learn to track

Google Latitude for iPhone/Android: review

Please Note

Google Latitude was retired on August 9th, 2013 and the service is no longer available as an app. We recommend you check out our page on alternative mobile phone trackers to Latitude. See alternative mobile phone trackers

Name:Google Latitude
Rating:4 stars
Works:Works in all countries with Wifi or 3G data roaming.
Type:Phone tracking
Platform:iPhone, Android and most other smartphones.

The Bottom Line: The best free app available, complicated invitation-process, especially if you have an Android!

Location technologies:

GPS – Yes
Wi-fi access points – Yes
Cell-towers – Yes


Google Latitude is the most accurate and advanced free location app that exists at the moment. Google has spent a lot of time and money on building Wi-Fi access point’s map that helps them to more accurately track phones.


Google Latitude is available in 27 counties according to their blog post from 2009.

Since Google Latitude uses all the available technologies for location tracking, the accuracy is really good.

When we tested it we got the accuracy to about 10-15 meters with full 3G coverage and good Wi-Fi coverage. Google has not given an official statement on how accurate their service is, but all in all it is about 5-100 meters from other user experiences. Keep in mind that it varies a lot from the coverage you have and location you are at.

Latitude is one of the few popular phone tracker that exists on the most popular smartphones as an app.

Ease of use:

The person you are adding has to have a Google account or application. If you want to add a person to track their phone that does not have a Google account it is a little more complicated since you first have to have an account to add your friends to Latitude.

It will be pretty difficult to add an elderly person with no computer skill what so ever. For that purpose, we recommend trying something more user friendly, like Lociloci or a personal GPS device.

Google Latitude is overall pretty easy to use when you have added all friends you want. One disadvantage is that when you have “Background Updating” setting turned “ON” your battery runs out twice as quickly. If you want to have a continuous tracking you have to buy your friend an extra emergency-battery as well. When we “turned off” that setting, only then did we see the Google Latitude battery usage go back to normal.

Google Latitude therefore has to be “turned on” when needed or your friends have to regularly “Check-In” on a location in order for you to follow them. A bummer for an otherwise interesting app!

However, if you are all have Android phones (Google’s own mobile OS) luckily you can install apps that will better regulate battery drain from GPS usage and thus minimise the risk of your phone being depleted. Once again, this is a cumbersome process that requires some tech know-how. This is the only reason we are not giving this phone tracker app 5 stars.


Functional design but not really the sexiest design ever, pretty typical for Google’s design in general – “minimalistic boring”.
Google Latitude phone tracker app has a cool feature that you can add pictures to your Google account that comes up on the marking of the location.


The privacy policy is the same as for creating a Google Account. You can both hide your location and manually set your location.




None since it’s free.

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