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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: iOS Quick Tip: Find My Friends on iPhone & iPad

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to track your family with Life360

Here Are the Pros and Cons of Find My Friends

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T he Find My iPhone app is touted by Apple as the go-to solution to find missing iPhones, iPads, and other devices made by the company. But sometimes, the app is not very accurate and you might be wondering why that is. For instance, you may have tried it out while your phone was sitting on the desk in front of you, only for the app to give you a position a mile away.

Or, you might have attempted to locate your daughter who is visiting her grandparents in Indiana but the app showed her location with a mile variance. After experiencing such cases, you might also be wondering why the service can be so accurate when you are standing in the middle of a city centre. In this article, we will attempt to explain all of the reasons why its accuracy can vary so much in different occasions. Here is what Apple has to say about that:.

Note: We will only be discussing the iPhone here because the way other iOS devices are tracked e. In essence, a bunch of different tracking technologies are used in order to attempt to pinpoint your location.

When these technologies are combined, Find My iPhone can improve its estimation and get accurate results. When they are used alone, they produce widely different results.

We put that to the test in order to find out exactly how the service works for you:. In our tests in an urban environment, where there are plenty of Wi-Fi hotspots around, we found out the most accurate readings. However, as you can see, the results are often approximate. The green dot represents the best possible location fix that the app can calculate and the wider circle around it showcases an area of where the phone might be if it is not located inside the green dot.

In other words, the app attempts to pinpoint an accurate location. When that is not possible, it will attempt to provide an approximate location with a margin of error. That margin of error, however, can be vastly different across different cases. For instance, when Wi-Fi is off and there is no way to access GPS signals, the app might only use nearby cell towers for location tracking, a technique which might give an approximate location circle across miles instead of meters.

Remember: In most cases, Find My iPhone will provide you with an approximate location. Using GPS only to locate a phone would take up too much time. That is the reason why Apple collects and stores a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile phone masts cell towers to locate phones quickly and efficiently.

Essentially, Apple is using Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile towers to locate satellites in order to get quick GPS readings when the phone is located outdoors. Thus, Wi-Fi hotspots and cell phone towers are always used. When there is GPS available, the service will use it too. When it is not, it will only use Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers. This is especially true in densely-populated areas where Wi-Fi hotspots are abundant from places like cafes and shopping malls.

They can improve location accuracy in indoor public places such as malls, airports, and shops. In the ideal scenario, Find My iPhone will be the most accurate because it can use a number of different technologies to get an extremely accurate reading. In the less-than-ideal condition, however, any tracking app that uses GPS may give similar results.

It should also be noted that Find My iPhone is one of the only apps that uses crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspots to get approximate location readings. Building a database of Wi-Fi hotspots is a huge undertaking and the only other company to do something similar is Google. When the circumstances are just right, it is safe to say that Find My iPhone is perhaps the most accurate location-tracking app that you will find on iOS.

If you see a simple green dot on the map, that means the location of the phone is tracked extremely accurately. Basically, if you go to that location, you are certain to find your phone. If you see the green dot but there is also another, larger green circle around it, then the location is much less accurate.

More specifically, the green circle represents an approximate area of where the phone might be; meaning it can be anywhere inside the green circle but most likely where the green dot is.

As you can see in the example above, sometimes the green circle is so large that it is basically useless. If you lost your phone in the city, for example, that green circle might represent hundreds of different apartments — a less than ideal scenario. If all you see is a gray dot, then that means the service cannot locate your device for some reason. For example, it might be offline.

Another possible reason is that the battery may have died. Finally, you might be located in a country where location services are not offered by Apple.

Well, that depends on a whole lot of things as we saw above. In ideal conditions, they are extremely accurate. However, conditions are not always ideal. Here, we have compiled a list of possible things that might affect the accuracy of Find My iPhone and Find My Friends:. Another culprit here is line of sight. For example, GPS works better when the phone is directly under the sky as it can access more satellites.

Though the signal can definitely travel through solid matter, it definitely weakens or is completely blocked which happens when you are underground. However, being indoors can also be helpful. As seen in our ideal condition above, being inside a small building with iBeacons will make Find My iPhone as accurate as it can possibly be. It certainly does. In our tests which we demonstrated above , we learnt that Wi-Fi is the single most important factor to consider when using these apps.

However, we also learnt that their combination provides the most accurate and fastest readings. What network 2G, 3G, 4G is better for accuracy? Newer networks are faster and often more stable. Each new network is better than the previous one because it can send out data faster.

Thus, the Find My iPhone and Find My Friends services can work better by calculating your location faster, especially as you are moving about. Once again, the short answer is it depends. Technically, the phone model does not really matter as they all use similar technology to locate your phone as we have seen above. Even the GPS sensors are the same. The only thing that might matter is that older models may not get access to the latest updates which may improve the performance through small background changes.

