How to Track an Android Phone: A Comprehensive Guide

Tracking an Android device has become easier than ever. All you need is to learn some quick technological hacks. And every time you need to track a phone, it’s not possible to try out different strategies and research about it on Google. You need to know about it now and implement whenever necessary. Alternatively, you can save such strategies or bookmark these on your device so that you can find it whenever required.

A Comprehensive Guide for Tracking an Android phone

Yes! Your guess is bang on. Here’s a complete guide on how to track your android – not only when you lose it but also when you want to track others’ device. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Install an Android Tracker

Install an Android Tracker
Install an Android Tracker

Installing an Android tracker is always a great idea. You can easily track your phone and keep an eye on your loved ones always.

My Droid App

My Droid App
My Droid App

If you have this app already installed before you have lost your phone and the wifi and GPS is activated on the phone, no need to worry. It’s an amazing app that helps you to retrieve your android.

All you need is to send an SMS on your number from a different phone and you will get the location details within some time.

There are two other features of this app

  1. Make the phone ring even when it is on silent mode – Send a text SMS from another number and it will ring. This is a great feature if you suspect that the phone is nearby you but cannot locate it or forgot where you have seen it last. The best part is that the phone will ring even if it was initially set on the silent mode.
  2. Coordinate with Google map – If you have lost your phone and it’s not ringing when you have sent an SMS, understand that it is not in the home. But that’s not a problem if you have the phone tracker app installed in your device. All you need is to send a text SMS to activate the cell phone’s GPS and then you will receive a Google Map link that targets its location. This also comes in handy if you are about to launch an FIR. The police can easily track your phone with this Google map link.

However, bear in mind that you have to keep your GPS mode on in your phone prior to losing. And no need to worry even if your battery was low or the phone may get switched off for sending a GPS link. The trap will only request its location and get access from the GPS tracker.

But what if you don’t have this app installed on your device? Cannot you find it ever again! Relax. We have a solution for that as well. Check out our Plan B which is convenient for everyone who doesn’t have this app installed on their phone.

Plan B app

Plan B app
Plan B app

Plan B is an amazing app that helps to find out your lost android device or even tab when the GPS of the device is activated. It is solely designed for a purpose – to allow you to know the location of your phone by sending a coordinating map to your Google email account. This account has to be registered with the Google Play. It takes only a few minutes after you start to access it remotely.

Does it sound complicated? A deeper understanding of the app installation and application will allow you to understand it’s not really so. Let’s check it out then.

Follow these simple steps

  1. Log in through your Google account on your desktop or laptop. Use the same Google account that you have used for logging into your android device.
  2. Install the app Plan B from Google Play through the computer onto your phone.
  3. Instantly the app will start and you will receive an email on your desktop about your phone’s present location.

Alternatively, you may try to locate the phone by messaging “locate” to your phone from a different one.

The sole disadvantage of the app is that if the phone is in wrong hands or someone has stolen it, the thief may try to uninstall the app as you are seeking to install the app remotely from your desktop or laptop. Nevertheless, the app has some really good reviews on the Google play store and you won’t face any problem installing it.

Now that you have learnt the application and installation procedure and its activity, Plan B sounds to be a great app and the initial confusion is completely resolved, right? Its simple user interface along with its intuitive design will allow you to track your lost android device in a hassle-free manner.

So, that was all about how to find your device which may be in your home or lost or stolen. We hope you found it useful. Let us know in the comment box.

Let’s move on to a different type of tracking

In the following passages, we will discuss how you can track other people’s phones. By now you must be wondering why you can’t use the previously mentioned two apps to track others’ devices. Well, for the following reasons:

  1. You may not know other’s Google account id and password and cannot access it remotely to install the app on the phone (as in the case of Plan B).
  2. The app may not be installed on that device you are trying to track and its Wifi and GPS may not be enabled ( as in the case of my droid).
  3. Once you try to track with these two apps, the mobile phone owner will receive a notification. If it’s your phone that is left at someplace or fallen at a wrong hand, that’s no problem. But when you are accessing or tracking others’ phone, you need to be more discreet. You cannot let them know that you are tracking them. So if the phone rings suddenly, as in the case of my droid, you will be in a difficult position.

