Home Spy Apps Best Apps To Track Cell Phone Location in 2024
Disclosure
Disclosure
In our content, we occasionally include affiliate links. Should you click on these links, we may earn a commission, though this incurs no additional cost to you. Your use of this website signifies your acceptance of our terms and conditions as well as our privacy policy.

Tracking a cell phone’s location can serve various practical purposes. Parents, for example, want to know their children’s whereabouts for safety reasons. Business managers may also rely on GPS monitoring to track assets and ensure smooth team management.

However, common tracking methods like location sharing have their limitations, and might not be suitable for emergency situations or more advanced monitoring needs. In such cases, tracking apps provide superior accuracy and functionality.

For such cases, we compiled a list of the best cell phone trackers with noteworthy features like live location tracking, location history, and automatic geofencing alerts.

In This Guide

How to Track Cell Phone Location Right Now

  1. Find a location tracker in the app store.
  2. Install the app on your device and on the target phone.
  3. Open the app and follow the instructions to set up an account.
  4. Allow necessary permissions to run the app on the target device.
  5. Log into your account to track the target phone.
  6. For an easy, jailbreak-free solution, you can try mSpy.

Best Apps To Track Cell Phone Location In 2024

Many phone number trackers promise quick and easy GPS monitoring, but not all deliver. 

We did the research and put together a list of only the most reliable tracking solutions suited for various use cases:

  1. mSpy – Overall Best Location Tracker With No Jailbreak Requirements
  2. Spynger – Best Location Tracker With Fully Stealthy GPS and WiFi Monitoring
  3. uMobix – Most Affordable Location Tracker Without Installation On Target Phone
  4. Hoverwatch – Best Location Tracker For Use On Multiple Devices
  5. Phonsee – Best Location Tracker With Automatic Geofencing Alerts
  6. Cocospy – Best Location Tracker For Overall Ease of Use

Our in-depth reviews will help you pinpoint which app has the best features and pricing for your specific needs.

Reviews of the Best Apps To Track Cell Phone Location in 2024

Before choosing an app to track a phone number, it’s important to weigh your options. The following reviews will give you a rundown of each app’s unique features, pros, cons, and pricing to help you identify the best option for you.

1. mSpy – Overall Best Location Tracker With No Jailbreak Requirements

mSpy is the overall best location tracker thanks to its accessible price, ease of setup, and comprehensive GPS monitoring features.

mSpy lets you see someone’s movement throughout the day, including their location history and travel routes. This way, you can go back and check their previous check-ins to get an idea about their daily activities.

Thanks to its geofencing features, you can also set automatic alerts for selected locations. You won’t have to keep checking the app to be in the loop. If your child leaves school early, for example, mSpy will let you know right away!

mSpy’s location tracker map view

The app’s user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate – a big bonus if you’ve never used a GPS tracker before. For more comprehensive information on additional parental control features, check out our complete mSpy review in 2024.

Pricing

Though mSpy won’t let you track a cell phone location for free, the app has three affordable plans. 

For indefinite use, the yearly plan offers the best value for $16.67/mo. New customers also get 30% off on their first month.

mSpy has monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscription plans

Pros

  • No installation required for iOS devices
  • Real-time updates on tracked Android devices
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Automated geofencing alerts
  • Fully stealthy operation

Cons

  • Information updates for iOS devices can be slow
  • Needs installation for Android target devices
  • One subscription covers only one device
  • Strict refund policy

2. Spynger – Best Location Tracker With Fully Stealthy GPS and WiFi Monitoring

Spynger is an affordable tracking solution with reliable GPS and WiFi monitoring features best suited for parental control.

Whether you want to know someone’s current location or past check-ins, Spynger can help you with that. This tracker records and displays someone’s location and WiFi history in a neat, easy-to read format that includes addresses, dates, and check-in times.

You can always go back and see exactly where your loved ones have been, and for how long. For Android devices, Spynger also lets you set up geofencing alerts, so you’ll be notified instantly when they leave the perimeter or enter a potentially dangerous area.

Spynger’s GPS tracker on the dashboard

Spynger excels at being stealthy, which is great if you want to check in on your child without making it obvious. You don’t need access to iOS devices to use this tracker. For Android phones, you can hide the Spynger app after installation.

If you want to learn more about Spynger’s additional monitoring features, you can read our full Spynger Review for 2024.

Pricing

Spynger lets you choose between monthly, quarterly, or yearly billing cycles, with the annual plan being the cheapest in the long run. For $14.27/month (or $171.24/year), you get the best value and can use Spynger indefinitely. 

New customers also get 35% off on their first billing cycle, so you could save $59.94 on your first year with Spynger.

