We did the research so you don’t have to
There are many reasons why people use a family GPS locator app.
You can check on your kids to see they make it home safe after school. You can watch over your special other while they’re out on a jog, or you can use a GPS tracker to keep an eye on your elderly relatives to make sure they’re OK.
This type of app is ideal for families that need that extra little safety net and peace of mind.
Let’s take a look at the top 7 best family GPS locator apps on the market and find the one that suits your needs best.
But before that – do you even know what a GPS locator is? A quick explanation is in order.
A GPS locator app is an application that uses GPS signals from satellites to show your location or that of a family member on a map. In short, you can see where people are. Or rather – their phones.
Nearly every modern smartphone has the capacity to pick up on these signals and you don’t need to pay anything for this service.
So, what GPS locator apps do is they take the location data of the people who have joined the app (and given you permission to see their location) and display it through a custom user interface. Simple as that.
But if you google “family locator” or “GPS tracking app”, you’ll probably find hundreds of apps like that. Are there any differences between them and how do you choose the best one?
No worries – we’ve put together this list of the top 7 GPS locator apps to help you out. We’ll explain the PROs and CONs of each app so you can make an informed decision. We’ve also made sure to include apps for both Android & iOS so you can find something for your particular device.
When looking at these types of apps, you need to consider four factors: price, features, privacy, and design. We evaluated each of these apps and here are our findings.
There’s a reason why Intui is on top of this list – it looks great, works perfectly, and it’s 100% free. Intui is available both on Android and iOS, which means you can join groups with family and friends regardless of the type of phone they have.
Intui’s standout feature – it’s unique activity tracker – also lets you better understand what your loved ones are up to and you can see up to 6 types of different activities, including running, cycling, driving, and others.
Not only is it 100% free, it’s also 100% private. The team highlights that privacy and security is their primary focus to make sure your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Beyond that, Intui is super lightweight – it doesn’t have many features but that means it won’t drain your battery as quickly as some of the other GPS locator apps on the list.
Oh, and those animal profile pictures will have your family spend hours choosing their favorite one!
Features: Location and battery tracker, activity tracker, privacy controls
Privacy: Best there is – users have full control of data
Design: Sleek and intuitive
Download: iOS (5⭐️) | Android (5⭐️)
GeoZilla is a staple in the GPS tracking app scene and a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a family tracker. It offers all the core functionalities you’d expect – location sharing, location alters, location history, and SOS alerts. Moreover, it has an inbuilt messenger so you can connect with your group members with DMs and images.
If that’s not enough for you, there’s also crash detection and driver safety features, and it works with wearables, in case that’s your thing.
Perhaps our favorite feature is GeoZilla’s battery saving trick – you can turn on and use Significant Location Change, which, as they explain, “ensures the family location tracker is in sleep mode until you have significantly moved on the map to keep the GPS at bay and your battery life from draining.”
There’s only one real downside – it’s a bit pricey. So if you’re looking for a free family GPS tracker, then sorry to disappoint.
Price: 3 days free trial, then weekly premium subscription from $5.99
Features: Location sharing & history, location alerts, crash detection, battery-saving
Design: Intuitive and friendly
Download: iOS (4.5⭐️) | Android (4.2⭐️)
FamiSafe is more than just a location tracker. In fact, the location tracking feature is secondary. But it’s so very well done that we had to include it on the list.
That’s right, FamiSafe is more of a parental control type of app. It lets you monitor your kids’ online activities in various ways including setting screen time, blocking websites, and reviewing activity, among other things. But that’s all irrelevant for this article.
What we’re really interested in is its location tracking and, truth be told, it’s great. It’s simple, looks fantastic, and is easy to use. The location history feature is perfect for checking up on what your kids have been up to.
Still, it’s a paid app. Is it worth paying up just for the location tracker? Maybe. And if you think you’ll benefit from the other features, then – absolutely.
Price: Try free for 3 days, and then it’s $9.99/mo
Features: Location sharing, location history, parental controls
Privacy: Good news – FamiSafe doesn’t share data with third parties
Design: Gorgeous and simple design
Download: iOS (4.6⭐️) | Android (5⭐️)
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense GPS tracker, then perhaps this is the solution for you. Family locator offers the basics, i.e. location tracking, alongside a handful of more advanced options such as geofencing, location alerts, and private groups.
