Free GPS Cell Phone Tracking

If you have a cell phone then there is a good chance that you can find some way to track it for free. There are dozens of apps across all sorts of platforms that are going to enable you to either track your own cell phone remotely or give you the opportunity to share your location with friends and family in a social way. Some of these apps will have built in lost cell phone detection while others will not. Still more will make it easy for you to view the location of your cell phone or your friend’s phone through some sort of online interface. All this has made free GPS cell phone tracking a reality that more and more people are taking advantage of as they seek to get the most out of their mobile devices. Are you one of them?

In this article we hope to outline how this technology works by giving a brief overview of GPS tracking technology, cell phones, and how they work together. Then we will go into some of the various free GPS cell phone trackers that are available for some of the major cell phone platforms. These will include the Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows cell phone operating systems. This will be followed by a discussion of the various multi-platform trackers. Finally, we will look at the future of free cell phone tracking and see what the future will hold for us.

Understanding GPS Cell Phone Tracking

The essentials of GPS cell phone tracking are really quite simple. There is a built in GPS receiver in the cell phone which is able to get the phones exact location from the satellites that orbit the globe. Through a simple mathematical principle called trilateration the computer on the cell phone is able to take the data gathered from the signals of three different Global Positioning System Satellites (GPS) and turn that into information that includes the latitude and longitude of the phone.

In order for this data to be used to be able to track the cell phone there has to be some way for the cell phone to tell other people – other devices, really – where it is. This is where the cell phone comes into play. It is obvious that cell phones transmit data, though we probably never really think about it like that very much. They send out the digital signal that encases your voice when making a phone call. Now 3G networks can transmit lots of other digital data as well. This data can include text (SMS) messages, emails, videos, webpages, files, and a whole lot more. Most free trackers essentially use SMS messaging to transmit the latitude and longitude data that the GPS has calculated over the cell phone network to turn these devices into GPS tracking machines. The cell phone can now act as either a real time GPS tracker or just a simple data logger depending on the specific app and what the person wants to do with the information.

A cell phone has arguably become the most powerful GPS tracking device on in the world.

But is free GPS cell phone tracking really free?

This is certainly a valid question. For the privilege of having a data plan that enables the cell phone to act as a GPS tracker you generally have to pay some sort of fee to your cell phone carrier. In my case (Verizon unlimited plan) this is going to cost you an extra $30 a month. For AT&T it will run you an extra $25 a month, but this plan in not unlimited any more. Sprint’s unlimited data plan costs you $20. T-Mobile has an unlimited data plan that also runs $30 a month.

These are definitely not free – but when you are already using these data plans for other things like streaming Youtube videos, checking Twitter, or surfing the web then adding a GPS tracking app to the mix is not really increasing your cost more for something you are already paying for. So in this way it really is free, but only if you are spending a good chunk of change on your cell phone already. Here is a really cool graphic from Billshrink.com that says it all:

The Ultimate Cell Phone Plan Comparison

Now lets take a look at exactly what free GPS cell phone trackers are out there for you depending on what operating system you use.

Free Android Cell Phone Trackers

Android is one of the main players in the smart phone wars that are raging right now. The child of Google, Android is an OS that is making it into many of the best phones on the market right now. It is powerful, open source operating system that often comes with free and powerful GPS apps on it when you buy it. These include Google Maps, Google Latitude, and Google Navigate – all of which are great uses of GPS by themselves. For some people, they don’t even need to get another free GPS cell phone tracker. But for those that do, here are some of the best trackers for everything from recording a sporting activity to recovering a lost cell phone to tracking a boyfriend:

Lookout Mobile SecurityLookout Mobile Security

More than just a GPS cell phone tracker tracker, Lookout Mobile Security is a multi-platform security system for your mobile phone. It features a malware and spyware detection system that will help you determine what apps you should be downloading to your phone and what apps you are going to be leaving on the way side. It even helps you manage your various apps so that you can make sure that your private data remains private.

This feature by itself is incredibly useful, but when it is combined with GPS tracking, data backup, remote log in, and data wipe you really do have a complete security system for your phone. What is most interesting is the way that all the systems work together in sync. For example, imagine that you have lost your cell phone. Big bummer. But never fear, Look Out Mobile Security is here. Simply go to the website and find out exactly where your phone is using the GPS built into your phone. Is it in your house somewhere? Great – you’ve already looked everywhere but can’t find it. Use Lookout Mobile Security to make your cell phone scream! Even in silent mode, activating this command will turn your cell phone into a loud siren that will definitely uncover your cell phone.

This is a great app with lots of visibility. You might have even seen the commercial:

Pintail GPS Tracker Lost Phone FinderPintail

Pintail is a very interesting app. Download it to your phone an you automatically have a GPS tracker for a cell phone that you can use to pinpoint the location of a lost or stolen cell phone. Simply send a text message (SMS) to your cell phone and you will be sent a message that will require you to enter a pin code to view the location information of phone. Once you have entered this data you can know where your cell phone is. Simple and easy.

It can also be used as a way to stay in touch with family or friends. Just give them your pin code and they can text the phone to find out where you are too. This can be a great way for friends to meet up or for a loved one to check in and see where you are at if you are on a really long drive traveling by truck across country.

Everything is pin protected so you can change who has access to your location simply by changing your pin. Did you give your pin to a girl that you are now broken up with? Fear that she is stalking you? Simply change your pin and she will not be able to stalk you anymore. Like I said, simple and easy.

The Eye App GPS Cell Phone Tracking

Billed as a family tracking app for Android cell phones, the Eye app is another one of those GPS tracking apps that uses the GPS in your phone to turn it into a mobile tracking device that will make your position known to all your friends – much like Google Latitude and other social tracking applications.

The app uses Google Maps technology to give you the position of your contacts in real time on maps that utilize images taken from satellites in order to give you a graphic understanding of where they are. You can also use the basic map interface too if all that green makes you go bonkers.

They also claim that adding contacts is easy and will work off of your existing contact list. If you want your latest BFF to know where you are at all times just them then an invitation to join the Eye App and you will be well on your way to sharing your location with your friend. They can even use Street View to get a better grip on the house where the party is at!

The Eye app also features bread crumbing, allowing watchful parents to track the movements of their children over the course of the day – something that a lot of other social GPS tracking apps fail to do. Bread crumbing is important because it helps you verify the story of a troubled teen or locate a missing child. Either way, its a useful feature and kudos for the people at the The Eye for including it in this tracking app.

Free iPhone Cell Phone Trackers

iPhones are cool. iPhones are hip. Let’s be honest – iPhones are some of the coolest, most user friendly phones on the market. They appeal to almost every age range and almost every demographic. Often simple to use and surprising versatile these phones have made a huge splash on the cell phone market. Once they introduced a GPS tracking chip, the iPhone became a useful tracking device for those savvy enough to take advantage of this excellent addition to this mobile device. Several generations later, the iPhone is definitely a competitive choice for anyone trying to find a smart cell phone that is going to fit into their lifestyle. Here are some of the free tracking apps available for the iPhone:

automilez GPS Data Loggingautomilez

Are you self employed or a business owner? Do you use your car regularly for work related activity in a capacity that would enable you to deduct this expense from your tax return? If you answered yes to both these questions then you should seriously consider getting automilez. This free cell phone tracker is designed to help people such as these easily track their mileage so that they can maximize every deduction possible come tax time.

Apparently, even regular Joe’s like you and me can use an app like this to log our mileage for deductions at the end of the year. Medical and moving trips we can deduct $0.165 a mile. For charitable trips we can deduct $0.14 a mile. I guess you learn something new everyday.

While it is obvious that this app has a limited roll as a free tracker it is useful. Just be warned that you are not going to be able to share your current position with anyone or recover a lost cell phone with this app.

GPS Logger Cell Phone TrackerGPS-Logger

GPS-Logger is simple GPS tracker created by iMasterofDesaster that is designed for travelers that have a digital camera in tow that does not currently have a GPS built in to it. The way it works is simple. The iPhone acts as the GPS by going through the process of trilateration and stores the position data with a time stamp on it. During the trip the digital camera takes photos and then time stamps those photos. The GPS-Logger software then does some fancy code work and places a GPS stamp on the photos by taking the nearest time stamped location from the GPS and slapping it on the photo.

This seems to be pretty standard fare for travel GPS data loggers. Another example of this type of technology is the i-Gotu GT-600. But that device is not a mobile phone, it is just a stand alone personal GPS tracker.

GPS Tracker From Instamapper GPS Tracker from Instamapper

Instamapper is one of the most powerful and free GPS cell phone tracking apps out on the market. They only ask that your register an account using a valid email address. For this pittance, you get to turn your cell phone into a real-time GPS tracking device at no extra cost to you. The phone will periodically send its position to the Instamapper services which makes 30 days worth of tracking information available to its users. This amount of tracking is equivalent to nearly 100,000 specific locations for a single device.

