Bear allows you to monitor social media, as well as driving/riding habits. You can set the app to alert you when your child begins to speed or even if they are texting while driving.
For the parents who have to know everything about their child and what they’re doing, this is best family tracking app to have. Mama Bear is free but added features like “no ads” and “prior week of daily location” and several other social media specific monitoring is only available on paid plans that start from as little as $0.99/Month
Glympse is yet another solution for family tracking.
The app allows you all the basic features like real-time location tracking, geofencing, and something a little unusual like temporary sharing.
This functionality of temp sharing is unique to tracking apps but not unknown. We usually see this in Google Maps sharing or WhatsApp live location to name a few. But essentially it works in several use cases such as letting your friends your ETA to a part, inform kids about your ETA to home or to a recital, get a co-worker to send you their ETA to a meeting. So quite a few scenarios covered because of this simple no-signup-but-still-sharing-tracking-app-solution, yeah?
The app doubles as a business solution as well because of its powerful yet simple technology infiltration. This app could easily disrupt the usual WhatsApp or whichever secure messaging platform that’s famous in your region.
The app is embedded with a panic button which when clicked by a child or user, immediately informs the parent about the kid’s exact whereabouts. If this isn’t convincing enough, the app doubles as a very reliable child monitoring app which literally translates the whole online activity to a parent.
Kidgy, hence, isn’t just the best family tracking app but a fantastic online monitoring app as well. Parents can view websites and social media and go one step further and prevent a child from online risks like cyberbullying, adult content, and child sexting etc.
Available on both iOS and Android devices, Kidgy offers a monthly upgrading system for online monitoring of calls, text messages, apps, contacts and more at a reasonable $9.99 which is a great bargain for your child’s safety.
Tracking, geo-fencing, panic button and task manager is all free with Kidgy.
Not many people mention them, but AllTracker has been around for quite a long time. Sadly, their tracking solution is not available on iOS devices, but the Android versions are quite stable and seem very robust.
AllTracker offers a full tracking solution. From monitoring the location of device to calls, text messages, photos, calendar, contacts, screen mirroring, social media (including Skype and emails), audios, videos… and some more stuff. Since iOS doesn’t allow full access to such information, the app is not available on Apple devices.
We believe that AllTracker is a very good monitoring solution for those in business of freight and transportation. Keeping a tab on employers in this projected business field seems like a very good idea.
There is of course a payment involved and it starts from $4/Month but the free or basic version allows you enough access to monitor and locate family. In the free version you get the facility to monitor battery level, WiFi status, call status, geo location of course, and a few more features. You can see the comparison on their pricing page.
Once again, AllTracker is only available on Android devices.
Life360 app used to be one of the best and was widely popular for their reach on Windows Phones and for the ability to track basic phones as well (you know… non-smart phones?) but due to some latest tech developments maybe, the app has become buggy, heavy and has serious lag. We have featured them for the only reason that maybe they will rise to their former glory. If not, and we find them to be just resting on their laurels, they’ll be out from our list within few months.
Like, Zenly, this family tracker doesn’t just track your location, but it also has an in-app messaging functionality.
Life360 has the option to create and manage different circles. This is a feature commonly referred to as groups. If you are part of a group, your location and conversation is shared among the members.
The app allows alerts, geofencing, location history, crash detection, battery level in the free plan. If you’re looking for a more robust experience, go for their ‘Driver Protect’ plan. The price is $7.99/Month and you get an added crash report as well as roadside assistance and emergency dispatch. Unfortunately, all these gimmicks are only for the USA region.
And that’s a wrap! We hope our tiny list of best family locator apps benefit you.
Tracking family for their safety and your peace of mind is simple, just make sure you test the app before getting your family/friends to use it too. Always remember to read recent reviews and don’t pay for something that you can get for free.
If you decide to download some other app, make sure to thoroughly check out their company and recent reviews (pro tip: no app has ever got great reviews/ratings in a single day. If they do, its a red alert)
Let us know in the comments below what your feedback is regarding these best family locator apps and, if not these, then which ones do you prefer.