Phone Tracking App

This may seem counterintuitive to a group that is committed to privacy, but I need a simple app to find my spouse who is in the early stages of dementia and tends to get lost. I’d prefer not to have to pay for a subscription services, but simply something which will pinpoint their geographical location. Ant recommendations?

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

I hate to say it, having moved away from Apple, but I got my parents iPhones, after my father with dementia went missing.

My mother ensured his phone was charged each night, and each morning popped it into a secure pouch on his belt.

His iPhone was not pass code or fingerprint locked, with contact details for my mother on the home screen, and just her number in contacts, so if he got lost and some nice person helped him and found the phone they could ring my mother.

Having both phones on the same Apple account made “Find my iPhone” easy to use.

I taught my mother how to use it, and often when I visited, I took my father out for a walk, and got my mother to wait 15 minutes, and then come to find us, which she managed, and she is generally useless with tech. That time he went missing really shook her up, and I believe focussed her mind to learn how to use it.

I wouldn’t recommend Apple products anymore, but in this use case I found them excellent, and no monthly fees (except cellular contract or PAYG). It gave my mother real peace of mind.

Eset Parental Control. Found on appstore. For kids phones, but of course works with any phone. Good geolocation service.

I wonder if FindMyDevice would work. It can return the location of a phone.
Android only.

Here is what I get when I use it to locate my other phone which is with me. Map points exactly where I am at work.

FindMyDevice (Locate your smartphone via SMS when it gets lost)


PhoneTrack can also reply to a SMS.
And sync moves history with a NextCloud instance (not implemented in /e/ Cloud …).

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FindMyDevice did not work for me on /e/.
Stuck on configuration panes.
A problem already known by the dev.

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I just found an app called “TICE – Secure GPS Location Sharing with Friends” in the /e/ os app store.
So far I just installed it and connected two devices. The app is also in f-droid, but that version needs a token for the mapbox map, which is based on openstreetmap and used by the app. The /e/ os app store version don’t asked for that token.
After open the app you have solve a captcha and choose a name. No account needed. Then you are asked to create a group, which is only necessary on one device. After that you get a link, that you share with the other devices you want to connect to the gorup. On the other device open the link with the tice app and that device joins the group you created on the first device. Maybe you have to scroll in a little bit, if the map is not shown. But when one device shares position it scroll in by itself.
So far pretty need. I have no clue about battery usage.
Here are the links:

It’s not exactly what is asked for. Because you can’t activate gps tracking remotely.
In that case it’s the easiest way to use the google/apple built in service, I guess.

Many thanks to those who so kindly took their time to reply to my question.

Looking at the suggestions, it seems that Eset Parental Control requires a fairly hefty monthly subscription. FindMyDevice seems to be closely linked to Google, which I would really prefer to avoid. PhoneTrack, at first glance, looks like a good option and I’m going to try it out. TICE seems interesting but may have been involved in nefarious activity according to a report on ABC News.

Once again, thank you all. And from a location almost half a world away from where you are in Europe, I’d also like to say that our thoughts in western Canada are with you at this difficult time. May you all remain safe.

How is FindMyDevice linked to Google? Did you confuse it with something else? It uses SMS and I think his own server in Germany.
I use it on one of my ROMs where all Google (and FB) domains are blocked. So definitely no Google.

Plus it is from the F-Droid repo with no anti-features.

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So I used to use google maps to track my wife and vice versa. It was convenient. With /e/ I wanted something similar. tldr I use Owntracks with my own non logging mosquitto server at home on a raspberry pi.

Thanks MarcDW for your comments. I confess that I am unclear about the relationship between Google and Find My Device, but these are some of the comments I have found that seem to indicate that one exists:

How to get started with Find My Device

Open Find Device from your home screen or app drawer.

Select the Google account you want to use the service with.

Hit the Continue as button.

Enter your Google account password.

Tap Sign in.

Give location access to the service.

FRom another link:

Find My Device has actually been a part of Android since 2013 — originally under the name “Android Device Manager,” which stuck around until Google’s broad Android security rebranding

Next, pull up the Google section of your phone’s system settings (or the Google Settings app, on some older devices) and scroll down to the line labeled “Security.” Tap that, then tap “Find My Device” on the next screen that appears.

Kind regards and keep safe.

Oh I see. An unfortunate naming thing.
“Find My Device” and FindMyDevice are two different and unrelated items (other than purpose ofc). The lack of spaces in the name is key. I refer you to the latter.

Also, it feels to me that you did not go to and read anything regarding FindMyDevice, at its GitHub for instance. Would’ve been fairly clear to see that one was not the other. Don’t even look the same. The F-Droid description as well as the README online (unread?) have shots. Compare?

Thanks again for your continuing interest. The developer of this application has posted the following remarks:

So an explanation, I lost my new phone.
And because I don’t use Google Services I couldn’t locate it and so I was f****.*
In the hope that this doesn’t happen again, I developed this application, that can locate the phone via SMS.
After it is installed, you can enter some entries in the list of phone numbers allowed to locate this device.
Just send a SMS with “fmd” to receive the syntax how to locate the phone.


- Locate the phone via SMS
- Lock the phone
- Let the phone ring
- Delete the phone

Planned Features:

- Recognize networks that are near the phone
- Locate the phone without GPS or network

I still can’t afford a new phone, so if you want to help I am very happy to receive donations.

This application is still in beta.
If this app doesn’t work, it’s not my fault, it’s the fault of the holy Satan and the missing lines that weren’t on the right spot.
I try my best to develop the app, but I still have to work regularly.
So sorry, if it didn’t worked out.

So it would seem that Findmydevice is a not yet ready for prime time. While searching around I have found something that looks as if it going to work out for me: Where’s My Droid

Once again my regards to yourself.

Ah, okay. Wouldn’t have hurt to actually try something, IMO. Works for me on four devices.

Where’s My Droid seems feature rich and polished. Good find. :+1:

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