User’s can share their data with a loved one by sending out a link to a map of their data hosted on the Instamapper website. This link can go either to a computer or to another mobile device. If users feel really safe about sharing their position information with the world, they can even embed a map on a website, a blog, or even Facebook.

An embedded map looks something like this (from Facebook):

Instamapper GPS Tracking Map Facebook

While it probably is not the best idea in the world to share your position on Facebook – especially if you are a teenage girl – it is pretty cool that you could do this if you wanted/needed to.

This tracking app even has position buffering so if you hit a dead zone in your coverage the phone can store up to 100 waypoints so that the track log can be brought up to speed once you get back inside your cell phone carrier’s network. Of course 100 way points is not very long (over 8 minutes at one waypoint every 5 seconds), but it will help in those odd dead zones that line urban, semi-urban, and semi-country areas.

Overall, this is a very powerful real time GPS tracking app that can be used in a wide variety of applications by many different people.

Waze GPS Tracking AppWaze

Waze is a tracking application built for the iPhone with a very specific purpose. Let’s just say it isn’t for tracking your girlfriend. ūüôā The folks at Waze have done an excellent job of creating a video that explains exactly what this product is all about. Instead of talking about it too much, here is the video:

For those that could not see the video, Waze is essentially a real time tracking community with a purpose. That purpose is to provide the very best real time traffic data for Waze users. This is not a sport tracker. It is not a data logger. It is not even a social tracking app. Its only purpose is to get people around in as little time as possible.

With that being said, it relies solely on the efforts of its users to make the app work. Users build the map, report traffic congestion, and share traffic related material with other users. If you have a small or nonexistent community in your local this free GPS cell phone tracking app is probably not going to do you much good no matter how cool it looks.

Free BlackBerry Cell Phone Trackers

BlackBerry has been the name in work cell phone for the past several years. Their physical keyboard and secure email have made them a household name in the world of business. You almost never hear a business person ask, “Where is my cell phone?” They talk about their BlackBerry like it was the only type of cell phone that exists in the world. As a result of this business customer base, free GPS tracking applications for the BlackBerry are much harder to come by. After all, isn’t it easier to justify spending a little of the business’ money to buy a tracking app than it is to justify spending some your own money to buy it? Despite this, there is an impressive number of free apps designed for BlackBerry users:

BlipPlus GPS TrackerBlipPlus

BlipPlus is an application created for use on BlackBerry smartphones and is designed as a social tracking application for those with GPS enabled phones.

They have a feature on the app called Share Your Where that enables you to broadcast your location to anyone within your social network as defined by the app. There are all sorts of benefits that can be gleaned by using this sort of application. You can meet with your friends with greater ease. You don’t even have to tell them where you are, just say look up my location using Google Maps or something like that. It can even be used to stay in sync with work associates who need to know when you are speaking with a certain client, etc. Families also benefit because knowing where the whole family is can increase safety, make things more efficient, and give everyone some peace of mind.

BlipPlus offer assistance by letting others choose how and when to contact you based upon you location data that you share with them. Efficiency is key when it comes to location information and this free cell phone tracker will help friends, family, and co-workers be exactly that.

GPS LoggerGPSLogger

GPSLogger is a essentially just that – a GPS logging application for the BlackBerry. It will record such information as your elevation, speed, and location over time. All of these are essential components to all personal tracking devices and applications, making ideal for people who like to record hikes, adventures, or trips in the car (for business or pleasure).

This free app will also let you use previously recorded or manually entered way-points as a way to remember where a parked car is or to point out an interesting Geocache. They call it the “Guide Me Home” feature and this is pretty standard fare for almost every data logging GPS tracker that has an interface on the tracking device itself. You can even use it to remember where a sweat restaurant is or the place you meet a beautiful woman.

Because all GPS loggers can be used as a sports tracker as well, the developers of this app have added a lap timer element to it as well, making this a full featured, if predictable, position logging app.

GPS TrackdownGPS Trackdown

GPS Trackdown is a social tracking app that with a slight twist. If you choose to share your location with your Trackdown compatriots then you also have the ability to find get directions to their exact location. Did they move form the spot they were at five minutes ago? Just update their location and the turn-by-turn directions update as well. Pretty cool.

Other than that it is pretty standard location based search with ads that make the developers some nice coin. You can search for pizza, ATMs, hotels, and more with no real need to tell a search engine where you are since all searches already know your current location. This is generally useful, but can get pretty annoying sometimes if you ask me.

Another interesting thing about this is that you can only share your location by text, email, or tweet. No link posting on websites like Facebook or MySpace. This is certainly okay, but some people may find this a little off setting.

And, of course, this GPS cell phone tracking is free – which makes it way better than if you had to pay to use it.

Silent GPS WhereAreYou GPS TrackingWhereAreYou GPS Tracking

WhereAreYou is the tracking app for all those people who want to secretly track the cell phone of a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or child. It runs “silently” in the background with no way for the person being tracking to tell that something is on their phone broadcasting the location to the person that set it up.

The app is really easy to install and get going. Simply:

  • Download Silent GPS from BlackBerry App World to the mobile phone that you are trying to secretly track
  • The app will automatically install itself, asking you to create an account that you can log in on the web and see the phone’s location
  • The app will run silently in the background, tracking the cell phone and telling you where it is when you log into the web account

The app will track things silently – this means that no user interaction or application icon is going to visible at all on the BlackBerry. This means that you can track secretly without them knowing. You just have to get the phone and do the installation for them.

Tracking is also very easy with this app. Just:

  • Go to p46.qitlabs.com and enter user/password that you created when installing the program on the phone
  • There you will see a map with the mobile’s location clearly marked for you to see
  • There you can also set up tracking intervals to keep the life of the battery so the person you are tracking doesn’t know what is going on – conserving their battery life is key hereY

This app certainly has applications in the business world, but it also can be used by private citizens to track a teenager or to catch a cheating spouse. Before you start tracking someone, please check to make sure that it would be legal in your area to do so.

Fox Hunt GPS Tracking GameGPS Fox Hunt

GPS Fox Hunt is definitely an interesting take on the free GPS cell phone tracking app. It takes a cell phone’s ability to track itself and share that information with other cell phones and turns it into a game where each phone becomes a piece in a game. Social tracking has simply been taken to one of the many different possibilities available to it.

The game essentially is a version of hide and seek. There is one phone that is it – this is the fox. All other players in the game are trying to find the one phone that is it. They get to see how far away from you they are which can be useful because they can tell if they are heading in the right direction or not.

This game would be fun to play inside a shopping mall or some other public place with lots of people to “hide” among. It could also be fun out in the wilderness somewhere too – but you have to have connection with your cell phone tower for that.

Here is a video from the game creator that explains the game well enough:

While the idea is interesting and exciting this particular app doesn’t seem to have the favor of users on the BlackBerry Appworld website. It only has a few reviews and has only been around for a few months, so this is likely to change given that new releases of free products and have some kinks that need to be ironed out. But in all this is a pretty cool idea for an app and I hope that things work out for the developer and it makes it big.

Free Windows Cell Phone Trackers

It seems really strange to be including Windows Mobile phones in this list of free cell phone tracking apps, but here it is. Windows Mobile is certainly trying to keep pace with the likes of iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. With the release of Windows Mobile 7 they may be on the right track to getting back into the fray, but it could also be too little too late to be a major player. I doubt that Windows will ever go away completely, they just probably won’t be the market giants that they are on PC. That will almost certainly go to either Android or iPhone – but perhaps I am too young to see the usefulness of Windows.

Unfortunately, we could not use the Windows App Store to find any free GPS cell phone tracking apps. If you have any suggestions please use the contact form linked to at the bottom of this post to alert us to some of the Windows Mobile apps available.

Free Multi-Platform Cell Phone Trackers

Multi-platform cell phone trackers recognize that the best way to reach the most customers is to have a product that can be used by the most people, irregardless of the cell phone that they use on a day to day basis. This makes these free trackers particularly interesting because they open up the world of social tracking to users of all stripes and styles. The iPhone user can track their BlackBerry business friend just as easily as they can other iPhone users. They bring everyone together and make tracking everyone can engage in. While these multi-platform trackers are often anything but perfect and often favor social aspects of tracking over secret or covert tracking they are still extremely powerful in any number of functions not specifically endorsed by the programs creators. Here are some of the best free multi-platform GPS cell phone trackers:

GPS Tracker from Instamapper

This is a powerful GPS tracking application for cell phones that is available on lots of platforms. Right now, it is available on Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry phones (we talked about it under the iPhone section). There are some restrictions for BlackBerry phones – like it doesn’t work on Verizon, lame.