Spynger’s monthly, quarterly, and annual plans

Pros

  • No installation required to track iOS devices
  • Fully stealthy GPS monitoring
  • Geofencing alerts & WiFi history tracking for Android
  • Very user-friendly

Cons

  • Requires iOS credentials for iPhone tracking
  • Location updates for iOS can be slow
  • Android app drains phone battery faster

3. uMobix – Most Affordable Location Tracker Without Installation On Target Phone

uMobix is the easiest way to track cell phone location on the fly.

This app has not one, but two GPS-tracking features. The GPS-Location feature gives you instant updates on someone’s live location and location history. With it, you’ll know your loved ones’ whereabouts at all times. Unfortunately, it only tracks Android devices.

But the Geofinder feature works on both Android and iOS without jailbreaking or physical installation. You just send an anonymous SMS link and, once the target opens it, uMobix retrieves their location. Still, this feature won’t monitor routes or location history. 

uMobix’s dashboard with map and list locations

uMobix’s Geofinder feature has limited monitoring applications, but it can come in handy to find someone’s location quickly, without prior setup. It can also help you find your device that was lost or stolen, if the person who has your phone accesses the SMS link.

Check our uMobix review for 2024 for more information on the app’s feature package and use cases.

Pricing

Each uMobix plan provides the full feature package. The most cost-effective choice depends on how long you plan to use the app. 

A monthly plan costs $49.99/mo, while the yearly plan is considerably cheaper at $12.49/mo.

uMobix pricing plans

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Multiple additional monitoring features
  • Option to track location with just a phone number
  • No physical installation needed on iOS

Cons

  • Live data tracking can be delayed, especially on iOS
  • Location tracking features on iOS are limited
  • Requires physical access to install on Android devices
  • One subscription covers only one device

4. Hoverwatch – Best Location Tracker For Use On Multiple Devices

Hoverwatch lets you track up to 25 devices, so it’s easily scalable for team monitoring.

Hoverwatch is a versatile solution. Like other apps on this list, it tracks cell phone location  and route history through both GPS and Wi-Fi connections. But it can also track laptops and computers, which is great if you have to monitor multiple types of company devices.

If you’re wondering how to track a phone when the GPS or Wi-Fi are turned off, Hoverwatch also lets you do that through cell phone tower triangulation. Whatever happens, you can ensure no company phone is lost or stolen, even if it goes completely offline.

Hoverwatch’s location tracking display

The control panel displays the location data on an interactive map with clean date, time, and address labels. You can readily switch between tracked devices on the left side menu, so you can get updated on your team’s whereabouts within seconds.

Our Hoverwatch review for 2024 covers all the app’s monitoring features and use cases if you want to learn more.

Pricing

Hoverwatch has three plans with monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscriptions. The yearly Personal plan is the cheapest at $8.3/mo. But it only monitors one device, so it’s best suited for individual applications like parental control.

The yearly Professional plan costs $16.66/mo and tracks five devices, while the yearly Business plan tracks 25 devices for $41.66/mo.

Hoverwatch plans for one to 25 devices

Pros

  • Compatible with Android, Windows, and Mac
  • Offline cell phone location tracking
  • Option to track up to 25 devices
  • Ability to track devices on the go with the Mobile Viewer
  • Great value for the yearly plans

Cons

  • Not available for iOS phones
  • No geofencing alerts

5. Phonsee – Best Location Tracker With Automatic Geofencing Alerts

Phonsee is among the best parental control apps, thanks to its comprehensive array of monitoring features.

This solution makes it easier than ever to track cell phone location and set geofencing alerts. Real-time location, route history, location timeline, and their most visited destinations – you can see it all in a neat, easy-to-read format in the app’s control panel.

You can always go back and check where (and when) your child has been throughout the day. Phonsee’s handy location timestamps will tell you whether they’re frequently late for class, or missing their curfew when you’re away.

Phonsee’s GPS location feature display

The best part is Phonsee lets you set as many geofencing alerts as you want for both restricted and permitted locations. If your child leaves the perimeter or enters an unapproved area, Phonsee sends you an automatic alert so you can know and act right away.

To learn more about this tracking solution, please read our full Phonsee review.

Pricing

Phonsee’s monthly plan can be a bit pricey at $68.56/mo. If you plan to use the app for a limited time only, the quarterly plan is considerably cheaper, at $39.99/mo.

For long-term use, the yearly plan costs $14.27/mo (around $171/year). Phonsee also gives new customers 38% off on the first month.

