There is a tendency to get lost in big cities, especially when one is trying to track down old friends or distant relatives. Although maps—from Google or Apple—have helped to a certain extent to declutter our lives, it is still a long way from home, literally and otherwise. Rather, many a time, one cannot pinpoint the location using these services, thus leading to more confusion. Where traditional maps have failed, new services incorporating their features and adding many more to them have succeeded. There are apps that not only allow you to track family and friends, but can also locate your phone and share status updates with your friends. Ishaan Gera reviews a few such apps that can help you keep tabs on people around you.
One of the easiest apps to operate, KidControl offers simple functionality bundled with minimal features. The app requires a login using your id which doesn’t take much time. It can run in the background and doesn’t eat too much of a battery. But the best part is that it offers all the features on the dashboard. It will showcase an icon for connected devices for you to track whosoever is around you. Although getting to know the features takes time, it is simpler than other platforms available. Most important, it shows features like battery and location accuracy on the map itself. Also, you can set preferred location so that you get alerts whenever your contacts check-in to the place. For those looking for limited functionality besides tracking and a cheap premium version—it costs just Rs 250 for premium—KidControl is the best app available. More important, while the free feature allows user to set two places, it moves to unlimited number and two weeks of location history for premium version.
Much like KidControl, Friend locator comes out as a more cluttered app. The registration process is no doubt easier and simpler, but the functionality is a bit difficult. The app takes time to register your location and there are a lot of settings you would have to adjust before you can start using the app. Although adding friends is easier on Friend Locator, it doesn’t offer as many features as FollowMee. But the best part is the inbuilt message option. The graphics are much better and so is real-time location tracking, but the app lags in the check-in option which was much easier in KidControl. Although it offers more on the premium side with 30-day location history and tracking, all these come at a steep price of Rs 1,700 a year.
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One of the most difficult and complex platforms to use, FollowMee is nothing like other apps on the platform. The app has a very old user interface which would remind you of DOS era systems, registration is difficult and there is no new-age map service. Although FollowMee is not updated to today’s world, what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in features. There are a host of options available once you get through registration, from vehicle tracking to setting up track intervals. The app uses low battery, but the best feature is the stealth mode. Although the desktop version offers a lot of tracking features, the mobile app is limited. For those having some knowledge of mobile and computing, the premium version priced at `450 is a must buy for vehicle tracking.