But by far the coolest thing about the Instamapper software is that it works on Boost Mobile phones. You can buy a really cheap iDen phone for under $50 and then get a data plan that could run you around $0.35 a day. Hard wire the sucker to the battery of your car and you have a real time GPS cell phone tracking system for your car. This works great for teen drivers, cheating spouses, and theft prevention. They even have instructions on how to do it all on their website.

Instamapper is definitely the way to go for a DIY, free GPS cell phone tracking solution.

Waze

We talked about this one under the iPhone heading, but it is another one of those apps that is designed to be used by lots of other cell phone operating system. It works on iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, and Symbian mobile phones. They have even made an effort to get this application on the BlackBerry by just releasing an app for this cell phone brand that is still in Beta. As a result it really on works on the Bold 9700, Curve 8900, Bold 9000, and Tour 9360.

You won’t get the world with this app as it really is only designed to use GPS tracking to create excellent, real time traffic data and it relies exclusively on the efforts of its users to make the app work. But it really is a great concept and it might just work as planned if not overshadowed by Google Navigate which tries to do the same thing. Who knows, maybe Waze will get bought out by the internet giant before all is said and done.

Google Latitude

Google Latitude is one of the premier social tracking apps available right now. There are a few different reasons for this. The first is that it is created by Google. Google already has a huge user base for everything that it does. Maps and Navigate a huge apps that work of the same framework as Latitude and already have a huge buy in from lots of mobile phone users. Their free cell phone tracker is certainly going to benefit from this market position.

The app is also available on a huge number of platforms. We didn’t even include it in one of the mobile phone operating system categories because it is available on Android, iPhone (and iPad), BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian S60, and most Sony Ericsson devices. Because it is available on so many different platforms it is widely used – boasting 9 million users. That is more than any other GPS tracking app by far.

There are some significant weaknesses to the whole Latitude idea. For example, all tracking is constant and done in the background. While this is great for families or other close knit groups it really doesn’t work to well with friends, work buddies, or acquaintances. There is also not much to actually DO with Latitude other than broadcast your location and see where other people are at. Great for families and possibly for business, but not that fun otherwise.

This app has a strong base and could be something great. Possibly.

Lookout Mobile Security

We learned about Lookout Mobile Security with the rest of the free Android GPS cell phone trackers, but it is available on Windows phones and the BlackBerry. This is a very powerful app for the security conscious and should be downloaded without the slightest bit of hesitation. There is a difference between the free app and the pay app, so don’t expect the moon. You still get a lot with the free app, its just not the whole shooting match.

This make sense because the company has to make some money on it, but with 2 million users in 170 countries you have to expect that at least some of them are paying the 2.99 for the premium service. If just 30% are paying customer then the folks behind the app are making nearly $2 million a month. Wowza. That is a lot of money.

BlipPlus

A run of the mill social tracking application I am not sure why you would use this app unless you have lots of friends who are already using it. It was mentioned under our BlackBerry section but it is also available on the iPhone.

The Future of Free GPS Cell Phone Tracking

Where are all these free cell phone trackers pointing? I think that what all this is leading up to is a world where location based information is going to be widely available and consumed by consumer and business alike. People are already beginning to share their location more with each other and businesses are starting to use location based targeting in ads they deliver to customers. Companies like Google, Palm, and others are poised to make lots of money if this type of advertising is going to be as effective as some think it will be. Coarse location based targeting is already available on the web and seems to be fairly effective at reaching the intended audience. It is only a matter of time before it becomes the main way to deliver ads to consumers.

There are also increasing concerns about cell phone tracking in the legal world. Who can track whom? In what contexts is this tracking legal and in what contexts is it illegal? When does tracking become stalking? All these questions are beginning to be answered in the courts and this will have an impact on how this technology is going to be used going forward. I can imagine one case making mobile phone tracking too dangerous for any company to touch is a ten foot pole, but we shall see how all this plays out.

For now anyway, GPS cell phone trackers are going to on the rise as more and more people realize that these can be extremely useful applications that will enhance the usefulness of their phones and make their lives more interesting. They can also let their users know information that would have otherwise not have been available to them. Cell phone tracking is too powerful a technology for people to ignore.

Have a free GPS cell phone tracker or know of a great one that we didn’t include? Let us know about it through our suggestion form. We’d love to hear about more free content for our users.

Getting My Own Android GPS Cell Phone

For being someone who blogs about technology I have a confession to make – I have never owned a cell phone. I know this is incredibly strange and does not make sense but it is the honest truth. It just never seemed necessary to be able to be contacted at any time by any person so I just never wanted to fork out the money to get one.

However, the steady prodding of my wife, the fact that I have this blog about GPS tracking, and the super cool Android cell phones that are coming out have all pushed me towards a decision to get into the market.

Going From Nothing To A GPS Smartphone

Now that I am pretty certain that I am going to get a phone I had a decision to make – do I just get any old phone or do I go big and bold and get some top of the line cell phone. Being the type of guy that I am I had to go with the biggest, best phone that I could find. If I am going to cave and a mobile phone I might as well get something that is going to be both fun and useful.

Naturally, it would have to be a cell phone with GPS so that I could use it test out cool and fun GPS tracking programs on it as well as have some pretty sweet features that could be interesting to use in a whole host of other applications. A good camera would be nice. The same holds true for a super fast processor. However, the absolute must is going to have to be the ability to work all over the country.

The immediate front runners for my phone of choice are the iPhone, the HTC Incredible, and the Droid X. I am sure that there are some other phones that fit the above criteria on other networks like Sprint or T-Mobile, but Verizon and AT&T are really the only ones I am considering. Verizon has the lead because my wife is already on that network, but AT&T is also a consideration because they are the only one with currently carry an iPhone.

Verizon vs. AT&T

When it comes to quality of network I think Verizon is beating AT&T, especially since now AT&T has decided to drop its unlimited data plan. Here is just a simple graphic stolen from Verizon advertising to show some of the difference:

Verizon vs AT&T 3G coverage

To be fair, AT&T claims to cover 97% of all Americans, as the video below demonstrates:

I think when it comes down to it, Verizon beats AT&T in this department – at least from an advertising perspective. Add to this the fact that I have not heard one good thing about AT&Ts service from anyone I know and you have a clear case for Verizon in the carrier department.

Edge: Verizon

Apple vs. Android

Now that I’ve talked about the carrier situation a little I should turn my attention to the actual devices I am thinking of making my phone. The most obvious distinction between the two are that one runs an Apple OS and the other two run the Android OS. I have to be honest again, I don’t know jack squat about operating systems. I am not a technonerd. I just like things to run fast and run smoothly. Besides that I don’t care. And as far as I know both OSs work great.

But there is something that I kind of do think is important that separates the two sides: one is open source while the other is proprietary. To me, this is a huge deal. Giving users the ability to create programs for the phone that can increase its functionality and improve user experience for free is a huge benefit in my opinion. To me, this makes the Android OS better.

Edge: Android

What follows now is a brief discussion of each of the phones:

The HTC Incredible

The HTC Incredible has been out for a few months now and is looking to be a very solid cell phone. It definitely has some GPS features built in to it so it can be used for my GPS tracking tests if I were to get it. It is also a fast phone with a 1 GHz processor which means that it is already a better computer than my first desktop that my family owned 10+ years ago. With 8 GB of physical memory it also vast outshines that old machine that ushered me into the computer age.

The phone is also appealing to the eye – or at least so say I – and it looks like it has a host of other features for those who like to look at things. The 3.7″ screen is a decent size and seems large enough to view webpages and such with ease. I also like the 8 Megapixel camera that it sports and think that being able to take pictures at night is a plus – yay for flash!

From what I can tell, it looks like the HTC Incredible looks like it should run for 5 hours under constant use, 146 hours in standby mode.

I also think HTC has some cool things included in it like their social networking mashup program or something. It makes my wife excited about the phone. For me, it doesn’t really matter.

Overall, it looks like a great phone worthy of my consideration.

The Droid X

Compared to the HTC Incredible, the Droid X is pretty much the same phone in the sense that you are going to be getting the Android OS on Verizon. It also sports an 8 Megapixel camera with night flash. It has a 1 GHz processor two, but of a different variety (I think). In general, you are going to be getting the same phone with the same features, just different.

The main difference is that the screen is going to be bigger on the Droid X. It comes in at 4.3″. It also is going to let you shoot video in 720p, which isn’t too bad. It’s not 1080p, but it definitely is better than the standard 480p that comes through your TV. Another difference is that the Droid X comes with 24 GB of memory out of the box, which is probably more than I will ever use.

I guess I should also note that both the Droid X and the the HTC Incredible come with Google Latitude and Google Maps Navigation standard. The former is a free GPS tracking application for cell phones and the later is a free navigation application for cell phones. Both rock.

