By now, we all know that cell phones that have GPS enabled can also be used as tracking devices. The nature of cell phone networks, but especially the 3G and 4G networks that are now everywhere available, make it possible that almost every single cell phone that is currently being used can be tracked to a pretty precise location. However, many phones that could utilize this tracking for cell phones don’t. Is there good reason to begin tracking cell phones? Is this small percentage of adopters a sign that there are no legitimate uses for cell phone tracking? Here are just a few reasons why more people should begin using this powerful technology:
1. You’re A Fitness Nut
Those that love to use fitness GPS know just how useful these devices can be in helping them stay on track with their workouts and improve their overall performance. The only problem with these dedicated fitness GPS is that they can be pretty expensive to purchase. As an example, a Garmin Forerunner 405, is going to cost you well over $200. Even with the heart rate monitor which greatly increases the information that you can gather with this device, this is pretty expensive for something that you only use when working out. There has to be a cheaper solution than that.
As it would turn out, there is a cheaper solution. You can leverage the GPS that is already in your cell phone and turn it into your fitness tracking device. There are both paid software packages that can do this as well as free ones. As you might expect, the paid software generally provides a much more robust user experience and has a lot of bells and whistles for you to enjoy. One example of this type of software is AllSport GPS by Trimble. In some instances you are going to have to pay a one time fee while at other times you are going to need to pay a monthly subscription. Wherever possible and whenever it makes financial sense, go with the one-time fee over the monthly subscription.
Free software, on the other hand, is going to cost you nothing to use and to install but it is going to “cost” you in terms of features and ease of use. Many free tracking applications are general purpose and not necessarily designed for fitness tracking. This makes it a little more difficult to use it in this fashion, but it is certainly doable.
2. You Suspect A Spouse of Cheating
If you suspect your spouse of cheating then you might want to begin tracking them using GPS. The reason that using a cell phone to do it is such a good idea is that cell phone generally go with a person wherever they go. If they are going to a hotel to meet their fellow cheater then you can pretty much assume that they are going to be bringing their cell phone with them. This makes being able to track their cell phone very powerful and very useful.
But there is one word of caution here, it is generally fairly difficult to install GPS tracking software on your spouses phone without them knowing it or being able to figure it out. If they are savvy they might notice that there battery is loosing charge faster than normal, or that some of their other activities – like browsing the internet while doing a few other tasks underneath the surface – are going slower than normal. If they then look at all the running applications on their phone they might notice something is amiss.
Tracking your spouse with GPS through their cell phone is certainly not the easiest thing in the world, but if you can’t afford a standalone tracker then you will find that the cell phone works just as well as these other devices. You might have to expose your tracking to more risk of discovery, but getting to the bottom of it is worth the risk if money is tight.
3. Monitor A Teen Driver
Teens take their cell phones everywhere, so when you install GPS tracking software on their phone you will be able to track them wherever they go – even while driving. The ability to do this is especially important given the fact that teens tend to drive rather dangerously when they are alone or when they have friends with them in the car. Being able to monitor and regulate your teenager’s driving is a primary concern for many parents who do not want their child to be a statistic for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to compile.
There are plenty of ways to help drive better, with one of the most effective being a robust GPS tracking system that encourages and rewards safe driving practices. For more information on how to make this a reality for your teen please see the following articles:
4. Make Your Own GPS Art
Like it or not, GPS tracking art is a real phenomena. Many locative artists mainly use portable GPS tracking devices, but there really is not reason that they could not use cell phone GPS tracking for their work. All they would need to do is get a program that let them track the position of their phone and they would be set. The tracking would not have to go on in real time so the artists would not need to be constrained by receiving a cell phone signal to do the tracking. All they would need is the ability to receive GPS satellite signals.
This would mean that the cell phone could be used in all sorts of locations. Rugged mountain regions, desolate tundras, barren deserts, or lush jungles – as long as you could receive data from 3 satellites in the constellation of GPS satellites then you are good to go.
5. Share Your Location With Friends and Family
It is pretty obvious that cell phones help you stay in better contact with friends and family. Just being able to call someone from wherever you are at is a great way to stay in better contact, but when you add to that things like internet browsing (for Facebook and other social media use) you begin to get a very powerful social device. Since this idea is already well ingrained in the minds of users, once GPS came around there were many people who saw that this could be just one more way that these practical devices could be used to connect user to their friends. Thus social cell phone tracking software was born.
There are several free tracking systems available for use made by third parties as well some that are made by cell phone providers themselves. Find the social tracking application the best fits your needs and is going to get you in contact with the largest number of your friends.
6. Help You Find A Lost Cell Phone
We have already written extensively on how one might use GPS to find a lost cell phone, so we won’t go into too much detail here. But suffice it to say that this is a very real and powerful method for users to stay in contact with their cell phone – wherever it is. There are a lot of different options available to you depending on which type of cell phone you own and what current features you already subscribe too. For example, MobileMe for the iPhone already has a built in lost cell phone finding feature. There are also some free gps cell phone tracking programs that you can use as a lost cell phone finder as well.
7. Create An Accurate Theft Recovery Device
Speaking of a cell phone’s ability to track down a lost cell phone, MobileMe, and the iPhone, cell phones also work great as GPS theft recovery devices. There are several documented cases where stolen cell phones were used by police to track down the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice. All it takes is installing a little extra software on your phone and it suddenly turns into a powerful theft recovery device capable of reuniting you with your stuff when the information is given to the right people (the police or your mob friends 🙂 ).
As you can clearly see, there are many different reasons to use GPS tracking for cell phones. What I find most interesting about them is that they are not all mutually exclusive. In fact, one type of cell phone tracking is often compatible with other types of tracking as well making cell phones even more useful and cost effective purchases. Why buy expensive, stand alone GPS tracking device when you can use a cell phone at a fraction of the price and for much more than one device could ever accomplish?