GPS Tracking App for Android – is it a good idea?

“I have a Smart Phone, can I use it as a GPS Tracker?”

You may file this under the FAQ, because it seems to always be asked. The answer, of course, is “Yes,” you can however you probably shouldn’t. GPS Tracking devices are far more reliable for many reasons.

  • GPS Tracking can really wear out the battery on a phone. When the phone is dead the user is less safe if they cannot dial out in an emergency.
  • GPS Services can be disabled by the user, rendering tracking apps useless.
  • GPS Services can be disabled, even if the user has no idea the tracking app is running or installed.
  • Whoever developed the App will have some access to the location of the phone. Do you trust the app developer with GPS info?
  • GPS Services use data “minutes,” which shows up on the phone’s usage settings.
  • Smartphones often require an unlock code to install apps. Apps downloaded through a store show up in the purchase history.
  • Apps added via 3rd party markets are disabled in the settings.

If you want to make sure your phone is easier to recover after a theft, then GPS tracking is a great idea. However, if your intent is to monitor a fleet of vehicles or track a loved one, it may not be the best solution for you.

A GPS Tracking device is a better option in many cases. Most GPS Trackers have extremely long battery life. They are less technical, often only requiring you turn the tracker on to begin tracking where as an app can be much more difficult, and may even require an account setup.

Live GPS Trackers can cost money, but there are also free options such as the Conan. GPS Loggers do not require tracking fees but also are not live. If you intend to track a fleet to optimize employee efficiency, you’ll want to get a plan that includes a way to manage that aspect. The SilverCloud GPS trackers are good options for managing routes for companies with a fleet of vehicles.

If your employees think you are tracking them through their phone, they will simply turn it off, enable airport mode, or try to disable location services if they want to evade on-the-clock tracking. A GPS tracker can be placed in a company vehicle in an inaccessible place and is often harder to disable. Some trackers have their own battery so if a vehicle battery fails it continues to track its location.