The iPhone 4

The iPhone is a different breed of phone. Coming from Apple you are going to get a completely feel and different operating system. They even market their product differently, which means that it is going to be appealing to a different type of person. Just take a look:

And this one:

Let’s be honest here, the iPhone is definitely outside of my demographic when it comes to the marketing campaigns. But that is neither here nor there. The iPhone 4 is a serious phone with a host of things to offer its user. Built in GPS, a video phone feature, tons of apps, a slick design and intuitive operation – some think that the iPhone has it all.

The phone definitely seems fun to have, but I don’t think its for me. Its just too cool to have an iPhone and I am not very cool. Sorry Apple.

My Choice

I think that when it comes down to it I am going to be getting the Droid X. But I think I am going to cheat and actually get both the Droid X and the HTC Incredible. The former is going to be for me. The later for my wife. That way I can test the GPS tracking applications for each phone. It will also help use test things out and see exactly what our Android GPS cell phones can actually do. If you have any questions or things you would love to see us take a look at with the phones just leave a comment below and we will be sure to get around to testing it out for you. It might take us a few weeks/months to get both phones since they are nowhere to be found – but once we get them we will let you know everything we find out.

We also written a post where we talk about some different free GPS cell phone trackers where we include certain ones for the Android OS.

Lost Cell Phone GPS Tracking Explained

Almost everyone has had the experience of misplacing or losing their cell phone. We also all know what it is like to search and search for our lost cell phone in the hope of finding in some obvious or not so obvious spot. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to leverage a cell phones built in GPS technology to help it “find” itself? Lost cell phone GPS tracking is real and is a very powerful and efficient way for people to recover their mobile phones once thy have misplaced them.

This article is going to attempt to give an introduction to how GPS locates cell phones in the world and how this information can be used by owners to find their lost cell phone.

GPS: What Is It?

The Global Positioning System (of which GPS is the acronym) is a network of satellites that orbit the earth and specialized receivers here on earth that interact with each other. The system was developed by the US military in an effort to get a better understanding of where their forces were at any given moment and has been around fro several decades. It was made available to the public under President Ronald Reagan and since then there has been an explosion in the use of GPS technology by regular citizens. We are all familiar with GPS navigation technology, and this is one of the most prolific uses of GPS in the consumer market.

The way GPS works is through a mathematical principle called trilateration. The simple explanation of trilateration is this – if you know where three things are in the world and you know your distance from each of those things then you can figure out exactly where you are. If that doesn’t make much sense then just take a look at the picture to the right. You can know where Point B is in the world if you know where P1, P2, and P3 are.

The world of the Global Positioning Systems, the satellites that orbit the earth are represented like P1, P2, and P3 in our picture above. These satellites emit a signal through the air the travels at a certain speed. This signal contains information like the time that it was sent and a uniquely identifying id. This information is then process by a GPS receiver, which is the same as point B in the picture above. The receiver takes the information sent by the satellites and finds out its distance from each of P1, P2, and P3. It then does some fancy math and finds out exactly where it is right now.

Some GPS receivers that are used for navigation will then show the user this data in map form so that they can know where they are. GPS tracking devices will take the data and send it out over a cell phone network (GSM tracker) or over a communicate satellite (satellite tracker). Still other devices, known as data loggers will simply store the data on its hard drive for download at a later time. Whatever GPS device you are using, they all work of this same principle of trilateration and all fit into the same category.

GPS In Cell Phones

A few years ago GPS receivers began to find their way into cell phones. Then there was a move by the federal government that required cell phone carriers develop a way to help them find out the location that 9-1-1 phone calls made from cell phone originated. The carriers had the option then of using their own GSM networks to create a tracking system based off of the same principle as the GPS network. Some carriers went with this option. Other carriers decided to go ahead and put GPS in cell phones that they were going to provide to their customers.

There are a lot of different things that people use GPS in cell phones now these days. The first and most obvious is navigation. Almost everyone likes to get turn by turn directions spoken to them, especially when traveling in new and unknown places. Cell phone navigation has become to prevalent that some industry experts suspect that the cell phone is going to surpass the PND (Personal Navigation Device) as the navigation device of choice in just a few years time.

Cell phone GPS is also used for all sorts of fun apps and internet surfing features. If you want to know of good restaurants that are near you right now, there are internet searches and apps for that. If you would love to find out the prices of homes in your neighborhood then there is a real estate GPS tracking app for that too. There are literally tons and tons of different ways that GPS is being used by everyday people for any number of normal activities. It is safe to say that GPS receivers in cell phone are making the world a thoroughly more navigable place.

GPS Tracking of Cell Phones

But this article is about lost cell phone GPS tracking, not about all the cool things that GPS is doing for cell phone technology. So to help us understand how GPS can help us find lost cell phones a quick word needs to be said about the GPS tracking of cell phones. A brief definition of GPS tracking should be given: GPS tracking is the ability to track the location of a person, vehicle, or object as it moves throughout the world. There are two types of GPS tracking, passive and active. Active tracking occurs in real time and lets you find out where something is right now. Passive GPS tracking has to do with data loggers, which find out your position and then store it on the device for use later when you can download the information into some tracking software.

Anyway, the tracking available in cell phones is real time GPS tracking – and this is important because it will allow you to use it in order to find a lost cell phone. It would work something like this. You download a GPS tracking application onto your cell phone from among one of the many different free GPS tracking applications or software available. Once it is downloaded and installed you just keep it running on your phone so that you will have a running GPS log of your location. If you ever lose your cell phone, you can find out the last place it was when the battery still had a charge.

In order to use your GPS to help find your lost cell phone you need to have the following conditions met:

  1. Your cell phone must be turned on.
  2. You must have a GPS tracking application installed on your phone.
  3. The tracking app must be running. This will ensure that the GPS is actively reading signals from the satellites in order to find out its location. It will also then send that information over the cell phone network so that you can view it on the internet.
  4. Your cell phone must be receiving signals from satellites. If your phone is buried beneath 100 feet of concrete then there is no hope of finding it!
  5. Your cell phone must be getting a signal from cell phone towers. If it is not then you will not have a method of sending information to the Internet for you to look at it.

If you meet all of these criteria then you should be able to find a lost cell phone with GPS tracking.

We have also included a larger list of apps that you can download to smart phones of several different varieties. Just check out our post about free GPS cell phone trackers.

Ways to Use It

One of the most important ways that this technology can be used is to help children keep track of their cell phones. GPS cell phones for kids are great because they provide excellent safety for our children, but they are no good to use or to them if they lose them. If you need to know where their lost mobile phone is just log onto the computer and figure it out.

The same is true for businessmen who have a cell phone with all their work contacts and email on it. If they were to lose this device it could disastrous for their next sales call if not for their entire career. If they have GPS tracking installed on their Blackberry then they should have no problem finding their phone and avoiding certain disaster.

If you would like more information on how to use your cell phone to find itself, please check out How to Find a Lost Cell Phone with GPS Tracking. It should provide you with some helpful tips on what you should do and give you some ideas of the different programs available for use in this type of tracking.

GPS tracking works great in cell phones. Their small, light-weight nature makes them a perfect fit for the way that most people live their lives. It also is the perfect vehicle for tracking because it is connected to GSM cell phone networks, giving them the ability to send large amounts of information long distances almost instantly. This could not be done with standard telephones. Telephone GPS tracking wouldn’t even make any sense since they are static and do not move anywhere.

Do you have any helpful tips for people trying to utilize lost cell phone GPS tracking?

GPS Tracking, Cell Phones, and Augmented Reality

I really think that one of the future enhancements that is coming down the line for all cell phones is some sort of augmented reality. We are already beginning to see the beginning stages of this in the cell phone market and it is quickly becoming integrated with navigational GPS. We did a recent article on a navigation GPS app for cyclists on the i-Phone called ARider. It is really only a matter of time before we begin to see some very interesting and very useful GPS tracking cell phones with augmented reality. The question is no longer if this type of thing is possibly, but when it will be cheap enough to be made available on the mass consumer market.

Just think of the possibilities. A family could stay in contact with each other visually, spatially, and temporally. In order for us to see just how cool this type of GPS tracking technology will be we should come with some type of thought experiment that will allow us to wrap our heads around its coolness. We’ll assume that we have a family of 4 who all own cell phones. Mr. GPS is 45 and works as a high powered executive at a mid-sized paper company in the mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern United States. His wife, Mrs. GPS, works as a nurse administrator in a hospital in the center of the city. The couple live with their son, Wants-To-Be-Tracked, who is 11, and their daughter, Needs-To-Be-Tracked, who is 7. Wants is currently going to a college preparatory school, plays ice hockey on a traveling team, and loves to take their dog, Pet GPS, on long walks around their suburban neighborhood. Needs is a rambunctious little girl who loves to go exploring and is far too friendly with strangers.

