Thursday, April 15, 2010

Guide To GPS Stalking Using iPhone, BlackBerry and Android

For whatever reason, you might want to keep tabs on exactly where your wife/husand/girlfriend/boyfriend/teenage daughter, etc. have been all night (for their own "safety"). In the past, you had to rely on them to telling you the "truth" about where really were.

Thankfully we can bypass all of this guesswork if they happen to own either an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android device, which all contain GPS chips. These devices are capable of pinpointing and broadcasting exact locations at all times over the air. It's actually very simple process to view a smartphone's location just by configuring a few free apps.

Remember, always consult the owner before you make any changes to their device. And as always, with great power comes great responsibility.

What would Spider-man do?
Sharing Your GPS Location Using Google Latitude
For using using Google Latitude, you and your target need to both have Google Accounts already set up. If you don't have one, you have to set up one one account each for both of you.
1) Login to your Google Account at, and then and enable location sharing
2) Click on 'Add friends' and add your target's Google Account
3) You will have to accept each other as friends on each account for location sharing to work
Result: You can now view each other's location. However this is only an approximation, we need a precise location based on a smartphone's GPS which brings us to the next step...

iPhone and Google Latitude
1) Go to the App Store and download the Google Latitude app
2) Open Google Latitude and login to your Google account
3) Once this has started running, it will and share the device's location in the background
Result: You can now check their location as long as the Google Latitude app is running in the background (this is default in current versions of iOS).

1) Visit your BlackBerry's official browser
2) Download and install the Google Latitude app
3) Run Google Latitude and sign into your Google account
Result: You can now view your OH's location as long as the Google Latitude app is running in the background.

Android's Google map features are well integrated into the operating system. Make sure that your Google Latitude accounts are setup so that you are sharing locations. Then you should be able to view device locations from within Google Maps.

iPhone and MobileMe
MobileMe is a product offered by Apple that has some really great features. From a remote location, you can do things like lock your iPhone's screen, make the phone play noises even if it's set to silent, etc. It's really designed to help you when you've lost your iPhone, or when someone has stolen it and you need to catch the iPhone thief. However, an unintended effect of these features is that they also happen to be perfect for stalking another iPhone user.

The beauty of using MobileMe is that it's less visible to the untrained eye. When sharing location through MobileMe, the location sharing icon won't be visible in the corner of the iPhone, and the process does not constantly drain battery in a background running app. The target won't ever be aware that their location tracking has been activated unless they dig deep within their account settings.

Recently, Apple has offered free MobileMe Find My iPhone accounts with 4th generation devices. This means that once you can create a MobileMe account using a 4th generation device (iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4), your account can be applied for free to older generation devices like the iPhone 3GS and 3G. Once the devices are registered to the MobileMe account, you'll be able to view locations of all registered devices through the Find My iPhone app, or using MobileMe's web interface.

Stalk my iPhone

1) Using a 4th generation iOS device (for example, iPhone 4 or iPad or iPad 2), create a free MobileMe account (step-by-step guide is available from Apple)
2) Download Find My iPhone app onto your target's iPhone from the App Store
3) Run the Find My iPhone app to make sure your location sharing options are turned on
4) View the location of the device either through your own Find My iPhone app, or through MobileMe's web interface
5) Use responsibly
Result: You can now check the location of any registered iPhone or iPad without requiring an app to be running on the target's device.