Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on May 11th, 2014

Apple's "Find My Friends" app. Why everyone should have it.

Today's blog is another installment that focuses on app recommendations. This weekend we had a few discussions with other parents about one of the favorite apps for keeping tabs on our kids! Imagine you are a parent and your child is late, and you have not heard from them. Or maybe you have a kid that is somewhat dishonest and fibs about where they are or who they are with. Or, perhaps your phone was stolen. Fortunately, there is an app to assist you. Apple has an app called "Find My Friends". And, don't worry it's not for stalkers either!

Find My Friends is an app we use regularly. As parents of teenagers in this day and age knowing where they are at any given time is a reassuring thing. Face it we live in a different world than when we were kids. And, we were all teenagers once and know that teenagers are not always honest about their whereabouts or who they are with. But, this app can also be helpful if your child needs to be picked up in an emergency and is not familiar with their surroundings.

With it's GPS locator you can somewhat pinpoint where the device is. And, no you can't use it to stalk unsuspecting people. You need to send a request to the user and be approved. The app is also a nice feature if you misplaced your phone or it was stolen perhaps. You can use the app if you are concerned about someone who might be driving whom you have not heard from in some time. You can check to see if they are still en-route or at their destination. We are all human and sometimes forget to check in when we have arrived safely somewhere. This app provides a nice piece of mind.

Our kids are fully aware of the app on their phones. They understand that it is there for their safety and to assist with encouraging them to let us know where they are. If our kids are bike riding and heaven forbid had an accident we would be able to find exactly where they were. Our son was visiting a college campus with his team once and we had to pick him up there. We used the app to locate him and his team when an exact address wasn't available. We have a high schooler who gets a ride to school from a friend. We use it to verify that she and her friend arrived at the school in inclement weather.

GPS apps have many useful advantages. To pinpointing the whereabouts of a loved one to locating specific equipment in the field perhaps. Imagine you have power lines buried and you need to send out at staff member to do a repair on a specific line. If they lines are labeled and tagged they can use GPS or geolocation programs to monitor locations or report information back to the vendor. Or, imagine you are trying to find parking and would like to know what lots have available spots near your current location. There are apps for that! You can also utilize vendor-specific apps to find closest stores or restaurants to your current locations as well.

I know I appreciate the piece of mind of this app and have recommended it to several other parents. I have had parents call me to inquire if I know if their child is with mine when they have communications breakdowns. It's nice to know that if they are together I can also offer the reassurance of telling the other parent exactly where they are. Do you use Find My Friends? If so, has it been helpful to you? If you are the parent of teens or especially teen drivers it is a nice app to have for a piece of mind.



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