Find My Device

Find My Device
Find My Device

This app is a must-have in your phone if you have an android device. Especially if you have a Google account, must launch this app from Google Play store. If you don’t have an account with Google yet, we recommend you to get one.

Once you download this app, it automatically gets turned on. You don’t have to worry about it draining your phone battery as it will run in the background without wasting your battery. You will also not face any trouble in operating any other app as it doesn’t interfere with the functionality of any other even while running in the background.

Download and install the app from Google play store

Once you download and install the app from Google play store, you can check whether it has automatically been activated or not. Simply go to your settings then touch the security option. There you will find that the app Find my Device has a blue sign beside it – mentioning it is already active. However, if your smartphone has a special feature ( many modern-day smartphones are equipped with this feature for enhancing security and allowing a greater control to the manual users) that doesn’t let this app turn on automatically, you can easily turn it on by navigating to the settings menu. Then touch security and check the box beside Find my Device to turn it on.

This app is absolutely free to use and extremely user friendly. However, you can get some extra premium features by upgrading the app with in-app purchases. But the general features are enough for people to use it without any hassles.

Now comes the most important and interesting part

How to locate your stolen or lost android device with this Find my Device app. Go through the following passages to learn about it:

Step 1

You can download the Find my Device app from the Google Play Store or from a third party site in its apk version. We recommend using the former, Google play store, for security purpose. However, if you prefer to use any trusted third-party app store to download the app make sure that your default settings of the phone allow that. Go to the settings and then in the downloads option, check the box for downloading and installing an app from the third-party store. Remember that the security of your phone and data will lie solely with your responsibility so you should always download from a reputed app site or store.

Step 2

After installing the app, log into it to ensure that your GPS location is turned on. This is a must as it will allow you to track the device once you lose it or it gets stolen.

Step 3

Once the application is running in the background, you can check to locate the android device as long as it is connected to the internet. For that, either you can keep the mobile data turned on or connect it with nearby wifi. Make sure to connect to secured wifi as a random wifi connection may divulge your data and the security of your data will be threatened.

Step 4

For better performance and more specific and accurate location tracking, we recommend you to turn the location service on so that GPS can track the location of your phone in a better way once it is lost or stolen. This, we admit, is an additional step.

Step 5

Once your device is lost, you can remotely lock the device and also send an SMS along with your alternative phone number or a trusted family member’s number to allow the rescuer call here. However, as you can expect, this will not work if the phone is stolen or falls into a wrong hand.

Step 6

When your phone is lost, you may play a sound or ring here from a different device remotely. This will play a loud sound even if the smartphone is on the silent or vibration mode. This especially works if your device is lost in your home. It will attract everyone’s attention and allow you to locate it easily.

Step 7

Unfortunately, in some of the worst-case scenario, if you lose all the hopes of recovering the device and the data of your phone is extremely sensitive or private, you may wipe these completely from the device. You can also enable a factory reset in the smartphone. And of course, you can accomplish all these remotely. This is an important feature as you can try this on your office phone or the one with very sensitive data.

Here are some cool features of an app tracker

Here are some cool features of an app tracker
Here are some cool features of an app tracker

Plays a sound

If you have lost your phone in the home, this feature is a lifesaver. You can easily track where your phone is. The tracker, once installed into your phone, will make a loud ring on your phone if you call your number from any other phone. And even if your phone was earlier on a silent or vibration mode, it will work. This works the best for many users and it’s one of the many reasons behind the increasing popularity of an app tracker.

Lock the phone

If you cannot find your smartphone in your home, it must be lost outside or fallen in the wrong hands. In such a scenario, you can lock it remotely either from another android device or a laptop or desktop. All you need is to sign in to the app tracker on any other device, enter your phone number that is on the lost phone, and that’s all. You can easily lock your phone even if it is not with you. With this feature, you can resist anyone else who has received your phone to access the device.

Send a text

If you have lost your phone and cannot find it, you may send a text message from your alternate phone or any other family member or friend’s device to the number that is on your lost phone. The tracker will show the message to the person who has got your phone. If your message contains your contact details, you may request the person to be generous enough and return your android device.

