Here are three FREE smartphone apps with GPS tracking technology than can help keep kids safe this Halloween, allowing parents to know where their trick-or-treaters are at all times.
GPS tracking apps enable parents to receive timely data on where their children are. GPS tracking apps can also notify parents if their children wander too far away.
1) Google Latitude is offered in two ways: as a separate GPS tracking app, or as an opt-in feature that’s part of the free Google Maps app.
Latitude enables users to share their location with friends or family members. After downloading the Maps app, you can choose to “Join Latitude” and invite your children, who must also enable that feature on their own phone, to share their location with you. Once someone accepts, they appear as an icon on Google Maps.
Be aware that inviting someone means they will be able to view your location. Anyone who has received what is called a “sharing request” can also accept it but choose to hide their own location. That means if you’re not careful, your children will end up tracking you instead of the other way around.
Available on Android, BlackBerry, Apple and many other devices.
2) Lookout, a GPS tracking app used to find a lost phone or secure data on a stolen device, can also be used to monitor children’s whereabouts.
After downloading the app onto your child’s phone, you can log in online, click on the “missing device” tab and see where the phone (and your children) are on a map.
Available on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, iPhone and iPad.
3) Footprints is a paid app includes parental controls that allow location tracking at all times, and it is password protected to keep a child from tampering with it. Parents can download the app onto their child’s phone, create an account and tweak the settings so the location of their child is updated every few minutes, every hour or only when they are on the move. You can also configure the app to share data for only a limited time span — for parents who want to keep an eye out only on special occasions like Halloween.
To work, the app must be installed on both a child’s and a parent’s phone, and each download requires a paid subscription.
Available only on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Cost: Free for two months. After that, 99 cents for a three-month subscription, $2.99 for a year or $4.99 for two years.