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Best Mobile Tracking Apps for Parents

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App Options to Consider

Glympse

There's a Glympse app for just about every smartphone and the Web, which is why it's the default for my crew. Best for an older child who feels more secure with you watching her back—if she wants you to follow virtually as she walks or drives, she sends you a Glympse with a couple of taps, opting to share her location. The Glympse expires automatically after a designated period of time.
Glympse.com, free

Life360

Install this app (iOS or Android) on your teen's phone and yours, then create a circle for your family. You can see where your son is in real time and where he's been, and receive alerts if he enters or leaves any specific areas. He can see where you are too. (Anyone can turn off location tracking on their own phone at any time, though.) Premium service ($5 per month) puts a one-button emergency call on the phone to request help from a live person.
Life360.com, free

Amber Child Safety

This is a complete parental control tool for iOS, Android and BlackBerry smartphones. Install it on your child's phone and go online to get her current and past locations, set time limits, monitor social media and more. She cannot uninstall it or turn off location tracking.
Amberchildsafety.com, $9.95 per month

To keep up with Christina Tynan-Wood's latest tech-focused blog posts, go to familycircle.com/momster.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine.

 

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