Top 3 Best Kid Phone Tracking Apps for 2020 (2 Are Even Free)

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kids walking onto yellow school bus

Your kids are heading back to school before you know it! Between getting off the bus safely, sports practice pick-ups, and driving responsibly, these Apple and Android kid tracking apps are the best on the market – so you’ll know that they’re safe and sound.

1. Track your kids (and even help them drive safer) with Life360.

hand holding phone in car with life 360 app on screen

iOS | Android | Website

FREE (or upgrade your plan | $2.99-$7.99/mo)

Life360 FREE features:

  • Create “private circles” for those who you need to track
  • Location sharing
    • Recent and current whereabouts
  • Notification alerts
    • When someone’s battery is running low
    • When someone leaves a frequented place

Upgraded Life360 app features:

  • Driving safety features
    • “Crash Detection”
      • Alerts emergency contacts
      • Sends an ambulance to the location immediately
    • Roadside Assistance
    • Driver Report
      • Shares miles driven, top speeds, and total drives
  • Help Alert
    • Alerts emergency contacts when someone feels unsafe
  • In-App chat lets you streamline conversations
  • Unlimited place alerts
  • 30 Day history (free app offers a 2-day history)

red four wheeler crashed into tree boy in woods

“After 30 minutes passed and he didn’t return, we started to worry. We checked Life360 and saw that he wasn’t moving and we became extremely concerned. If it wasn’t for the app, we would have had to hire a search party and comb through 1,000 acres.”  Read more about David’s testimony.

– David ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Some Life360 app cons: 

  • Recent updates that cause numerous inconsistencies with speed, locations, etc.
  • Provides inaccurate locations occasionally
    • Location errors and times may cause problems with family & friends
  • Customer Support isn’t helpful in resolving issues
  • Some users claimed that the app worked well for a few months then started having problems

2. Track (and talk with) your kids using the iSharing app.

woman holding phone with isharing app on screen

iOS | Android | Website

$7.99/1 mo. – $49.99/3 mos. – $69.99/1 year 

iSharing App features:

  • Cutting edge GPS location tracker
    • View real-time locations of your loved ones as they arrive and leave
    • Have your own private family map
  • Receive instant alerts and notifications
    • When someone arrives at a favorite location
  • Panic button for emergencies
    • All you have to do is shake the phone
  • Turn phones into Walkie Talkies for easy communication
  • View location history
  • Parental restrictions

girl with blue backpack walking down leave covered street

“I love the iSharing app and that I get to see when my kids made it to school or home safe and sound every day. As a mom, it brings me such peace of mind to be able to check on them. I also enjoy using this app for my employees at work, so I know when someone is on their way to a scheduled meeting and how much further they have to get there.” 

Kathy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Some iSharing app cons: 

  • Privacy features
    • Some parents may not like that you can hide your current location with the flip of a switch
  • The app always updates location when not open so it will decrease battery life
  • Some users have stated issues with location accuracy and too many notifications

3. Simply & quickly share locations with your kids using Glympse.

man holding phone with glympse app on screen

iOS | Android | Website


Glympse App features:

  • Share real-time location with GPS tracking
    • Share with anyone – no app required
  • Other uses for the tracking feature:
    • Give your spouse an ETA when you’ll be home
    • Coordinate social gatherings
    • Know everyone’s arrival to meetings or pick-ups
    • Find friends at a concert or festival

teenager girl looking at cell phone

“My whole family has phones, so we use Glympse all the time and love it! It’s so cool and very reassuring being able to watch your loved ones in real-time – coming and going. When my 13-year-old babysits our younger kids, she likes it when I send her a Glympse that we’re on our way home. She says it makes her feel better and helps her know when to start cleaning up. LOL!” 

– Stacy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Some Glympse app cons: 

  • In order to view locations, it has to open in a separate browser; some people may see it as an inconvenience
  • Some users complain of occasional bugs that cause location inaccuracies
  • Kids may not respond to location requests or forget

Teen parents need to know about these 5 free apps!

Join The Discussion

Comments 26

  1. Kasey

    We use Life360 and love it.

  2. Meranda

    This app isn’t for tracking kids, but there is one out there called Noonlight. You basically hold down a button whenever you feel unsafe and when the situation has passed you can release and type in a code. If you don’t type in a code it’ll send a police officer to your location. I like to use it when I’m alone in parking lots or taking a walk at night. Gives some peace of mind!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the suggestion, Meranda!

