Mobile phone tracking apps and how they work

Mobile phone tracking apps are built to help people track the mobile phones of their loved ones due to safety concerns or any other reasons. Mobile phone tracking services were first introduced to help people escape emergency situations by getting located by emergency services. However, as mentioned on the popular resource on mobile phone tracking, the technology took to center stage and now phone users themselves have used it to track mobile phones.

There are many people who think that tracking mobile phones is not legal. It is actually perfectly legal as long as you have the consent of the person whose phone has been tracked by you. These mobile applications have found better utility in daily human life in several different ways. For example, parents can no longer worry about their children’s whereabouts. Employers can track their employees’ movement and ensure that they are on the right place at the right time. There are different types of mobile phone tracking apps available out there. Some of these applications are free while others are paid. Free sounds good to ears but again like with everything else, free apps have their own limitations.

Let us have a look at two methods most commonly relied upon by mobile phone tracking apps to locate mobile phones.

Triangulation
Triangulation is the most widely used technique in locating a mobile phone. In order for this technology to work, the mobile phone must be switched on. The switched on mobile phone continuously communicates with the nearest mast or mobile phone tower through pings. These pings help the phone know its own location and accordingly exchange data with the nearest tower. The phone also decides which tower to use for case of receiving a phone call. Triangulation only gives limited mobile location because it only tells where was the phone when it last communicated with (pinged) any of the towers in its vicinity. This method of tracking a mobile phone becomes more reliable when a phone is tracked within cities because there the density of the masts or mobile phone towers is very high compared to that in rural areas.

GPS Tracking
GPS mobile tracking technology was originally meant to be used by governments only. However, it has finally become a widespread commercially available technology and ordinary people are also benefiting from it. The limitation of GPS technology is that the mobile phone that needs to be tracked must have a built-in GPS in order to be located. So this technology does not work with GSM only phones. Most of the modern smartphones are equipped with built-in GPS. GPS technology is also not free of any problems. In areas where the satellite cannot directly track the mobile, tracking mobile can become very difficult. For example, in big cities with places surrounded by skyscrapers, GPS technology does get affected. One bad thing about GPS technology is that it drains the mobile phone’s battery sources very quickly, which means more frequently charging the phone.

GPS and Triangulation
Most of the mobile phone tracking companies does not rely on a single technology because they know each one has its own limitations. Therefore, they use both GPS and Triangulation to track mobile phone. This combined use of mobile phone tracking technologies helps overcome a lot of problems and greatly reduces the accuracy problems. You can read more about the development of tracking technologies here. One of the newest technologies in pipeline that isn’t fully implemented is mobile phone tracking using Wi-Fi. This will add to the location accuracy of the mobile phone tracked, thus reducing total dependency on GPS and Triangulation methods of tracking a mobile phone.

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