Tracking Apps for iPhones

By Amanda Gronot

Whether you want to keep track of your children or find your lost phone, many apps can help you discover the location of your iPhone. Taking advantage of the iPhone's built-in GPS feature, these apps provide real-time information that can tell you exactly where the phone is located. Of course, these apps must be installed with the owner's permission, and it is not possible to track a phone without an app already installed.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone comes as a standard app with the iPhone's original operating system. It is available already on iPhones with the latest software updates, or it can be downloaded for free from the App Store. This app is located in the utilities file, and it works with your MobileMe account to let you track your iPhone when it isn't in your hands. If you don't have a MobileMe account yet, you can set one up by tapping "Settings," then "Mail, Contacts, Calendars," then "Add Account" and then "MobileMe." Enter your Apple ID and password. You can then log into your account on the MobileMe website and use the Find My iPhone interface to see your iPhone on a map. This app is also capable of wiping the iPhone remotely and sending messages to display on the screen.

IHound

The iHound app combines GPS and Wi-Fi signals to determine the location of your iPhone. Costing $4 as of 2011, the iHound app offers many more features than the Find My iPhone app. Not only can it track your iPhone's location, but it can also set of an alarm whenever it is lost, and it can set up "geofencing" alerts, which can let you or others know when you arrive at a certain location, such as when your children get to school or when you are leaving work. The software can be set up to work on multiple devices, all of which you can keep track of using the iHound software on your home computer.

GadgetTrak

Like iHound and Find My iPhone, GadgetTrak allows you to view where your phone is by logging into an online account from your computer. However, GadgetTrak does not update in real time; instead, it determines your phone's location at preset intervals, so you may not be able to view the precise location of your phone right away. This app can also snap a picture of its location, so if it is stolen, you may be able actually to see who has it. As of 2011, this app also costs $4.

Targeted Apps

If you want to know where your friends are going or keep track of how far you ran, certain apps can use GPS to track these specific targets. Friends can sign up for apps such as Friend Tracker, Friend Spot or Google Latitude to let each other know where they are or where they're going. You can also download apps such as iMapMyWalk, iMapMyHike, Jog Log or Sports Tracker to keep track of how far your workout takes you and how well you are meeting your goals.