There are many things that you can do if you own a smartphone running Android operating system. You can not only stay updated with the latest news, but also use your phone as a computer and save files, documents, create and edit presentations and lot more. So, when there are so many ways to use an Android device in various ways, why not take advantage of that?

One of the best features on an Android phone is to utilize the GPS to its full potential and use it for tracking. Unleashing the potential isn’t difficult as here are some easy tips on how to use Android smartphones as a tracking device.

Why Should You Need to Track Your Phone?

Before we get into how the system works, it’s a good idea to think a bit why tracking matters in the first place. The most obvious use of the GPS feature on your smartphone is to locate where you are. For anyone who likes to hike or travel to various places, it’s crucial to be able to locate yourself on the map and find your way home.

use android phone as tracking device

Now, tracking is also crucial in terms of phone security. You can protect your Android phone in different ways, but it might still be stolen or lost. In these occasions, the tracking feature will be crucial in finding it. But you can also use this feature to keep a check on someone you love. For example, parents might have more peace of mind if they know how to track their child’s phone and therefore, location.

So, let’s turn our attention to how you can setup and start using the tracking feature on your Android phone.

Tracking with Android’s Own Feature

Your first option is to use Android’s native features to your advantage. Any Android device built after 2014 has a feature called Android Device Manager. This allows the phone to constantly ping its location to Google so that Google knows where the phone is and you can use its features more fully on the phone.

Now in order to enable this tracking, you need to have a Google account and use it to sign in with the device. You can then go the Settings section on your phone and under Personal, find the Security function. Click on that and then click the Device Administrators underneath the Device Administration panel. Once there, click Android Device Manager and follow on to click on Activate.

By doing this, you will need to allow the system to perform three functions: the ability to erase any data on the phone, the ability to change your current screen-unlock password, and the ability for the system to lock the screen. Therefore, the system is another way to keep your smartphone safer. As well as using it for tracking, you can ensure the wrong people can’t access your data by turning off the phone in case of a robbery.

So, as you have enabled the Android Device Manager you simply need to launch a web browser and find yourself on the Android Device Manager Dashboard. You need to sign into your Google account and click the Locate Device button. This will show you the last location of your device. Just remember that the exact location can be off by up to 20 meters due to bad GPS visibility – so don’t use it as an exact tracking method in all instances.

Using Android Apps for Tracking Your Phone

Now, you don’t have to use the inbuilt system as your only solution to track your Android phone. You can also use a number of different Android apps for the same purpose. Just like the inbuilt system, using these apps is not hard. You simply need to go to the Play Store, pick your favorite app, and then install that app. Then you just need to follow the instructions, create an account and you are done.

So, what are the best apps to try? There are many Android tracking apps out there and most of them can be found in the categories of anti-theft and anti-loss security apps. Three apps you definitely want to try are:

  • Prey – Almost like the Android Device Manager, except that you can also use it across multiple platforms, allowing you to track your phone from Mac or Windows.
  • Family Locator & Safety – The app is definitely a good pick if you want to use tracking for keeping an eye on your kids. You can use it even with a secondary device.
  • Lookout – The app is a good all-in-one solution to Android security. It’s more than just a tracking app, as you also get good anti-virus protection with this. However, if you are just after tracking, either of the above two might be better.

The above three apps are just some of your available options. Browse the Play Store for more and read reviews to find the right option for your needs if you don’t want to use the native phone feature.

So, with the above two methods, you can turn your Android smartphone into a tracking device. Now, if you are serious about tracking a person or your belongings, you might also want to consider dedicated GPS trackers. These often offer better signal quality and they are harder to break. You can find these devices online and by utilizing the discount coupons on, you can easily cut down the cost of these sophisticated tracking systems.

However, if you want the tracking to protect your phone specifically, take advantage of the above tips and apps.


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