Can bad weather decrease GPS accuracy? The short answer to this is no, it does not. Space weather conditions, such as solar wind, can indeed affect GPS accuracy but only in rare occasions and then it is usually negligible. Can iPhone cases affect location accuracy? Most cases are fine because they do not provide much of an obstruction. Some types of cases, however, can negatively affect signal receptions.

For example, metal, aluminum, and even carbon fibre cases can decrease signal reception. On top of that, Apple warns that magnetic clips on certain cases can also affect signal. The easiest way to check is to use the phone in the exact same spot with and without the case on and see if it works differently. Does my carrier have anything to do with Find My iPhone? In most cases, no, it does not. However, your carrier can indeed affect location tracking services.

For instance, there is a famous case where several Sprint consumers using Find My iPhone were redirected to a wrong location. This is because Find my iPhone, in this instance, relied on data from Sprint to address the location.

We have seen several things which can affect the accuracy of phone-locating services. Now, we would also like to offer you some suggestions which might help to improve the accuracy of such services. Before doing anything else, you should make sure that your iPhone is set up correctly so that Find My iPhone and Find My Friends can be used without issue. While you still have your phone, there is no reason for you to touch Location Services.

If they are turned off, the location accuracy will be decreased dramatically. So if you ever lose your phone or suspect that it is stolen, go to Find My iPhone on iCloud immediately and turn on the Activation Lock. These will prevent anyone from disabling Location Services so you can get accurate readings.

There are plenty of fantastic cases for iPhones out there that do not obstruct the device too much so if you have to use a case, try one of those. If you are trying to get a good signal, move towards a window or even better go outside. Any physical obstruction can reduce the accuracy of the service so try to remove obstacles when possible.

Your phone needs to have service a signal in order for Find My iPhone to work. As we have seen before, losing the signal such as when you go underground can make it unstable or unavailable. So if you get your phone stolen and wish to locate it, for example, do not report it to your carrier right away. Do you know anything else that might affect accuracy? Share your story with us in the comments below!

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Over the last 18 months, our house in Central London has been targeted and attacked by people claiming that we have stolen their Iphone.

On one occasion, they were so convinced by the Iphone tracking system that 5 men tried to break in and the police had to be called. On another, 4 stolen Iphones were shown by the tracking system to be at our house and the police obtained a search warrant and raided us. Once inside, the tracking system showed the 4 phones at a different location. The error on the Apple tracking system means that we are living a nightmare and there seems to be no solution despite appeals to Apple and to the police.

I lost my phone running in the mountains.

Your Cheating Heart: iPhone App Finds Wife With Another Man

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It only takes a minute to sign up. Normally his location appears to hops around a bit when it's loading on my screen, but it's usually in the same spots.

T he Find My iPhone app is touted by Apple as the go-to solution to find missing iPhones, iPads, and other devices made by the company. But sometimes, the app is not very accurate and you might be wondering why that is. For instance, you may have tried it out while your phone was sitting on the desk in front of you, only for the app to give you a position a mile away.

If they agree, you can see their locations on a map on your screen. But the app's enterprising customers are apparently already finding other uses. If the online posts appearing on a chat forum at MacRumors. She told me she was at her friends house in the east village.

How accurate is the Find My iPhone app really?

I know this is not actually true, because generations of people did it, but it is true for me: I bought my first smartphone in , my first summer in the city, solely for Google Maps. What I wanted most was the sense of shared plot, by way of literal plotting. The idea was that I could wake up and watch them. When we made dinner plans, I could catch them exactly as they rounded the corner to the restaurant. Sitting on my stoop, waiting for one of them to bring over a bottle of wine, I could track her little blue bubble as it lurched down my block. It created friendship seamless, like in the movies: We could meet up easily and at any time, and our story lines were all spliced together into one coherent drama. All my people, scattered around the city, doing their things, living their lives, then returning to places where I knew they were okay. A rhetorical question, because of course we all knew exactly where she was. Not everyone feels so swoony about Find My Friends.

The Most Useful App Is Find My Friends

Some people really love the Find My Friends app because the app can help you find your friends whether or not they contact you. But there are some downsides to this app because hackers and thieves can hack into your Find My Friends account and possibly locate you without your permission. Imagine, too, if your phone falls into the wrong hands. Pros of Find My Friends This app makes it easy and fun to locate where your friends and family are. All you have to do is request for them to add you as a contact on the app, and once you accept, you will be given access to where they are.

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It can be very accurate. But it often goes into a weird bubble mode where it can't pinpoint a location. But 90% of the time it's frontporchbliss.com 4, - 15 posts.

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Comments: 1
  1. Arashikree

    Completely I share your opinion. It seems to me it is excellent idea. Completely with you I will agree.

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