Phonsee’s monthly, quarterly, and yearly plans

Pros

  • Cross-platform compatibility (Android, iOS)
  • Compatibility with older Android and iOS models
  • Detailed location tracking and location history filters
  • Automatic geofencing alerts

Cons

  • Jailbreak may be required to enable location tracking
  • Rooting may be required for Wi-Fi tracking on Android
  • iOS devices have lighter monitoring feature packages

6. Cocospy – Best Location Tracker For Overall Ease of Use

Cocospy is an affordable, user-friendly app with basic location tracking features.

Cocospy tracks live GPS locations, plus location history and routes. The app logs all location changes with the full address and entry or exit time. Thanks to this thorough data, you’ll know the places they frequent and how long they stay there

The app’s handy Wi-Fi tracker also shows you a phone’s active Wi-Fi connection, which you can block remotely to protect company-issued devices. Wi-Fi tracking can also help parents, as it shows a child’s location in indoor places like the school, where GPS signals might not reach as well.

Cocospy’s minimalist monitoring dashboard

Cocospy takes under 5 minutes to set up and requires no jailbreaking or rooting. The iOS version is web-based and fully undetectable, while the Android app is hidden and has very low battery use. Moreover, the intuitive and clutter-free dashboard makes the app easy to navigate, even for those without prior experience.

For more information on its features and performance, see our 2024 Cocospy review.

Pricing

Cocospy has monthly, quarterly, and yearly plans. The monthly plan is $49.99/mo and comes with 30 days of data storage for Android devices.

The other options are progressively cheaper; the yearly plan costs $12.49/mo and comes with 180 days of storage data.

Cocospy has three plans with different billing cycles

Pros

  • Quick and easy setup
  • No jailbreaking or rooting needed
  • Wi-Fi detection for indoor tracking
  • User-friendly UI
  • Low battery usage

Cons

  • One subscription covers only one device
  • Most location tracking features are only available for Android
  • Remote Wi-Fi control only for Android

Best Cell Phone Location Trackers Compared

To help you identify the best phone location tracker, we’ve put together a quick summary of our top picks with their price, compatibility, number of devices covered, and more:

Location Tracking App Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Money-Back Guarantee
mSpy $69.99 $16.67/mo 1 Android, iOS, iPads Demo 14 day refund policy
Spynger  $68.56 $14.27/mo 1 Android, iOS No 30 day refund policy
uMobix $49.99 $12.49/mo 1 Android, iOS, Android tablet, iPad Demo 14 day refund policy
Hoverwatch $29.95 $11.99/mo  Up to 25 Android, Mac, Windows No No
Phonsee $68.56 $14.27/mo 1 Android, iOS Demo 14 day refund policy
Cocospy $49.99 $12.49/mo 1 Android, iOS, tablet, iPad Demo 14 day refund policy

How to Use a Location Tracking App – Step-By-Step Guide

Phone location trackers are pretty easy to use, though the setup can be a bit confusing if you’ve never tried a tracking app before. We’ll give you an example of how these apps work using our top pick, mSpy, on Android:

Step 1 – Choose Your mSpy Subscription

Access the official mSpy website and click the ‘Try Now’ button to get started. Follow the steps to create your account and select a subscription plan.

You must use a valid address to sign up. Once you’re done, mSpy will send you an email with your login credentials and the app’s installation wizard.

How to sign up for mSpy

Step 2 – Deactivate Target Device’s Play Protect 

Open the Google Play app on the target device and find the ‘Play Protect’ feature in the account’s dropdown menu.

You’ll have to disable the ‘Scan apps with Play Protect’ option for mSpy to work on the device. After disabling, prepare to install the mSpy app on the target device.

Steps to turn off Play Protect

Step 3 – Log In And Install The App

Check your inbox for mSpy’s welcome email. Use the login credentials in the email to log into your mSpy control panel on the website. In the control panel, you’ll find the app’s installation wizard.

mSpy’s login page

Download the wizard on the target device, and follow the installation steps to sync up the phone.Once the installation is complete, scroll through the phone’s app list and click on the ‘Update Service’ icon. 

Follow the on-screen pop ups to allow all app permissions and hide mSpy on the target phone.

Step 4 – Start Monitoring

When you’re done, head to your mSpy control panel and click on the ‘GPS Location’ feature to monitor the target phone.

The app will now keep track of the phone’s live location and route history.

mSpy’s control panel displays all tracked data, including location

Why Use a Location Tracking App?

Location tracking apps are a bit of a gray area. They could threaten someone’s privacy when used abusively. However, there are some legitimate and perfectly legal reasons to use location trackers:

  • Parental control: As a parent or guardian, you can legally monitor a minor’s location to ensure their safety. Location trackers show their whereabouts and most frequented places, giving you better insight into their daily activities.
  • Protecting business property: It’s generally legal to use tracking apps on company-issued devices. This helps you protect company data and physical equipment from loss, theft, or unapproved use.
  • Finding a lost or stolen phone: If your device doesn’t have a ‘Find My Phone’ feature, a tracking app can make a good substitute. If you ever lose your phone or have it stolen, the app will help you locate the device.

