Tracking the location of users has been a controversial topic of discussion in mobile platforms. After all, location-tracking tools can be incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands. However, they can also be very useful in certain circumstances.
When you are concerned for the well-being of your children, tracking the location of text messages can be a very useful tool.
Location tracking – features and limits
First of all, tracking the location of a user based solely on their text messages is virtually impossible, at least for the average user. Technically, carriers can always approximately track your location based on various things such as your distance between cell phone towers and proximity to nearby Wi-Fi spots.
However, the texts you share with your friends and family do not hold location data. As such, in order to track user location based on text messages, additional input is required. There are two ways to approach this.
First, you can use a dedicated app to share your location and/or request someone else’s location. Secondly, you can use a so-called ‘spy app’ to track elements like GPS location, text messages, and more.
Tracking messages in iOS
Because Apple is very strict on privacy, legal spy apps on the iPhone and iPad are practically non-existent. If you are willing to void your warranty and jailbreak your phone, however, then you will gain access to more services.
Their legitimacy varies wildly, however, so your best bet is to use what is allowed within the iOS ecosystem. For instance, KidGuard is a fantastic tracking service that allows you track every member of your family at once as well as check out their messages.
Apple’s Find My iPhone feature can also be used for the same purpose, particularly if you wish to keep track of your children. Moreover, your contacts can choose to share their location with you through iMessage.
After launching the app, tap on the Details menu and you should see options to ‘Share My Current Location’ and ‘Share My Location’, the latter of which even has an ‘indefinitely’ option.
Tracking messages in Android
Google’s less restrictive operating system allows for much greater variation. Most spy apps are paid. However, some of them work better than others. Even so, keeping track of your children’s location is sometimes essential and most parents wouldn’t mind paying for a quality service.
KidGuard also exists in Android, for instance, and Google’s Android Device Manager can be used in the same way as Find My iPhone. Spy-like services do exist but are not recommended for various reasons.
First of all, most of them require exorbitant monthly subscriptions. Furthermore, they infringe on privacy on numerous levels. Most of their simpler tasks can be accomplished even by users who are not really tech-savvy anyway.