You may have heard about the ability your cell phone has to track with GPS. However, it isn’t always the easiest concept to understand. Basically, your device is outfitted with a version of the software called an app, that allows it to be tracked from the web, another phone, or tablet or computer devices. Explore how that application in the phone works with GPS receivers to track the location of the device.
Your Cell Phone Picked Up by a GPS Track
Your cell phone is a two-way radio. As you travel along, your device pings off different cell phone towers. The strength of the signal determines how close you are from one tower and how far you are away from the next. You have probably seen on television shows or in a movie how law enforcement will use cell phone towers to locate suspects or missing people. They are using the towers and the computers that run those towers to track what angle the device is on compared to the cell towers, how fast the phone is moving from cell to cell, and what the strength of the signal is at each tower. This can be used without GPS, but a track with GPS is much more accurate.
GPS Phone Receivers to Track
GPS receivers are very similar to the towers that are found on land. The main difference is that these phone receivers are satellites circling around the Earth. In all, there are 27 GPS satellites working to pick up signals from outside the atmosphere. 24 of those are working, while three are used for backup to track and perform other duties if one goes out.
Determine a Phone Location with GPS Track
There are several things that must happen for a GPS receiver to determine the location of a phone that you are trying to track. These include:
- The location of three or more satellites above the device
- Where the phone is in relation to those satellites
The GPS receiver then takes information from those three satellites and makes a bit of a triangle or circle to connect the dots. Wherever there are intersections that meet on the ground and in the air determine the exact location of the phone.
GPS Phone with Track
Pretty much every phone on the market today is GPS-enabled. There may be some older phones that aren’t, but almost all the new ones being made either have a track on them already, or you can download it.
If you can use a navigation system on your phone to track nearby locations or get driving directions from where you are to another spot, you have GPS track on your phone. Some other reasons that GPS track may be used on a device at any time include:
- Keeping track of employees by using a tracking service
- Track kids that need to have someone watching over them
- Outdoor activities like geocaching, mountain biking, or hiking
- Location-based services like delivering news, ads, or coupons by businesses to potential customers
Track Apps for Your Phone
For an iPhone with version iOS 5 or later software, you already have the Find My Phone app on your device. You just have to make sure that you set it up before you can use it to perform GPS track features. With this GPS track app, you can lock your phone, display emergency messages, or erase stored data online from a different device. You will get an email sent to your account through the web in just minutes to confirm that the feature has been used.
Android phone users will be able to track their phones with the Device Manager tool. This too is already installed on the newer models, but it may need to be downloaded if you have an older phone. Your Android phone is a Google device and therefore you will be asked to log in to your Google account when you want to track with your GPS app. Like the iPhone application, you will also be able to perform actions like locking the device, changing the pin number, erasing data, or even making it ring if you think it is close to you.
Microsoft runs the Window GPS track phone services. You must go to the Windows Phone website to enable the feature. When you sign into your account, you will be able to choose the “Find My Phone” tab from the main menu. As long as your account is linked to your phone, it will be able to be connected through GPS and display the last known location on a map. You can even print the map to use to go track your lost or stolen phone.
A Samsung phone is going to run on the Find My Mobile application. You will have to set up your account as soon as you get your phone and make sure that it is turned on just in case you have to use it later. If you don’t do this, you are not going to be able to take advantage of all the service has to offer. When you lose your phone, you can log in to your account online, and the net will search for your phone from your computer. With this technology, you can lock your device, set it to ring, clear the device out completely, and even check the call log to see if anyone else has been using it.
GPS Track Working for You
Remember the only way your GPS track is going to work on a phone is if it is installed and set up. Do this as soon as you get a new device, and in the event, it is lost or stolen, it will be easy to find with just a click or two.