Ask Joy Benedict About Family Tracking Apps!
WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK FOR IN A GOOD GPS FAMILY TRACKER?
Of course, we want to look for a tracking app with maps with kids' locations. But, we also want to make sure that all tracking is in real time and logs all past locations. There should also be parental controls so that kids can't turn you "off."
GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF A TRACKING APP THAT GOES BEYOND THE BASICS.
Footprints Find My Kids. It does everything that a good tracking app should. And in addition, parents can set up "geo-fences" that notifies you when your child gets to location or somewhere they are not supposed to go. Works in the "background" of your phone, so it doesn't drain your battery. But, an even cooler feature is the Movement Alert, which lets you know if your child is in a car that is speeding. There is no cost for the app or monthly fees.
Footprints Find My Kids App ( www.footprints.net)
ARE THERE APPS THAT CAN TRACK MORE THAN JUST OUR KID'S PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
MamaBear also has the basic GPS features of a good Tracking App. This one includes alerts you if "bullying language" is used on kids’ social media network pages. There are push button features that include messages of "call mom," "come get me," and even a panic button "need help" that sends alerts to all guardians on the system. There is no cost for the app or monthly fees.
MamaBear App ( www.MamaBearApp.com)
IS THERE ANYTHING FOR REALLY YOUNG CHILDREN?
There is the Child Locator by a company called Mommy I'm Here, Inc. It works very simply. It's a great way to keep track of your child in any public location, such as a mall, airport, theme park, or sporting arena.
The locator is a two-unit system, one that attaches to your child and one you keep with you. When your child strays out of a 25-foot range, a chirp-like alert sounds from your unit, so you're immediately aware that he or she has wandered from a secure distance. If you can't locate your child right away, you can activate the 86-decibel alarm on your child's unit, allowing you to find him or her quickly and easily. Mommy I'm Here Child Locator ( www.mommyimhere.com)
WHAT ABOUT KIDS THAT ARE OLDER THAN THAT, BUT NOT QUITE OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE A CELL PHONE?
There is a great GPS tracker for children that aren't old enough to have a cell phone. We like the Pocket Finder. You get an unlimited number of geo-fences. You can monitor car speeds remotely. You can keep up to 60 days of tracking history. The app is free and the Pocket Finder is $149 each with $12.95 a month fee with no contract obligation.
PocketFinder Personal GPS Locator ( www.pocketfinder.com)
Follow Consumer Reporter Joy Benedict on Twitter @joybenedict.