Using Google Location History Reporting
Using Google location history reporting WORKS WELL MOST OF THE TIME. Unless your kids turn off their location setting on the phone. Otherwise you will get accurate location reporting each and every time, bug-free.
To use it, you must turn on Location, Google Settings for Keep and Report Location History. That is it!
Then log in to the dashboard at
If all you care about is location and location history, Android has that built in for you.
Of course, I wanted more … so keep reading for my foray into spy software for android cell phones.
More on Google Location History …
Like today for example … one of my kids has gone to visit grandparents. She is carrying the rooted Elephone P6i. Google History shows NO locations available. Even when she got to her destination and confirmed that she was connected to WIFI, Google shows nothing.
In fact, in her phone, there has been no location update for two days, even though today, the Elephone was connected to WIFI. There is no rhyme or reason why these services work sometimes, but then stop working for a while.
The following day, beginning very early in the morning, Google History is reporting her location … the same location she arrived at 16 hours previously but wasn’t shown on the history report. In fact, it is even showing a new map detail that I have never seen: Biking
PHONE SETTING AFFECTS GOOGLE HISTORY:
The Samsung hasn’t reported to Google History in a long time, so I decided to check the settings. On the Samsung, I have the “location” setting set to “Power Saving” which is defined as “Uses wi-fi and mobile networks to estimate your location.” GPS widget was ON. There have been no updates to the web.
I also had “location history ON” but the second section, “This device: GT-I9500” was not checked. So I checked it to see what happens. Almost immediately, TWO things happened: 1) Google location history was updated with the current location and 2) the Location method automatically changed to “High Accuracy” (GPS, WIFI and Mobile Networks) without my approval.
So I changed back to “Power Saving” and turned off GPS. I wanted to see what would get updated (if anything). [Highster online panel is still showing that it is receiving 10 minute location updates, but it is difficult to understand if it really works, because the phone hasn’t actually moved to a new location.]
Google location history shows an updated location time on the online panel, even though I have GPS turned off (Power saving mode is still set to on). I don’t understand this at all ….
In the Samsung S4, there are two settings: GPS and a separate LOCATIONS. Not all phones have this dual setting. Because Locations is on, the phone is using the wifi and cellular tower to report my location even with GPS off. That is what I wanted, but I don’t believe how well it will work.
[I FOUND THE ANSWER: In early Android versions, “GPS” and “LOCATIONS” were two different items (as in the older Samsung S4 I am working with). It was possible to have GPS off and still have locations ON and reporting based on WIFI and Mobile towers. That is no longer true. Now you ONE toggle for “Locations” — and when it is off, ALL tracking is OFF (GPS, Wifi, and Mobile Towers).
SO, buying a slightly older version of a branded phone might provide the benefit of “hiding” your tracking … because it appears that you can keep the GPS button OFF, but the location tracking on. Location tracking won’t be visible so no one will choose to turn it off! So an older S4 or before; and a Note 3 and before.]
Prior to this, I have been writing about the LOCATION HISTORY part of Android by Google … But there is also the “Android Device Manager” section. And unfortunately, it has its problems just like the spy software.And even though Google Location History is seeing her phone (for the past 7 hours), Google Device Manager can’t find her (“Location Unavailable”).
I think these types of hit-and-miss problems are why so many people choose the Iphone. Even though I personally HATE the Iphone, you rarely hear many complaints about what works and does not work with it.
Go to “Problems with Google Device Manager”.