Find your child with your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android or Windows device.
Being able to know where your child is at all times is an important part of being a parent – which is why it’s great that tracking your little one has been made easier in today’s digital age.
We’ve put together three ways to track your kids based on the mobile OS you use. All use the smartphones’ built-in GPS tracker, so don’t forget your phone’s Internet connection. As for your child, you can choose to load up their device for a whole day or subscribe them to a plan.
You’ll need a smartphone and an Internet connection!
Apple’s Find Your Friend
If you’re an iPhone user, tracking your child can be very easy with Apple’s Find Your Friend. The app is built in and native to any iOS device so you don’t have to download any new app. This process is simply a matter of setting up the tracking specs and checking the native app.
What you need to set up Apple’s Find your Friend:
Any of the following devices:
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5S
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6+
- iPad 2, 3, 4
- iPad Mini, Mini 2, Mini 3
- iPad Air
- iPad Air 2
How you set up your child’s iOS device to track him:
- On his device, go to Settings.
- Tap the iCloud on the left sidebar.
- At the bottom of the new menu under “Advanced”, tap “Share My Location”.
- Turn the slider on for Share My Location. Your child’s device is now visible for everyone in the Family Group.
How to check your child’s location on your own iOS device:
- Open your Find Your Friends app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Make sure you have a strong Internet connection.
- Tap your child’s name or the Apple ID you set up for him.
- Wait for the app to load the location.
- Use two fingers to zoom in to your child’s location. You’ll have at least the street your child is on at the moment. Better Internet connections and the Apple Watch may be able to give you the building he is in as well.
You can check your child’s location as many times as you want. Leave the app open so you can continuously monitor your child.
Click “Continue reading” to find out how you can your child using an Android phone.
Show your child how you set it up.
Google Plus Location Services
What’s great about Google Plus Location Services is that you can use their GPS tracker for both iPhones and Android smartphones. You just have to make sure that your child is logged in to the Google Plus app on his smartphone.
- Make sure that you’ve set up a Google+ account for you and your child here. Your account should be separate from your child’s account.
- You can set yourself and your partner and his siblings as the child’s only contacts since you only do this to track his location.
- Remember your child’s account username and password because you will use these to log on to the app on the former’s smartphone.
Here’s what you will need to set up Google+ Location Services:
- iPhone 4 or later model
- iPad 2 or later model
- iPad Mini, Mini 2, Mini 3
- iPad Air, Air 2
- Android smartphone capable of running Google+ app
- Internet connection
You can get your child the cheapest Android smartphone which can be a generic China-made brand instead of the big names like Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC.
If your goal is simply to track your child, you don’t even have to let him use the device. Set up the Location services and simply lock the phone using a code and instruct him to leave it in his backpack.
Here’s how to set up Google+ Locations Services on an Android device:
- Go to Google Play Store
- Tap the search bar at the top of the screen that says “Google Play”.
- Type in “Google+.”
- Tap “Install” and approve the permissions then wait for the app to download.
- When the app has downloaded, open the app and log in to your child’s Google account.
- Tap your child’s name or account at the top of the screen.
- Under “About,” scroll down to “Location Sharing Settings”.
- Tap the check box for “On”.
- To further refine the Location sharing, tap on “Change” under Pinpoint Location.
- On the new menu, search for your own Google account name.
- Tap your account name then tap “Done” at the bottom.
- This keeps the location of your child exclusive to your account.
Click “Continue reading” if you have an iPhone and your child has an Android device.
Smartphones aren’t just for parents and selfies!
Here’s how to set up Google+ Location Services on your child’s iOS device like an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch:
- Go to the Apple App Store and search for Google+
- Download the app.
- Tap the newly-downloaded Google+ app icon and choose the right account name for your child. This is the one you set up previously on your own.
- Wait for the account to load. Once it has, tap the icon on the top left.
- A menu will slide from the left. Tap “Location”.
- A message will pop up. Tap “Turn on”.
- Scroll down and tap “Edit” under Pinpoint Location.
- Search for your own account name and tap it. Then tap the check mark on the uppermost right corner.
- Congratulations! You can now open your own parent device and see your child’s location.
Now that you’ve set it up, here’s how to see your child’s location on your own Google+ app:
- Open your Google+ app on your smartphone. You can do this on both an iOS and an Android device.
- Tap the icon at the top left of the screen.
- Tap “Locations.”
- Wait for the map to load to show your location and all other users sharing their location with you (including your child’s).
Make sure that your child is your friend on Google Plus so that whenever you open the app on your own device, you can now see him on the map. Just zoom in to see the street and location.
You can also find your child using the Google Plus website. Just check the profile of his Google Plus account in your browser and you will see his location if he has Internet connection.
Keep in mind that location data may not be exact due to Internet availability and GPS accuracy.
Click “Continue reading” if you and your child have jumped onto the smartwatch bandwagon.
Your child’s safety should always be your priority.
The caveat about smartwatches (even if you get the Apple Watch) is that you still need a phone to connect to them via Bluetooth even if you have an Internet connection. There are still no actual apps for location sharing.
Essentially, you need to broadcast your location through your phone as captured through your smartwatch. At best, smartwatches just make Location Services more accurate.
Using just a phone gives you the general street and area where your child is. Smartwatches like Pebble and the Apple Watch enhance the phone’s location services.
Warning: Before you give your child a smartphone
- If your child is too young to handle a smartphone, it may be best that your child’s yaya or kasambahay handle the phone instead. Notifying the teacher of the device is also a prudent thing to do.
- You may also opt to give your child the cheapest smartphone to deter bad elements from preying on him. You can even lock the phone and not let your child actually use it; it can simply be used for tracking in their backpacks.
Never depend solely on technology
While tech can indeed help a lot in tracking your child, you cannot depend on it completely. Faulty Internet connections, low battery and misuse on the part of your child can always sabotage your efforts to monitor his location.
Still, the benefits of technology and how it can aide parents in the fast-paced digital world cannot be ignored. You can immediately tell if something is wrong when your child is not where he is supposed to be by just looking at an app or a service.
In the end, technology cannot be used as a substitute for a compassionate and smart guardian, yaya or parent.
Do you track your child using digital devices? How is it working for you? Do let us know in the comments!
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