Some people might use trackers to spy on a partner when they suspect cheating. However, using GPS trackers to monitor adults without their permission is illegal in many jurisdictions. Tracking someone without consent could also break their trust and strain your relationship.

How Do Cell Phone Location Trackers Work?

Phone location trackers typically require installation on the target device. Once installed, these apps run hidden in the background, collecting the phone’s information, including the live GPS location, and sometimes Wi-Fi and even cellular network data.

The recorded information is then sent to the app’s servers for processing. On your end, you’ll see the location data from a control panel, usually displayed as a pin on a map.

GPS, Wi-Fi, and network data all work to pinpoint a device’s location through different methods and with varying degrees of accuracy.

GPS is the most accurate for identifying outdoors locations and recording someone’s travel routes. Wi-Fi works best for indoors location placement or in urban areas where GPS signals may be weak. 

Some trackers can use cellular network data to triangulate a phone’s location, even when the phone’s GPS and Wi-Fi are turned off. However, this feature is quite rare.

Can You Track a Device With Location Sharing Disabled?

Generally, location trackers won’t work with location sharing disabled because they rely on GPS data for placement and monitoring. That’s why many location tracking apps may require physical access to the target device to enable location permissions.

Certain location trackers might use additional methods like Wi-Fi, IP, or cellular network tracking. These methods work when location sharing is turned off, though they’re not as accurate as GPS tracking, nor do they monitor location history and routes.

Cellular network and IP tracking, in particular, only provide an approximate location. Wi-Fi tracking is more accurate, but only works if the phone’s Wi-Fi is on and connected to a network. Most tracking apps only have GPS, though some also include Wi-Fi tracking.

How We Test Phone Location Tracking Apps For Our Reviews

Before we compile our top picks, we research and use each solution in practice to take note of the pros, cons, and reliability of a product. For a location tracker to make it on the list, it should check most of our must-haves:

  • Features: Must have accurate GPS placement and frequent location updates for smooth monitoring. Geofencing alerts, route history, and additional tracking methods like Wi-Fi are also a big plus.
  • Compatibility: Should have cross-platform compatibility and work on various OS models, including older ones.
  • Ease of use: Should be easy to install and have a comprehensive knowledge base. An intuitive and easy-to-navigate UI also helps to start tracking right away.
  • Pricing: It’s usually true that ‘you get what you pay for.’ But we do our best to identify those gems that provide the most reliable tracking features for an affordable price. 
  • User ratings: To keep an unbiased perspective, we cross-check our reviews with other users’ ratings and comments on platforms like TrustPilot, G2, or Reddit.

Our extensive prior experience testing other leading spy apps also gives us better insight into new products. Thanks to this, we know what to look for and can easily compare new location trackers to identify the best options.

Final Verdict – The Best Location Tracker in 2024

The best tracker depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. However, a reliable solution should have a comprehensive feature package, good functionality, and be accessible in terms of price and ease of use.

A tracker that checks all these boxes will help you effortlessly monitor and ensure your loved ones’ safety, even when they’re away. Any of our picks can help you do that, but many other similar apps exist.

If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend checking our top location tracker, mSpy. It gets first spot on our list thanks to its ease of use, affordable price, and comprehensive GPS monitoring features like route history and geofencing alerts.

Location Tracking Apps FAQs

Can you track a phone number for free?

How to track the live location of a mobile number?

How do I track a cell phone location on Google Maps for free?

How can I track a mobile number location for free?

Can you track iPhones without the users’ consent?

Can you track a phone without access?

References

The Tech Report - Editorial ProcessOur Editorial Process

The Tech Report editorial policy is centered on providing helpful, accurate content that offers real value to our readers. We only work with experienced writers who have specific knowledge in the topics they cover, including latest developments in technology, online privacy, cryptocurrencies, software, and more. Our editorial policy ensures that each topic is researched and curated by our in-house editors. We maintain rigorous journalistic standards, and every article is 100% written by real authors.

Diana Ploscaru Statistics & Tech Content Contributor

Diana Ploscaru Statistics & Tech Content Contributor

Diana is a seasoned writer with over four years of freelancing experience. Using her keen interest in statistics and data analysis, she specializes in crafting informative and practical content across various interesting topics.

She's also passionate about workflow optimization, constantly researching and trying out the newest tools and project management software. Because it's always exciting to find new ways to streamline daily tasks!

In her free time, she enjoys studying foreign languages and going for hour-long walks to reach her daily step goal.