GPS Tracker From FollowMee
I found this program and decided to give it a try on my phone since they offered a 15 day free trial. It is the GPS Tracker From FollowMee
WARNING: If you install through the play store, it is NOT stealth, not hidden. To install in stealth mode, go to their website and choose the stealth apk package (http://www.followmee.com/download/fmeeserv_hidden.apk).
I setup an account in less than a minute at the website (followmee.com) and then installed the app. Select “start”, then enter your username and password just created at the website.
The app warned that “to improve performance, you should enable high accuracy in Device Settings -> Location”.
Under settings, I noticed that the tracking interval was set to 10 minutes, changeable in the paid version 10 minutes to 24 hours.
Under the “Power Saving Mode” setting, I found “low”, “medium”, and “high”. According to the website:
Power Saving Mode
Please note that this setting is not used when vehicle tracking device is enabled. The GPS tracker app relies on GPS for positioning and GPS consumes a lot of battery power. Power Saving Mode is a setting to minimize GPS usage and therefore save battery power. When track interval is due, the GPS tracker app uses cell tower switch to detect if the device is still at the same place. If there is NO cell tower switch, the previously obtained location is considered current location and the app will not turn on GPS. If there is cell tower switch, the GPS tracker app will turn on GPS for a more accurate location scan.
- High setting (app default value) ensures the most power saving. It does not turn on GPS until there are two or more cell tower switches. This setting is perfect for driving great distance (5 miles or more). While High setting conserves battery, it might be less sensitive to detect new location. If you find out that FollowMee often fails to track new locations, you should adjust this setting lower.
- Medium setting has modest power saving. It does not turn on GPS until there is one cell tower switch. This setting is good for driving moderate distance (5 miles or less)
- Low setting always turns on GPS at track interval. Because it does not minimize GPS use, you should increase track interval or decrease GPS timeout to conserve battery. This setting is good for tracking small distance, like hiking, running, or cycling
This is an interesting offering, and something I have never seen on any of the other GPS/spy apps. If you are monitoring someone and are only worried when they get further from home, then you could use HIGH setting and keep battery use to a minimum.
LOGGING INTO WEB PANEL:
I received this message:
There is no GPS location data. Uncheck “Show Only GPS Location” to see if any network location. Otherwise, your device has not uploaded any location data. Open the tracker app in your device to ensure that it is running without error. For how to trouble shoot tracker problem, see the support page
That makes sense, as I have GPS turned off on my phone. I unchecked the box, and it showed the general location of where I was located. I turned GPS on and let GPS get a fix on my location. Reloaded the page on the web and my correct location was shown within 9 meters.
Cost: Free for tracking with no history and longer interval time (30 minutes between checks). To maintain history (“tracks” as they call it), subscribe to the one time STANDARD service of $2.99 or the PREMIUM service of $5.99. The only difference is premium gives you a “vehicle tracking service” which most people do not need.
Payment is by paypal, and it does not have to occur on the phone your are tracking! You can pay for the license while inside the control panel online. Another smart feature.
I played with the GEO FENCE. On the map, you drag the pointer to where you want the CENTER of the geo-fence to be. Then you fill in length (size) of the fence, the email to receive notifications, and whether you want “entry” or “exit” notifications.
Some programs require you to PHYSICALLY be at the center of where you want to get a geo-fence. Followmee allows you to move the pointer to any location to set the fence. That is a great feature.
Not a bad investment.
[UPDATE: TWO WEEKS LATER. I’M USING THE PAID VERSION ON THE LENOVO A916 TO SUPPLEMENT OTHER EXISTING GPS MONITORING.
I’m not impressed. Updates are infrequent. And the it doesn’t do one of the main functions that I found impressive:
No-Internet Contingency: Location data is uploaded to our secured server. When internet is temporarily unavailable, location data is cached (encrypted) in the iPhone. It resumes uploading when internet becomes available again
I assumed that is how it would work in the Android, but I was mistaken. There appears to be no storage on the Android device for locations. Because there are never any updates that show any type of history.
On demand update NEVER worked.
Even though the basic service is free, it isn’t worth the price. You are better off staying with Google Location History, which seems to be 1000% more accurate than followmee. [I’ve changed my opinion a little since using the program in a “branded phone” — keep reading.
[UPDATE: Another week later on the Lenovo A916: Google Location History has dozens of points on the map showing the locations of this phone. Followmee has not had an update to the location in five days! ]
Followmee requires GPS/LOCATION services to be ON; and tells you in the error log that you must “enable High-accuracy” on the phone — meaning more battery use by setting it to GPS, WIFI and Mobile Tower.
I know that in the past few weeks, the “target” phone (where followmee is installed [the Lenovo]), has disabled all LOCATION services (easy to do now with only ONE button …. ) which is preventing any location tracking services from running.
Installing Followmee in a rooted Samsung S4 I9500:
So how does Followmee work in the rooted Samsung S4? I went to their download page and clicked on the apk. It downloaded immediately. I clicked on the downloaded file and read its warnings. I clicked Next, then Install. At “App installed”, I clicked OPEN.
Click Settings: enter username and password of your account. Choose tracking interval. I said one hour. I chose high power saving mode. It has to go five miles or more before it starts. Then click SAVE and Start.
Now, return to Settings: Click STEALTH mode. This is already done if you installed from their website, but also tells you how to access the program on the target phone (by dialing #000*).
It immediately updated the control panel, but also warned me that GPS was not activated, and that it was using my WIFI/Mobile tower to determine distance. For better results “activate GPS”. This confirms that Followmee will operate correctly without GPS (GPS in “off” position), provided that “Location Services” is set to “ON”.
The Free version gives you the last known location but does not track history in the control panel. For $2.99USD lifetime fee, I purchased another code and upgraded this tracker to the paid version. I’m willing to try for such a small payment. Even with payment, you are limited to 7 days of history storage btw.
Followmee Website is Misleading:
BUT IT IS QUITE MISLEADING. For example, quoting “The maximum time … that GPS is turned on to search satellites.” Followmee does *NOT* turn GPS “on”. If GPS is already “on”, the Followmee app will turn its program “on” and access the information. But FOLLOWMEE DOES NOT TURN GPS ON!
SMS COMMANDS DO NOT WORK
Weeks later I remembered to check the SMS command functions. Sent the SMS command “location” and did not receive a response.