Erase data

Now what if the previous doesn’t apply? In fact, we cannot expect that a thief or ill-minded person will return you your smartphone just by reading the message. In such a case where you have lost your hope to get your smartphone back, you can erase the data inside it. This is extremely important for government or corporate officials. This will allow them to remove any sensitive data. Also, other than them, if anyone has any personal data or private images stored into a device that can be maliciously exploited if it falls into a wrong hand, he or she can easily delete such data remotely. For that, the tracker has to be installed in the device.

How to Track Other’s Android Devices

How to Track Other's Android Devices
How to Track Other’s Android Devices

Follow these simple ways to track others’ android devices:

1. LociLoci

LociLoci is one of the popular family locators in the play store market. The most convenient feature of this service is that it doesn’t require any app installation. It can easily work on tracking any phone instantly. This facility can be availed by any of your friends and family irrespective of the operating system of their devices. It works substantially on android, Blackberry, iPhone or any regular phone.

LociLoci is a free service that you can try for the first seven days and you don’t have to enter your credit or debit card details for this.

If any of your family members have any android phone, then too, no app is necessary at all. Nevertheless, GPS accuracy of the very device that wants to track needs to be activated. Also, if the phone has a GPS chip, which mostly all of the devices have, the purpose is solved. LociLoci uses a particular feature named as assisted GPS. Here it wakes up the GPS on the smartphone for detecting the location with a specific accuracy.

It is absolutely a hassle-free cell phone tracker service with an easy and sleek design that is extremely user friendly. If you use the “Find my Friends” option, you will find the intuitive interface of LociLoci to be extremely similar. Here the features or any extra layers are clutter on the map so that the users don’t get confused. In fact, you can pinpoint the device you want to track.

2. Trusted Contacts

If all of your family members have android phones, it’s better to be a bit upgraded than LociLoci. For that, you may use Trusted Contacts. This is an advanced version of the former Google Latitude app. Install, configure and learn the details about it as it sure is the best possible phone tracker app with awesome location accuracy. Nevertheless, you may face some problem in using it across multiple platforms. However, if you are using an android phone to detect another, this is the best possible option.

Let’s talk a little bit about this app

Trusted contacts is an amazing cell device tracker app and it is free. It is particularly fascinating for tracking any android phone. But you need to ensure that the phone you are tracking has this app installed and also have GPS enabled.

We recommend you to follow a quick trick. Access your family members’ phone to install this app on their devices. You may also try suggesting them to install it. Then whenever necessary you may enable GPS on the device remotely from your desktop. You have seen this in the earlier examples where we discussed tracking your phone that is not your home. Follow the same procedure here. That way you can easily detect the location of any family member’s phone. And remember, this does not require the need for GPS enabling.

Further, we recommend that you definitely install some apps for Trusted Contacts to minimize battery wastage and better performance. Once you install the app from the play store, the in-app message shows you which apps you need to enhance the accuracy and performance of this app.

This can be considered as a limitation of the app that your phone must have various apps in it to ensure that trusted contacts are working properly.

3. Life 360

Just as its name, Life 360 offers a 360-degree performance and you won’t have anything to complain about it. This service offers a comprehensive family android phone tracking solution by utilising two innovative technologies as mentioned below:

  1. GSM cell phone tracking technology. There is no need to install any app for this
  2. GPS cell phone tracking technology. You do not need an app here as well as there is a GPS chip inside any and every smartphone. With this, tracking the phone becomes easy. Nowadays all the smartphones have this GPS chip. However, it is always better to talk to the customer care service if your smartphone is old. If the phone doesn’t have a GPS chip, this service may not be the right one for you.

This is available on Google play and works absolutely fine with any android device. It has amazing technology where your phone’s battery drainage reduces. The GPS is running in the background for sending data of the phone’s specific location.

Will you believe if we tell you this? The app ranked first in Google android developer challenge for all the available mobile phone apps!

Yes, it’s true!

Life 360 claims that they have over 25 million registered users and this speaks volumes of their credibility. The reviewers in Google Play store also submitted some generous comments about the high performance of the app. Check it out and see how accurately it can locate an android device that has a GPS enabled in it. So, what are you waiting for?

Leif Volkman

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