July 12

Tools for Tracking Loved Ones

Here’s the first excerpt from the new book, The Bigger Book of Apps! Stay tuned for the pre-order extravaganza starting in a week or so. 🙂

My wonderful husband is a crazy Ironman triathlete-turned avid camper, and he’s frequently on all-day bike rides or multi-hour hikes. When I haven’t heard from him in a while, my worry gene kicks in. So, I use the Find iPhone app to track him down.

If you have more people to keep track of, start your stalking career here.


We don’t like to call Life360 a stalking tool, but that’s what it is since it helps you keep track of your family 24/7. Life360 eliminates the text messages that ask, “Are you there yet?” Once you set up your “circles,” you can view family members on a map, send messages and receive alerts when they arrive at home, school or work. Parents in my sessions love being able to rest easy knowing everyone is safe and sound. Other features (some premium) include crash alerts, stolen phone protection and round-the-clock access to a live person for emergency help as well as roadside assistance (like a family-oriented OnStar with a side of AAA).


If you’re a worrywart and want to stalk track your loved ones, Glympse is a fast, free app that shares your location. You can share your location for a set amount of time, alert people of your travel plans and set up a group to track everyone. People can stalk track each other through the apps or online.


Glympse and Life360 use GPS for passive tracking, but sometimes you want to let your loved ones know where you’re going because weird things happen in this world. HikerAlert calls itself “A modern approach to the age-old rule: Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return.” Register with the site ($4.99/year) and share the details about your hike, camping trip, long run or whatever you’re going to be doing that puts you out of reach. When you finish your adventure, check back in on the web app (no download needed). The system will text you if you don’t check back in, and if you don’t text back, your trip details are sent to the emergency contacts you provided. What’s more, if you have hiking buddies, you can link accounts for group trips so everyone’s emergency info and details are linked.


Kitestring is similar to HikerAlert, but it’s more designed for a blind date-type situation, and it’s mainly text based. When you’re headed out, text a duration to Kitestring. Then text “ok” to end a trip. It’s free if you only use it three times a month and only choose one contact. If you don’t text, your contacts will get a notification.


communication, security

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  • While Life 360 is a terrific app, it is a battery killer. Do you know how the others perform in this regard?

    • Google and Apple both have location services. Would those work? They don’t have all the features, but they might be good for basic location help.

  • Have you done any research on the kids smart watches that have GPS/GPRS/LBS tracking,(I don’t know what any of that really means.)…? Seems to be several of them out there and I’m not sure which really works.
    (Love your emails)

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