Smartphones like Android operating system-based cellular phones and Apple's iPhones can be tracked via GPS using applications specifically designed for the purpose. Smartphones with Android OS can be tracked with apps such as Plan B, while iPhones can be tracked with the Find My iPhone app that comes bundled with iOS version 5 or later.
GPS is short for global positioning system, which is a satellite-based navigation system that provides real-time location and time information. The following shows the methods of tracking smartphones with Android OS and Apple's iOS via GPS with apps.
- Download the application
For smartphones with Android OS, download Plan B from the Google Play store. When using the app to track an Android phone that was already lost, log on to the Google account that is connected with the lost phone. The Find My iPhone app for iPhones comes pre-installed with iPhones purchased with iOS version 5. It can also be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.
When downloading Plan B, it will automatically download and install itself into the Android smartphone. Once it has finished downloading, it will send an email to the Google account with the GPS location of the phone. This is especially useful for tracking lost Android smartphones.
To track an Android smartphone, text the word "locate" using another phone and Plan B will send back an SMS with the GPS location of the phone. For iPhone users, use another iDevice with the Find My iPhone app. Launch the app with the user's Apple ID and the app will display the GPS location of the iPhone.