NOTE: Admittedly this blog post will have a short shelf life (1 day to be exact), but it nevertheless gives you a great head start for next Halloween!
It’s not ghosts, aliens, zombies and goblins that Ashley Hurts worries about on Halloween — it’s her 13-year-old son who goes trick or treating with friends this Halloween.
There is no magic age when it’s safe for your kids to go trick or treating alone. But there is a plethora of apps that will allow you to track them, right from your home computer. Yes, that’s right — this Halloween, a crop of geo-location apps can help parents keep tabs on their kids as they roam the neighborhood in search of tricks and treats.
Some of the apps use GPS technology on Smartphones. Apps include, Mobile-me, family-map and trick-or-tracker. Once the GPS on the phone is activated, you can monitor the kids from your home computer.
Top 5 Mobile Phone Apps to Track Your Trick-or-Treater This Halloween
Latitude is a FREE geo-location based app from Google and allows users to share their locations with selected family and friends. It stores your location history (which is not shared with anyone) and can be used as a standalone app or as an opt-in feature of Google Maps. There are versions of Latitude for Apple mobile devices (including an iPad app), Android-powered gadgets and BlackBerries.
The Trick or Tracker app monitors your child’s location, and notifies you if your child travels outside a pre-set perimeter. It costs $4.99 to download.
The Glympse app allows people to share their location, and you can download it for free. Your child would need to carry a Smartphone and you could track their location from your computer or mobile device.
Lookout wasn’t designed as a person-tracking app; it was created to help people find their lost smartphones or, failing that, at least lock down their data. The way to adapt it to Halloween duty, the Times explains, is to download “the app onto your child’s phone, log in online, click on the “missing device” tab, and locate the phone – and your child.” Lookout works on iPhones, iPads, Androids and BlackBerries.
Footprints is available only for iPhones, iPods and iPads. It requires users to download the app on both the parents’ phones and the children’s (or the trackees). This also means a paid subscription for each download, which is $4.99 each for two years, $2.99 for one year, 99 cents for three months and free for two months.
Something to keep in mind, some of these mobile phone apps are free, but others can be costly. Check with your phone carrier. You don’t need a smart phone for all of the applications.