  3. Melissa

    We love life 360!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh good! That’s great to hear! Thanks for the feedback, Melissa!

  4. T

    My husband and I downloaded life360 for ourselves and for the past week or so it has been glitching. It will say that one of us left at like 2 in the morning when we are in bed sleeping. Or at other times when we are sitting next to eachother. It will say my husband is at our old house when he is with me at the new one. We have uninstalled it multiple times. We might switch to another one since this is acting up. It still tracks well when moving but getting the wrong notifications on our phone throughout the day is annoying.

    • Lana

      We have had a similar experience. Sometimes it says I am at a grocery store 6 miles away when I am at home and have not been near that store for n days. My husband’s says he is at home me when he is out running errands.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh bummer! Thanks for the warning, T!

  5. Tara

    Any suggestions for gps tracking that kids can’t turn off?

    Or something for tracking social media and/or prohibiting them from downloading apps/social media without parental approval?

    • Ivan

      There are numerous apps available that will let you track everything your kids do on their phones…you can get copies of all texts, emails and even activate the microphones on their phone so you can listen without them knowing. But all the ones I’m familiar with require you to jailbreak your phone first….meaning the apps aren’t available in Apple App Store.

    • Heather

      I use family link it requires permission for any apps installed and has GPS tracking as well as other things included ie setting screen time etc. I use the free version.

    • MrsFelix1004

      Teensafe is a great option. Spyzie is another but I think it is pricey. If you have an iPhone you could enable restrictions under screen time limiting what that can do in their phone for example downloading apps or using safari. Please be aware that when I called Apple and explained that I wanted to “lock” my daughter out of things on her phone they asked her age and when I said 13 they said they could no allow me to reset without her permission (I thought total BS) so now my child knows I have any and all passwords.

  6. Linz

    Our family has had life360 for over a year. It started out good….but is continually glitching and tells me my kids are in a neighborhood next to the school and not in school. When it first happened I went into panic mode. It also notifies me when my kids have left the house after 15 minutes they have been gone. Im looking for a new app- thx!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Darn! That sure would make me panic as well! Thanks for sharing your experience, Linz!

  7. Momof4

    We use Find My Friends on iOS. It is free. The kids can see where I am, I can see where they are. Saves me from having to text them while driving if I’m running late to pick them up. They can look and see I’m on the way instead of calling. I think it also has alerts you can set if they leave a location, or if they go to a specific location, but I haven’t needed that.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How neat! Thanks for letting us know what has been working well for your family!

  8. Melissa

    We use life360 and really like it.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Glad to hear that, Melissa!

  9. Katie

    Does anyone know of any that don’t require the use of a phone? My son is 6 and I would like to know he makes it to school off the bus in the mornings. I saw some on Amazon I could put in his backpack, but didn’t know if any of you had any recommendations?

    • Vanessa

      If you have Verizon, the Gizmo watch has been great for our kids ages 5 to 11. It’s a watch that has GPS and phone. You download the app to track location and manage their contacts/settings. It’s only $5 per month if you add to your plan.

      • Katie

        Thank you so much!

  10. 3boys

    For Google Maps, you can enable Location Sharing (do a search for “Google Location Sharing”); there is also a Google app “Trusted Contacts” that also shares location; free.
    I haven’t found an app that stops the GPS from being turned off, but I use the android app “DinnerTime Plus (Parental App)” for limiting time or blocking app usage; free for one phone? small one-time fee ($3?) to upgrade.
    For locking apps (like Google Play Store – to prevent app download), or to prevent uninstalling apps, I put “Perfect AppLock(App Protector)” on their phone (with a password!); free.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks a bunch for taking the time to leave such a helpful comment! We sure appreciate it!

    • je

      We use Google Maps too. It’s great when I want to know where hubby is without having to ask him and vice versa. To track my kids during the school year, I attached Tiles to their backpacks.

    • Michelle

      We use Google Maps as well. We used to use Life360 but it had constant glitches and would drain our batteries (no good to track a kid if the tracking app causes their phone to die). The only thing I miss from Life360 is the automatic location notifications. Other than that Google Maps works great for us, is free, and an app that you would have on your phone anyway so less likely to have any arguments about deleting it to free up space.

  11. Bobbi

    This is why my kids and I all have iPhones. I can track them with the Find My iPhone app, I can limit screen time, and I have to approve any apps they download. No special parental app required!

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