It’s an app that will get the job done, but it certainly won’t knock your socks off. Still – this tends to be a good sign. Apps that aren’t over-bloated with features (that you’ll never use) tend to be kinder to your phone’s battery and won’t drain it as much.
Judging by the download count, it’s a popular option, but it looks like iOS users are having a better time with it.
Price: Basic features free, but offers various paid features
Features: Location sharing, geofencing, location alerts
Privacy: Not clear, be careful
Design: Pragmatic, clunky
Download: iOS (4.6⭐️) | Android (4.3⭐️)
The most popular and notorious app on the list, Life360 is the best known GPS locator app. It has all the features you’ll ever need and its biggest benefit is that you won’t have to explain to friends and family what it is.
It’s a great solution, but it has been marred by privacy scandals and has earned a bad rep among kids. Still, as far as safety apps go, you can’t go wrong with it – you’ll get all the features you expect and more. Much more. Perhaps too much more.
The app has gotten so big that it has evolved beyond a simple location sharing app. If you need all the premium functionalities it offers, it’ll be perfect for you and that’s why it made the list. If not, then we recommend something simpler and cheaper.
Price: Basic features free, with various premium packages from $2.99+
Features: Location sharing, driver assist, SOS alert, insurance
Privacy: Problematic – lots of scandals, though they say they’ve changed
Design: It gets the job done, can get hectic at times
Download: iOS (4.6⭐️) | Android (4.6⭐️)
When it comes to family safety apps, iSharing is another household name. It’s one of the most popular apps of its kind, with over 10 million downloads on Android alone.
Real-time location tracking allows you to see where your group members are currently at. But perhaps its coolest feature is the driving safety one that lets you see how safely your family members are behaving on the road. This accountability encourages being more mindful behind the wheel and in doing so can help avoid accidents.
Its panic feature, where you have to only shake your phone can also help easily get attention if something has gone awry. All in all, it’s a pretty solid choice and a great alternative to Life360.
Price: Basic features are free, but premium services are expensive
Features: Location sharing, place alert, driving report, panic alert
Privacy: They share data with 3rd parties.
Design: Functional and appealing
Download: iOS (4.8⭐️) | Android (4.5⭐️)
That’s right – you can use Google Maps as a GPS tracker. We had to include it in the list because everyone knows what Google Maps are but not everyone knows how to use it to share their location.
Truth be told, it’s not a full-blown family GPS tracker, mostly because of the family aspect of it. You can share your location and the other people you share it with will see where you are for a limited period of time.
It’s an ideal solution for those of you looking for something quick and easy and if you don’t want to bother with setting up groups. Yes, even you iPhone people – it’s available on the App Store, too.
It’s simple. Once you’ve chosen your app of choice, simply head over to the Play Store or App Store on your smartphone and download the family locator app you prefer. Then, ask whoever you want to exchange your location with to do the same.
Chances are that the app will ask you permission to access your location services and if you want it to work, you’ll need to accept. After that – just follow the respective family tracking app’s setup guide. It should be super straight-forward.
You don’t need to set up any GPS stuff or anything else. Once everyone you want to share your location with joins the group, then you should be able to see them in your app!
It’s true that parents are the main users of these apps. They can watch over their kids and see if they’re safe at school or if they’re going to their after-school activities, like they promised they would. You can check if they missed their bus, or how they’re doing on their field trip.
But a family locator can also be used by couples to watch over each other. For example, checking in before a call to make sure the other person isn’t driving. Or keeping a watchful eye over them while they're out for some exercise, to make sure nothing happens to your SO.
Some families even use apps like Intui to find each other when on vacation – everyone is free to go do what they’re interested in and they can easily find their family since their location can be seen on the map.
Intui is available both on Android and iOS. It’s 100% free, does exactly what it says on the tin, and ensures maximum safety – it’s encrypted and doesn’t sell your location to snooping third parties.
More than that, it’s got a cool activity tracker and your kids will LOVE the funky animal profile pictures!