This typical, upper-middle class family is fragmented and finds itself spending more time away from each other than they do together. If you don’t count the number of hours that each of them sleeps under the same roof, they probably spend about 15-25 hours together each week. Most of this time is spent eating, watching TV, or traveling in a car together. This is a sad state of affairs, but probably typical for many in their situation.

Anyway, this family is looking for ways to stay connected with each other and to make their lives more efficient. As it stands right now, it is hard for the working parents to know when their kids need to picked up and what they need to do each and every day. They have errands to run, children to shuttle, jobs to work, and a house to maintain. On top of all this, they are being bombarded by the media about all the terrible things that could happen to their children these days. In order to get all this done they need some technological help.

This is where a cell phone that integrates GPS tracking technology and augmented reality can be a real boon for this family. Imagine that Mrs. GPS has dropped Needs off at the park with some friends for a play date. While she waits for the date to be over, she heads on out the grocery store to pick up some frozen meals for their dinner tonight. While Needs is with some friends, she is also prone to wander and the mother who is there watching the kids has been known to try and pick up men while the kids play. Mrs. GPS wants to make sure that Needs is safe and staying where she is supposed to be staying so she busts out here GPS tracking cell phone with augmented reality to see what is going on.

The way that this device would work is that the cell phone that Needs has will be transmitting her location to the cell phone company. The cell phone company will then make that data available to Mrs. GPS on her phone. This data will then go through a mashup (a program that takes data from one source and plugs it into another program) that will put that data onto a mapping application, like Google Maps. Then, she will be able to see where here child is. It might look something like this, but instead of the fast food restaurants shee would be able to see her child’s location:

bionic-eye-gps-mashup-app

Now wouldn’t that be cool? Well, that is only just one of several different scenarios where this type of augmented reality integrated with a GPS tracking cell phone could be extremely useful.

Another is two lovers who want to make a make secret and spontaneous rendezvous. For this you would certainly need to let your lover track you and vice versa, but that shouldn’t be too much a problem if you are married to the person! Then, if you want to hook up with your spouse you just bust out your augmented reality cell phone and find out where they are in relation to you – then you head on over and track them down. This works particularly well if you are both at a large social function (like a club or party) or if you are in a park or other such venue. I recommend that anyone who is into this type of thing do this, it is like geocaching for love!

You might also want to use augmented reality GPS tracking in order to stay in contact with your friends and meet up at fun and interesting times. At the same party but don’t know exactly where your friends are? Simple bust out your cell phone and you can have an instant picture of exactly where your friends are. You won’t have to worry about losing your girlfriends by dancing with a cute guy, just make sure you have your cell phone on and you are good to go!

Still another way that you could use this type of GPS tracking technology is as an employers to track your employees. This could be really useful for any number of reasons, but is sure to improve overall worker productivity and to make your operation much more efficient.

More GPS Humor related to Augmented Reality

Here is a quick little video that take a small pot shot at GPS tracking cellphones and augmented reality:

Cell Phone GPS Tracking Is Being Used By FEMA

According to the Sprint website, this telecommunications giant has made a deal with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that will supply the disaster relief organization with 2,000 GPS tracking units for day-to-day field work and emergency use. The acquisition of the cell phone GPS tracking devices comes at an opportune time for FEMA who is required to have a vehicle tracking system in place by the hurricane season, a season which has all but passed. The addition of these devices should make FEMA much more agile and useful in the field, increasing their ability to serve the public by responding quickly and efficient to natural disasters.

The devices being deployed are Motorola i365 phones (pictured to the right) and cost around $40. Here is a quick little blurb describing this rugged, useful mobile phone:
i365 Sprint GPS Tracking Cell Phone

Released for Sprint, the Motorola i365 is a rugged and durable handset certified for military specification requirements including humidity, blowing rain, dust, shock and vibration. It features Nextel’s push-to-talk communication for quick conversations with up to 20 members of families, friends, and coworkers. Featuring an embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) chip, the i365 uses E911 emergency location services to get audible and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, mapping locations, or conducting local searches.

This cell phone is a great fit for the conditions and circumstances in which FEMA does most of its work. Many more “refined” mobile devices just would not cut it in the harsh conditions where the Nextel i365 flourishes.

In addition to these 2,000 GPS tracking cell phones FEMA is also receiving access to two of Sprint’s products that are going to help them use these cell phone to their fullest potential – Nextel Direct Connect and TeleNav Track. Let’s now turn our attention to these two services and see just how FEMA stands to benefit from the real time tracking and communication capabilities that they offer.

What Is TeleNav Track?

TeleNav Track is a very useful and complete cell phone software package that can assist business and organizations in a wide range of activities related to highly mobile work forces, integrating workforce management, GPS tracking, and navigation features into one package.  The main goals of the software are to boost productivity, control costs, and the manage risk.

Boosting productivity is obviously the goal of any profit based business, but it is also an incredibly important characteristic of effective disaster relief agencies like FEMA.  GPS integrated software like TeleNav Track helps businesses boost productivity by doing three things very well.  The first is that it gets employees to locations quickly and effectively.   We are all very familiar with GPS navigation devices and how useful they can be in helping us navigate new and unfamiliar territory.

The second is that is relays the employees position back to a central dispatching center which can keep track of all the moving parts in the complex world of mobile businesses.  The idea of a central hub where information is gathered and then decisions are made is even more important in a disaster situation.  Not only does the data need to be sent from the GPS enabled cell phone, but information must also be sent to the cell phone so that field agents can be kept abreast of the situation and their tasks.  The ability to see all these moving pieces and to make good decisions with that data is the second benefit of a service like TeleNav Track.

The third and final think that this does is that it helps business reduce the amount of waste engaged in by employees. If employees know that you can know their exact location in real time then they are less likely to goof off when on the clock.  It is a very powerful tool as an employee to go up to an employee and ask them why they spent 2 hours parked at a shopping mall when they should have been out on the street working when they know that you know that that was exactly what they were doing.

In addition to being able to boost productivity, GPS tracking management systems like TeleNav Track also help you reduce costs associated with doing business.   Just think about this one a second and you will see several ways in which you can see an immediate benefit to your companies bottom line or help ensure tax payer dollars are being well spent (in the case of FEMA).  As was mentioned above, GPS tracking devices can help keep employees more accountable for their day to day activity.  This increases productivity because it gets people working more, but it also helps reduce costs because you will no longer be paying people to do nothing.

Another key element that TeleNav Track offers is the ability to do a lot of paperwork electronically.¬† The savings that this type of switch can generate is certainly nothing to sniff at.¬† Electronic time cards have helped companies reduce pay roll administration costs by as much as 80% – which is money that could be poured back into the business.¬† While this really doesn’t have much to do with the GPS side of these devices, it is the same information delivery system that sends the GPS coordinates from your cell phone that also sends out electronic documents as well.

And finally, many GPS cell phone tracking systems help companies manage risk by putting their eyes on their assets at all times.  They can know how many of their employees are out on the field, where their vehicles are, and make decisions about the best way to use these assets to better the business or to better serve the people.

What is Nextel Direct Connect?

Probably the best way to introduce you to Nextel Direct Connect is to show this video clip:

Aside from being a really cool feature for any cell phone, GPS-enable or not, Nextel Direct Connect also offers three main benefits to businesses:

  • Accomplish more quickly. Being able to connect quickly with co-workers to in just a few seconds to share information is powerful when decisions need to made quickly and information is in a particularly fluid state.
  • Keep conversations quick and simple. In and out conversations get more accomplished and force employees to boil down their content into potent sentences laced with meaning and information. Every word is heard and business can move at the speed of thought.
  • Talk to many at once.¬† Being able to send instructions out to 20 people at a time is something that few normal mobile phones can accomplish – yet this is exactly what the i365 cell phone is able to do with Nextel Direct Connect.

When this technology is combined with the TeleNav Track system you get a powerful one-two punch for the folks at FEMA.

Will FEMA GPS Cell Phone Tracking Work?

I certainly hope so.¬† The technology is certainly useful and I can see no good reason why they can’t make full use of these powerful cell phone GPS tracking devices to better serve the American people in times of dire need.¬† The combination of push to talk technology with the powerful GPS management software should provide phenomenal results for FEMA.¬† We’ll just see if this turns out to be a good use of government GPS tracking or if it ends up being misused and under utilized.¬† Only time will tell.

7 Reasons To Begin Tracking Cell Phones Today

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

GPS tracking shouldn't be necessary for married couples, but sometimes it is because cheaters like to lie - they must be found out
GPS tracking shouldn't be necessary for married couples, but sometimes it is because cheaters like to lie - they must be found out.

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 Рlike browsing the internet while doing a few other tasks underneath the surface Рare 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

While you may not create a piece like the Mona Lisa, GPS can still be used to create art.
While you may not create a piece like the Mona Lisa, GPS can still be used to create 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 Рas 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 ūüôā ).

