GPS tracking apps can be useful when it comes to monitoring (or spying on) your kid that just started to drive, check in on your elderly parents, or commercial application to track your fleet.
It used to be that GPS car tracking was possible only after purchasing an often expensive hardware tracker. Such tracker would either come with a monthly fee, or it would require someone to manually pull the tracking data from the unit and import them into a computer.
Luckily for all business and car owners, those days are over. With modern Android smartphones, we can track our vehicles without spending even a single penny. Not only that, but GPS car tracking apps for Android offer much more functionality and convenience than their hardware counterparts.
The only requirement is for the driver to have his or her Android smartphone in the car, and the GPS tracking app will take care of the rest. Probably the most common example of when the ability to track the exact location of your car comes in handy is when you want to keep an eye on how much money you spend on gas.
While some GPS car tracking apps are designed specifically to accomplish this goal, other have far greater ambitions. Apps like MapME can help you take your business to the next level, by providing you with your employees’ location. Some GPS car tracking apps even come with the ability to add multiple devices at the same time from a convenient web interface. So, without further ado, here are out top 5 picks.
MapME.net GPS Tracker
MapME is a sophisticated GPS car tracking app for Android aimed at businesses that manage larger fleets of employees. As such, it comes with a built-in multi-install ability, saving you a lot of time and energy you would otherwise have to spend.
The first step is to download and install the app from the Play Store on a single device. You will be prompted to create a new account. With the account created, you can log in at mapme.net and start using the app. If you want to add other devices, simply click on the “Add Device” button located on the website. This will send a free SMS message containing a download link for the app.
The web interface takes into consideration scenarios where a company or individual would like to manage dozens of individual cars. It lays down all the essential information in an organized fashion, making it easy to just glance at the screen and instantly know what’s happening.
Fleet owners and managers can define speeds alerts to prevent the drivers from going too fast, and they can also set up warnings to notify the drivers that they are about to leave the route they should be following. If speed and efficiency are of any concern for your business, then you will like the Points of Interest feature.
A point of interest is simply a place that has some sort of importance for you. When a car reaches this place, the app will automatically start monitoring how long it’s been there. This way, you can find out, for example, how long it takes your employees to make a delivery or how long they spend with clients.
The locational information can be shared with others via private links. Sending a link like this to a customer will reassure him that the driver is on his way, resulting in a greater customer satisfaction with your services.
Mileage Log GPS Tracker
Mileage Log GPS Tracker is an infinitely scalable GPS tracking tool that can be used by individuals and businesses alike. It abolishes manual tracking by automatically recording all trips based on set parameters. Once recorded, the data are stored in the cloud on the company’s website. The website makes it possible to download printable log books or IRS compliant reports in PDF and Excel.
A single car can be shared among several drivers, who have the option to classify their trips into various categories. This makes it possible to see how many miles were made for business purposes and how many for personal.
What’s really great about Mileage Log GPS Tracker is the ability to assign jobs to the drivers in real time. By using this method of communication over standard phone calls, you can greatly streamline your communication pipeline and also save on cellular plans.
Built into the app is a complex suite of analytics tools designed to give you a convenient overview of how much time your drivers are spending with customers, how long it takes them to get to their destinations, or who are the best-performing drivers in your fleet.
All this information can be exported as a CSV file and imported into your payroll system or CRM. The free plan includes up to 3 vehicles and maximum of 5 reports per month. Those who want more can purchase one of four available premium packages.
Hurdlr for Drivers
Hurdlr has been made specifically to meet the needs of on-demand service partners working for disruptive companies such as Uber, Lyft, Postmates, TaskRabbit, Instacart, Hnady, and others. The idea is to help people manage their expenses, track miles, and use this information to take tax deductions.
To make all of this as painless as possible, Hurdlr is able to automatically start loging miles as soon as you start driving, making manual tracking management a thing of the past. All expenses tracked by the app are categorized to help you figure out what you are really spending your money on. The app also calculates how much money you owe the IRS, which great if you want to avoid nasty surprises when you least expect them. Hurdlr can do all of this because it looks for incoming payments from clients in real-time, sending you a notification for each of them.
Everything is stored securely in the cloud on either Hurdlr’s servers or on the servers of your favorite cloud storage provider, such as Dropbox, Drive, Box, and OneDrive. This means that you have a total control over your data and can export complex reports or your mileage log book whenever you need.
Fleet GPS Tracker – EverTrack
EverTrack was developed by CorvusGPS.com to help businesses manage their company fleet more effectively and efficiently. The app records the route your drivers take and stores it securely in the cloud. You can then manage the stored information from virtually any place with an internet connection.
EverTrack gives users a total control over most aspects of the tracking, allowing them to choose how accurate the location tracking should be and how often the app should contact GPS satellites to update the current location. For some, it will be preferable to increase battery life by decreasing the accuracy, and others will have it the other way around.
An integral part of the app is a mapping software that allows for accurate vehicle fleet tracking and team tracking. Drivers who ran into a problem while on the road can use the dedicated panic button to call for help.
TripLog – Mileage Log Tracker
TripLog is all about effective mileage tracking for everyone who needs to keep an eye on their gas expenses for personal or business purposes. Unlike most other apps on this list, TripLog is geared toward individual users and their personal needs.
The app is able to intelligently recognize when it should start tracking, thanks to TripLog’s proprietary MagicTrip technology that looks for speeds higher than 3 mph. The app can also autostart when plugged into power or connected to a Bluetooth device, such as your car radio or speakerphone.
Those who want to record as much technical information as possible can configure TripLog to read from OBD-II scan tools, record actual driving routes, save information relevant for commercial truck drivers. TripLog can also capture expense receipt photos and upload to the cloud, generate IRS compliant HTML and CSV tax return reports, and calculate fuel economy, among many other useful features.
The one limiting factor that influences all GPS car tracking apps for Android is the quality of the built-in GPS module in the smartphone. Older devices, in particular, are known for taking a very long time to lock on satellites, as well as being prone to losing GPS signal whenever there are obstacles in the way, such as buildings or trees. Fortunately, the situation has improved dramatically over the last few years, and some of the newest Android smartphones get a GPS signal almost instantaneously. Still, if you are buying an Android smartphone or tablet specifically to use it as a GPS car tracking device, it makes sense to spend some time reading online reviews to make sure that it comes with a good GPS module.