If your kid is old enough to have a phone, they’re probably old enough to wander around on their own. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep track of them when they’re out in the world. The best GPS tracker apps for kids will give your child his or her independence, without sacrificing your family’s safety and security. Take note, however, that this list does not include GPS tracking devices or gadgets that you attach to your kid’s bag or have them carry. These are GPS phone tracker apps that you can download to track your child’s location.
Native Tracking Apps by Google
Family Link is an app that aims to instill healthy digital habits in kids. Its major features include tracking screen time activities, setting limits on how much time your kids spend online, and monitoring where your kids are; as long as they have their phones with them, of course.
You will need to create a family group on families.google.com to start using Family Link. Once you have your group set up, you can enable your child’s location settings. To see where they are, all you have to do is launch the app, select your child’s name, and then tap “Set Up” on the location card. However, it can take up to 30 minutes to see your child’s location using the app.
Native Tracking Apps for iOS Devices
If your kids have an iPhone, you can keep track of their location using the built-in Family Sharing feature. Just like the Google-made GPS tracker app above, you will first need to set up Family Sharing before you can use this iOS feature. With Family Sharing, you can share books, App Store purchases, media subscriptions, and iCloud storage plans with up to six members. But, more importantly, you can also share GPS locations.
Once you have set up Family Sharing, take your child’s iPhone and go to Settings > [his or her name] > Share My Location. Then tap your name to share your kid’s phone’s location with your device.
Find My iPhone
Another way to see your child’s location via his or her phone is by using this nifty iOS feature. Make sure that the Find My iPhone setting on your child’s phone is switched on. To see their location, you just have to launch the Find My iPhone app on your phone and tap on their device. Easy peasy!
The Best GPS Tracker Apps You Can Download for Your Kids
There are also great phone tracker apps that you can download from third-party developers. Most of these are freemium apps that will give you basic location information for free, but you have to pay for premium features. Let’s take a closer look at the best GPS tracking apps for kids:
Available for both Android and iOS devices, Life360 is a full-featured GPS tracking app. With this app, you can set up a private group for your family or friends. However, you will need to ask for permission before you can include someone in your circle.
The free version of this app will let you see where your kids are in real-time. But when you upgrade, you get a feature that lets you monitor your kid’s driving behavior. Plus, you get the Crash Detection service, which uses the accelerometer on your phone to detect a car accident. When the app detects a crash, trained emergency response agents will call emergency services to their location and notify members of their family group.
If you want to see more apps that can track your kid’s driving habits, check out our list of the best apps for tracking teenage drivers.
GeoZilla Find Family & Friends
This kid tracker app by GeoZilla is easy to use, and it’s sure to help you stay on top of your family’s safety. The app lets you add family members, but in order to know their locations, you will need to ask for consent first.
Once you set up the app, GeoZilla will let you know when family members leave or arrive at a frequent location. It will also tell you where they have been during the day. This app is especially useful for parents with teenagers because it can let you know when your kids are speeding. You will also know whether they were on the phone while driving.
GeoZilla also has an emergency alert feature that will notify family members when there has been an accident, which will include information about your child’s location.
Unlike the other apps on this list, Glympse requires the active participation of your kids. In order to see their location, they will need to share a “Glympse” with you. But since this app is so easy to use and requires no sign-up, this shouldn’t be a problem. It will definitely come in handy if you need to let them know when you’ll be picking them up from a friend’s house.
Find My Kids
As the name suggests, this useful app will help you track your child’s location. But it won’t only notify you when your child has left or arrived at your house, school, or other frequent locations. The app also has an SOS button that your child can push whenever they are in trouble. You will even get notified when your child’s phone’s battery is low.
Additionally, you can use the app to listen to what is happening around your child, send a loud signal so that they can find the device, or communicate with them using cute stickers.
Find My Kids can also be installed on a GPS watch.
Don’t send your kids out to go trick-or-treating without one of these mobile phone apps installed on their device. Aside from these GPS tracker apps, make sure that your kid’s phone also has one of the best in case of emergency apps.