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?

How To Find A Lost Cell Phone With GPS Tracking

I lost my cell phone. Help!

We have all been there before – our precious cell phone has suddenly gone missing and we have no idea where it is.¬† We do a quick check of all the places that we normally put it; it isn’t there.¬† We rehash every event from the time we last remember having our mobile phone to the time when we first noticed that it was missing. ¬†Where did we go? ¬†Who were we with? ¬†What was I wearing?

We try calling our cell phone in the hope that the ringer is on and that it is somewhere nearby.  We pace frantically through our home and run out to the car in the hopes of hearing our awesome ringtone.

But when all of this fails us, we are simply left with worry. ¬†All we can do is hope that some switch will flip in our brain and we will all of a sudden “remember” exactly where it is.

How can we increase the likelihood of actually finding a lost cell phone? GPS tracking!

Here’s how this technology can help:

Lost Cell Phone No GPS Tracking

  1. Have a GPS tracking app on your phone. This will either need to be already installed or you will need to install it remotely (see here for tips on remote installation).
  2. Access your phone’s location using the web. Most tracking apps have some sort of web interface through which you can access your tracking information remotely. Do this; it should tell you where your phone is.

Yes, finding a lost cell phone by using a free tracking apps is that easy. In our tests of various apps we have found that the whole process can take just a few minutes to complete, even if you don’t already have the software installed on your phone. Conditions do need to be right for this to work process to work. They include:

  1. Your cell phone must be on.
  2. Your cell phone must have a connection to your network or be connected to WiFi.
  3. Your cell phone must be able to get messages from GPS satellites.

If you fail in any one of these items you will not be able to us GPS tracking to find your mobile. Sorry.

Understanding How GPS Tracking Works For Cell Phone Recovery

If you have not already heard, GPS stands for the Global Positioning System and is a series of satellites that emit a radio signal that can be read by specialized GPS receivers. These receivers use the information encoded in the radio signals to do a little math called trilateration.  Once that equation is done, the GPS device will know its exact location on the globe. Pretty niffty, right?

GPS systems have become increasingly smaller over the years and have made their way into pretty much every single smarphone on the market.  Chances are, if you own a newer cell phone that runs Android or iOS then you have GPS in your phone.

GPS tracking occurs when the position information is gathered by the device. This information is either stored locally or sent out from the device of the network. The former process is called data logging, and is only GPS tracking of a sort.  The latter process is what most people think of when they talk about GPS tracking and is often referred to as real-time GPS tracking. If you are trying to find a lost cell phone they you are trying to use the second variety.

Once the cell phone has found its exact location using GPS (or by a very similar mathematical process using cell phone tower signals) it can send that information out over the wireless network to which it is connected. The cell phone only needs to be on.  Most tracking programs will work behind the scenes with little to no action taken by a user.

Therefore, the cell phone must be on so that it can process the signals it is receiving from the GPS satellites and talk over the cell phone network. It must have a network connection of some kind to send the information that it gathers from the satellites.  This information then travels across the network to the company that is helping you track your phone. Finally, it must be able to get messages from the GPS satellites in order to find its position in the world.  If it has no position information it will have nothing to communicate.

Finding A Good (Free) GPS Tracking App To Find Your Phone

Finding the right app for your particular brand of phone is definitely not easy. ¬†The biggest problem is choice, especially for Android users. You might want to check with your phone’s particular app store or see one of these posts for potential apps:

  1. Our post on How To Install GPS Tracking Apps Remotely To Find A Lost Or Stolen Android Cell Phone also contains a list of all apps that can be downloaded and installed to your phone remotely that we have personally tested on our Android phones.
  2. We also have a list of applications and software that can be downloaded here: Free GPS Tracking Applications and Software
  3. We have still another list of free options out there for cell phone tracking

Also, if you feel like paying for something that you could do for yourself for free then you could always go with a one of your provider’s tracking plans. I have seen a family plan for a little as $5 a month depending on your current service agreement. While this is a nominal payment, it is ‚ąě more expensive than free! If you can get the same service for free, why not do it?

A Final Word: Data Plans

No matter what your final choice for an app is, you are definitely going to need to have a data plan that will allow for the transmission of data across the network.  Most people already have one anyway (you own a smartphone, after all).  Those that do not have a data plan are often not worried about losing a phone that only costs $40 to replace!

Data plans are important because your cell phone will have to send the information about its position across the network if you want to track the phone in real time. You can’t find your lost cell phone without your cell phone telling you where it is. It can’t do that if it doesn’t have any way to send its coordinates out over a wireless network.

I would even recommend getting a pretty robust data plan because of all the fun and interesting apps that it will let you experiment with. For example, cell phones are great for a variety of fitness activities A lot of people take their phone with them anyway when they run for safety purposes, listen to music, or make phone calls.  Why not also use it to track your runs? There a ton of apps out there that track distance, average speed and time spent running.  Most even use websites that let you share workouts with friends or stay accountable to an online community. (Check out review of Endomondo for just one app in this market.)

This is just one additional application.  There are many more, from social apps to navigation apps, that can leverage the power of GPS to make life easier, more interesting or just plain fun.

Related articles:

Track Your Spouse With GPS

This is a pretty touchy topic in the world of GPS tracking. Some people think that tracking your spouse is the worst thing that you could ever do in your entire life. Others think that it is a fine thing to do given certain permissions from all parties involved. Still others feel like any form of tracking, even covert GPS tracking, is acceptable because of the agreement made by the couple in the covenant of marriage.* Our feelings about spouse GPS tracking are as varied as just about anything can be.

* Perhaps this should be added to the marriage vows: “.. in GPS tracking and out of GPS tracking …” What do you think?

Personally, I am somewhere between allowing covert GPS tracking and permission based tracking. The way I look at it is like this: When a couple gets married they are making a solemn vow to each other to be there for the other. They are committing to be together with their spouse until they die, no matter what types of circumstances come their way. We say “for richer or for poorer” and “in sick and in health” among many other vows and promises. What we do in this is make declarations that I will be married to you and provide for you and protect you no matter what comes our way – whether poverty or riches, sicknesses or good health. Marriage is for a lifetime.

As such, there is a great degree of responsibility between spouses to be faithful and serious about their marriage relationship. You should try and make things work as best as you possibly can. All of your effort should be on working with your husband or wife on growing deeper in love and in building your trust and respect for each other. You should work tirelessly on making the other happy.

But there are some instances where husbands and wives violate the bond of marriage by being unfaithful to their spouse. They hide the unfaithfulness and keep it a secret from their spouse. This is to be expected, but I think it is the right of the cheated upon to find out the truth. In such cases I think that GPS tracking is completely within the rights of the spouse who is being cheated on in order to find out the truth about their spouse’s activities. It should not be used to stalk, or hunt, or harass. Only to find out the truth.

With that said, I also think that spouses should be up front about this type of thing with each other. Going into marriage they should make an agreement with one another that if ever the other in the relationship expects some form of infidelity then they have the right to do some covert GPS tracking.

In most normal circumstances I do think that most couples should adhere to the “mutually agreed upon” principle of spouse GPS tracking. This just makes a lot of sense to me and my understanding of how marriage should operate. Aside from suspected cheating, a spouse should never track their other just because they want to. This would be a violation of trust and the promises made to the other at the altar.

With all that said, there are a lot of cool things that couples can do if they decide to use GPS tracking together. Here is just a smattering:

Create An Environment of Safety
When you are separated from your spouse, GPS tracking is a great way to stay connected and help them feel safe. If they know where you are at any given moment they can provide a lot of support for you. If you get attacked, they can come to your assistance. If you get injured, they can find you without having to call you and have you give them directions. Also, if a natural disaster were to separate you from each other all you would need to do would be to check on their location via the GPS tracker that you have on them and you can find out exactly where they are and be reunited with them. GPS makes a ton of situations easier to cope with.

Be Able To Give Great Directions and Assistance
One situation that often occurs is getting lost. We find our self in a new place and our bearings get a little off. All of a sudden we find that we are in a neighbor we have never seen and don’t know how to get out. It might be late at night and we may be feeling our heart rate rise as we drive around looking for some type of help. Instead of having to spend hours working out of this situation all we need to do is call our spouse. They can find out our exact GPS location and plug that into a mapping software like GoogleMaps. They then could give us turn by turn directions on our way home and out of our scary predicament.

Wouldn’t that be neat?

Get Fit Together
One of the most common things that spouses try and do together is get fit. GPS tracking can help spouses keep each other accountable even if they don’t have a schedule that lets them workout together. Just do your daily run, hike, or bike with your GPS tracking device and some free GPS fitness software and you can have a detailed log of your spouses fitness activity. If you go all out and buy a device like a GPS running watch it will let you even share your workouts between devices. If you want to keep pace with each other and you own a GPS watch like the Garmin Forerunner 405 then you can use the virtual partner feature on this device and even “race” against your spouse’s recorded time!

Spouse GPS Tracking Devices

Probably the best way for spouses to track each other with GPS is through the cell phone. There are dozens of free cell phone tracking applications out on the market that will make your tracking very cheap if not entirely free. While these cell phone programs do require a GPS enabled cell phone and a pretty big data plan if you want to have continuous real time tracking, they do provide stellar results given the price for the software (free!). If you don’t already have a GPS cell phone and you don’t have a data plan, it is still probably the cheapest form of GPS tracking out there right now. You can see our list of free GPS tracking software and cell phone applications for more information and phone compatibility.

If you don’t want to go with a cell phone to track your spouse with GPS there are stand alone device that you can use, but these are often much more expensive and simply not as useful as a cell phone. They might be necessary if you want to do covert GPS tracking on your spouse, but most people aren’t going to need to tracking their spouses in this way.

Beware of Unwanted Cell Phone Tracking Software

The Internet is abuzz with the latest news that some GPS-enabled cell phones are automatically sending information like your GPS coordinates to third parties, often without notifying you of this activity.  The first to fall into this PR fiasco was the Palm Pre, which had their continuous and constant GPS tracking discovered by Joey Hess.  While the allegations that this cell phone tracking software actually is constant and continuous has not been officially confirmed or denied by Palm or major news outlets, there is a pretty damning statement released by Palm that seems to indicate that Mr. Hess finding are gospel truth:

Palm takes privacy very seriously, and offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off. Our privacy policy is like many policies in the industry and includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which we might use a customer’s information, all toward a goal of offering a great user experience. For instance, when location based services are used, we collect their information to give them relevant local results in Google Maps. We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust.

To me, this is a muddy statement that admits to the use of GPS cell phone tracking software to gather information on a users location.  While Palm is claiming that they would never do anything bad with this information, there is little doubt that a lot of bad can be done.

Palm Pre Cell Phone Tracking SoftwareAnother key issue with the Palm Pre debacle is that they did a piss poor job of informing users about the tracking going on behind the scenes.¬† Sure, they probably included it in their privacy policy – but let’s be honest here, no one, and I mean no one reads a privacy policy these days.¬† They are long.¬† They are boring.¬† And we generally have a hard time sifting through the legalese to find the real information that we want to know. One blogger pointed out that the responsible thing for Palm to have done in regards to their GPS cell phone tracking would have been to have forced users to opt in to the “feature” rather than turning it on automatically. That seems pretty sensible to me, but for whatever reason the folks at Palm decided otherwise.

The second brouhaha currently fomenting on the Internets is that some of the GPS cell phone tracking software for the iPhone sends your position information to third parties whenever you use certain apps. According to one developer friendly to hacking the iPhone (so they cannot be implicitly trusted) there is one mobile phone analytics package that is particularly “spyware-esque.” The name of the spyware-esque mobile phone analytics is Pinch Media and they provide support for several different iPhone apps.

What is reported as going on is that these applications using Pinch Media track the following information:

  • Your iPhone’s unique ID – which can link you directly to any activity that the phone engages in
  • iPhone model
  • OS version
  • Application version (in this case, camera zoom 1.x)
  • If the application is cracked/pirated
  • If your iPhone is jailbroken
  • Time and date you start the application
  • Time and date you close the application
  • Your current latitude & longitude
  • Your gender (if Facebook enabled)
  • Your birth month (if Facebook enabled)
  • Your birth year (if Facebook enabled)

That is a lot of data for a third party to have about you and your iPhone use.  While the iPhone does manually require that you opt in to all location monitoring applications, they do not necessarily require that developers disclose the exact bits of information being tracked or where they are being sent off to.

There is a text document that is terribly hard to read that offers some more information about different apps that are the worst privacy offenders.  It can be found here: http://textbin.com/y6223

Automatic Cell Phone Tracking Software and Privacy

The privacy implications of these actions by corporations is huge.¬† All steps down the road to tyranny begin with but a single step, and this is not good news for our children 50-75 years from now.¬† Once corporations and government agencies begin gathering this type of information on us it is going to be a short road to some form of oppressive regime.¬† If they aren’t trying to control us with fear, they will be trying to do it with pleasure – and the only solution that I can see is to make hard stands now as consumers.

While we are huge proponents of the massive benefit that can be derived from GPS tracking, we also feel like that this information should not be used for marketing or other purposes.¬† Placing a financial incentive on a person’s location information is only going to degrade a human brother into an object sought after for their capital and not as a person with thoughts, feelings and emotions.

We are huge fans of free GPS cell phone tracking software, thinking that it can help parents stay connected to their children, provide an awesome safety net for people of all ages, improve our fitness levels through fitness tracking programs, and even help us stay connected to our friends.¬† In time we hope to see GPS make commuting and all driving more efficient and “earth friendly,” end abduction and other forms of personal assault, and help keep the criminal element at bay.

Unfortunately, privacy concerns like the ones raised against Palm Pre and the iPhone will prevent ground being taken toward these ends.  While the cell phone tracking software could be utilized for great good for a great number of people, I fear that it will probably only be used to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.  That is not the future for GPS tracking that I would want, but it seems to be the future that just might be.

GPS Car Tracking, GPS Blockers, and Stalkers

There is more news coming out of Wisconsin related to the world of GPS tracking.  A La Crosse man was convicted of stalking his estranged wife with a GPS tracking device installed in her car.  Apparently, the man was just keeping tabs on her because of some custody issues that they were working out.  If a police complaint about the convict is true, he used the GPS device to track his wife as far as Iowa, harassing his her with his presence.

He entered an Alford plea to the charge, which means he¬†thinks he is ‘Not Guilty’ but¬†still thinks a jury will convict him,¬†and will suffer two years of probation and six months of local confinement – meaning that the person who once used GPS tracking to stalk will now have his location tracked with GPS.¬† How ironic.

But this particular case is not of necessarily of interest because of this irony but because of two other things that have happened in the past couple of¬† months.¬† The first is that police in Wisconsin can GPS track cars without warrants according to a Wisconsin VI District Court of Appeals decision issued in March of 2009.¬† This means that police can place a tracking device on any person’s vehicle that they feel like could be a suspect in a case without any warrant.¬† If they thought that you were somehow a part of the mafia they could place one in your vehicle without you knowing and expect you to like it.

What makes this interesting is that apparently this same ability doesn’t transfer over to private citizens, or at least private citizens with restraining orders on them.¬† This is great news for all of us that might fear a neighbour or complete stranger might be stalking us and be well within their rights.¬† Apparently, only the police can stalk people without getting in trouble with the police …

But this leads to a related thing that is kind of interesting about this whole story – that GPS tracking blockers can be pretty useful devices.¬† If you are having someone stalking you with a real-time tracking device installed in your car then there is no better way of getting them off your back than installing one of these devices (Update 4/16/2012:¬† GPS jammers are illegal and should not be used).¬† This isn’t something that most people are going to need and certainly isn’t something I would recommend having just in case – but if you are being harassed or stalked by someone with even the littlest bit of technical knowhow or if they seem to be showing up in places they shouldn’t know about then getting a GPS tracking blocker may be a good, safe thing to do.

The other thing that made this particularly interesting is just how widely available GPS tracking is.  Even a stalkers in Wisconsin can get their hands on it.  Just a few years ago GPS navigation units were over $500 Рwell outside the range of most people both then and now.  Today, however, you can make your own real-time tracking device for $40 upfront and a $30 monthly fee with a cell phone and some free GPS tracking software.  These types of tracking devices are very easy to set up and take very little skill to do.

But even without cheating and using a cell phone, some covert GPS tracking devices are fairly reasonably priced these days.¬†¬†An effective real-time tracking device can be purchased for well under $200, with some GPS loggers coming in at under¬†$100.¬† A GPS logger isn’t going to need a monthly subscription either, making it very easy to purchase and use extensively (but probably not by a stalker – so you are probably going to be good).

GPS is just going to become more prevelant as the years roll on and we are going to have to deal with GPS tracking on a much higher level than ever before.  I can forsee in the future a time when letting someone GPS track your location is a sign that you are in a serious relationship with them, much like giving them acess to your email account might be today.  Teens will track their boyfriends and girlfriends for the one day that they are a couple, only having to find a way to cleanly break such intimate knowledge.  This may seem funny now, but in five years I really think that this is going to be a reality.

It may seem a little scary, but GPS tracking is going to be the norm rather than the exception.

Free GPS Tracking Applications and Software

You can get GPS tracking for free. There are a couple of different ways to get real-time tracking for your family, friends, or co-workers, but the vast majority of them have something to do with cell phones. Below is a list of several different free GPS tracking services that you can take a look at and decide which one is going to work best for you and your family.¬† Not all these free applications are available on all mobile devices, so be sure to look at the specific application’s compatible device list to see if your cell phone can run this free GPS tracking software.

InstaMapper – Cell Phone Tracking Made Simple

InstaMapper is a free cell phone tracking application available for download and installation on a cell phone. Getting an account is free and only takes a minute or two (be sure to have a valid email address ready for the registration process). After registering you will install an application on your cell phone that is going to provide all the tracking data. This application, when running, will periodically send the phone’s GPS coordinates to InstaMapper servers where they will compile the data for your own use.

Once your GPS coordinates are there, you can login to your account and see your location on an interactive Google map. This can be great for finding your way around a new place or figuring out exactly how to get someplace (this does require that your cell phone have internet access).  Also, if you want your family or friends to know where you are you can give them the login credentials to your account or you can embed a map of your location on a web property (such as a web page, blog, or Facebook profile). Alternatively, you could send them a link that will take them to a map on the InstaMapper website that will look like this.

This free application also lets you record 100,000 locations per mobile phone, organizing them into different tracks and exported in a variety of formats. This volume of locations is equivalent to several months of 24/7 tracking! Now that is a lot from a completely free GPS tracking application.

This is a very powerful application for anyone looking to let other know about their position in the world. Here is a list of compatible phones for this application.

If you are interested in this option, you should really consider looking at to get one of the many Boost Mobile cell phones that are compatible with these devices. According to the InstaMapper website, data plans can run as little as $0.35 per day, which comes out to around $11 per month, making it one of the most economical GPS tracking devices ever – and with an anticipated battery life of 8-12 hours this has many different potential uses for people and for companies.

If you are going be using this cell phone GPS tracking to monitor a teen driver, to check up on a cheating spouse, to monitor workers while they operate company vehicles, or just to get a better picture of where you have been or are at in the world then InstaMapper should be a very strong candidate for your GPS tracking needs.

3dtracking – Bringing GPS Tracking To PDAs

3dtracking is another application that can be downloaded for cell phones that can provide real-time GPS tracking, but unlike the InstaMapper application this is also available on a range of PDAs. For devices that are compatible with this software see their list of compatible devices.

Being an application compatible with PDAs, it lets you integrate a GPS device that you already own (like an automobile navigation unit like a Garmin Nuvi 760) with a web-enabled or cell phone PDA.  This can be extremely useful for those that already own these devices and who want to take advantage of one of the many free GPS tracking apps out there.

Here is a mock-up combination of devices from the 3dtracking website:

A possible example of a set-up for using 3dtracking is a Windows Pocket PC device (such as an Ipaq) that is used with a GPS receiver (Bluetooth or wired). The application will obtain the GPS data from the receiver and then transmit it back to our servers (if your device is both a phone and a PDA (e.g. the i-Mate/Qtek range of products) then it can connect via GPRS. If not, you can transmit all your data to our servers when you sync your PDA to your computer). Once on our servers, you can log in at any time to see your traveled route on either Google Earth or Google Maps. Just select your starting date and time, as well as your end date and time, and our systems will show you exactly where traveled and your speeds along the way.

You can make this data available to other people in a similar fashion to InstaMapper: you can give someone the login credentials to your account or you can put a map on a web property that you own.  However, it does appear that in order to put your map up on a website you must be able to edit information in the <head> html section of the webpage.  This is not possible on websites like Facebook, MySpace, or WordPress.com.  It is possible on Blogger, a self hosted WordPress blog, or a static html page that you might create.

In the end, this is an adequate system if you already have one of the devices mentioned on the list – but if you are just starting out and don’t own a device yet you might want to give InstaMapper a shot if you want to share your position data with someone else.

Mologogo – A Free Social Cell Phone Tracking GPS

Mologogo is like the Facebook of free GPS tracking applications for cell phones.¬† You can access the location of yourself or your friends from your phone or the web, giving you a quick picture of where everyone is at any given moment of the day.¬† This is great for people who are constantly on the go and love to keep their friends close.¬† You can get alerts when people on your friends list are close to you, or you can search to see if your friends are around a certain point of interest (like the club you are at), and stay updated with local weather and traffic conditions all from the same screen. Mologogo also lets its users engage in mobile chat, so you don’t need to burn up text messages if you don’t have an unlimited plan but want to have a quick conversation with a friend in your area.

Mologogo also lets you interact with all this data from a PC.  You can get a picture of where your friends are at at that very moment, you can add new friends to your account, and you can even show your location on your own webpage or blog (just like InstaMapper and 3dtracking).  Your ability to engage with others via your position information with this free cell phone tracking application is pretty phenomenal and offers something that neither of the two previously mentioned applications are able to provide as easily.  This is definitely the most social of all the GPS tracking apps I have seen.

If you want to know if your phone is compatible with this application then you should take a look at the following compatible phone list.  What this list essentially includes is any Nextel, Sprint, or Boost Mobile phones that is able to support Java and also has a GPS receiver installed. Mologogo is also able to be used on Blackberries, Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phones, and SmartPhones on any mobile provider as long as there is an external or internal GPS with the device.

The social aspect of Mologogo is really the best thing about it.  If you want to use your cell phone as a GPS tracking device for the purpose of connecting with your friends then there is no better application on the market.  But it does lack some of the useful features that make InstaMapper such a good application for a wide range of applications.  You simply cannot go wrong with Mologogo if you just want to stay connected to your friends.

LiveTracker – A Blackberry GPS Tracking App In Beta

LiveTracker is currently in beta development and is only available for Blackberry devices. It is still free, so users of the Blackberry should definitely consider using this free software on their phones.¬† One main perk is that you don’t need to register an account to use this software – all you do is download the software from the SkyLab website and install it on your phone. Start running the application and it will begin recording and sending your location coordinates that it gathered via GPS to the LiveTracker servers.

The ability to share locations with this app is still a little limited – you can only send tracking links via EMail, PIN, SMS, and MMS. You cannot currently embed your location like you can with all the other free GPS tracking applications already mentioned. While this is not that big of a deal for some users, embedding is very important to some users. However, since this software is still in beta you have to realize that these are probably features that the developers are planning on implementing at some point.

If you use a Blackberry you still might want to check this out if you are just trying to dabble in what cell phone GPS can provide.¬† It might not be as cool, powerful, or full featured as InstaMapper, 3dtracking, or Mologogo – but just because it isn’t now doesn’t mean that one day it might be the best app out there.

GeoTrack24 – Free (Limited) GPS Tracking For Phones and Devices

GeoTrack24 offers a free GPS tracking service, but the “free-ness” of this service is rather limited.¬† A free account will allow you to track one device, allow 1 person to be able to view this data, and has a history of 3 days.¬† There appears to be no way to share data with others, making it very hard to use this service for very much.¬† What does make this service unique is that it can be used on a wide range of devices – both cell phones and various GPS tracking devices.¬† For a full list of compatible devices see their cell phone list and units list.

Because you can use some GPS tracking devices with this service it is something that you might want to consider using, but the limited device history and 1 account makes it severely limited in what it can do.  They do offer some subscription based plans that are relatively inexpensive (rates are quoted in Pounds), but when you can get a similar, but better, service for free on a cell phone from another software package then you should probably consider this service last on your list.

If you just want to do some minimal free GPS cell phone tracking then this software is probably going to be good enough for you.  However, you should definitely consider some of the other applications mentioned here since they offer a higher quality service.

OpenGTS – Consumer Grade Free GPS Fleet Tracking Software

OpenGTS is a free GPS tracking software that is commercial grade.  Its main application is to be used in GPS fleet tracking, but it could be used to help a family monitor the activity of several people or vehicles at the same exact time.  This free software also differs greatly from some of the other applications mentioned above in that it is a server side tracking software Рmeaning that it is not installed on any device but is instead installed on a computer.   OpenGTS acts like the captain of your GPS tracking device, taking in the information that the device transmits via GPRS.

If you are looking for a short right up of this service you can read more about it at OpenGTS: A Free GPS Fleet Tracking Software.

GolfLogix – Free GPS Tracking Software For Golf Enthusiasts

If you are in the market for a free golf GPS tracking software then you have to check out GolfLogix.¬† They offer a a free golf GPS application for iPhones and Blackberries.¬† They don’t currently have a free app for all the different styles of Blackberry, so head on over to their site at GolfLogix to see if your particular flavor is able to run their software.¬† If you are a Verizon customer, you might be out of luck since this carrier is notorious for not letting people install third party applications on their Blackberries.

If you are looking to get free GPS tracking then you are probably going to be looking to the cell phone.  The number of free and useful applications available on these devices makes it a very compelling pick for those interested in getting GPS information in real time to a wide range of interested parties.

Do you have any experience with these free GPS cell phone tracking applications?  We would love to hear about them in the comments section below.