Description: SMS Tracker is an Android application that does exactly what you think it does and more. When parents install the app on their child's Android phone or tablet, they can remotely view for free incoming and outgoing SMS messages from that device by logging in to http://smstracker.com from any web browser. For as low as $6/month, they can avail of SMS Tracker's premium features that lets parents view incoming/outgoing MMS messages, Web browsing history, current GPS location and its location history, voicecall logs, as well as whether the device has been turned on or off. It's primarily designed for parents who want to have the peace of mind about their children. With today's kids who are always on their smartphones from the moment they wake up until they go to bed, SMS Tracker gives parents a tool that ensures they know where their kids are, who they're texting and what they're up to on their Android, throughout the day. It is the most complete remote monitoring app that I've tested and I can see why parents would want to install it on their child's device especially since they're the ones footing the monthly bill. Parents are given a free 7-day trial to see if SMS Tracker is right for them. SMS Tracker is developed by Gizmoquip.Take a look at the video below for more information.
How it Works: To get started, install SMS Tracker from Google Play on the targeted device and follow the registration process to create an account. Then, go to http://smstracker.com and log in with the username and password you created to start monitoring the activities on the device. It's that simple. If parents require a more discreet version of SMS Tracker, they can install the disguised version by clicking here.
Signing up is pretty simple, and you don't even have to provide an email address if you don't want to. Once you have it setup, there will be a notification in the notification draw.
This is needed in order to meet the Google Play Store's requirements, however if you wish to use a more discrete version of the app, you can download one from their website. Once you have everything setup, you can log in by heading to http://smstrackerweb.com and view text messages and locations recently visited.
Of course, it's not just locations that you can take a look with SMS Tracker, but messages as well, including who they were from and they're content.
Opinion: While the premise behind SMS Tracker makes me feel a little uncomfortable, it's important to remember that this is just a tool like any other app. How you choose to use it is completely up to you. If I were a parent I'd like to think that I'd have no need for such an app, but I would like to have something like this for when kids travel abroad or with friends for the first time. As an app, there's a lot that SMS Tracker has to offer for those times when you need an extra layer of security to find out how your kids are doing or that they're where they're supposed to be.
- Speed (4/5) – SMS Tracker is a speedy application and I had no issues while looking up messages or tracking information.
- Features (4/5) – Even if you feel uncomfortable with the whole thing, SMS Tracker does exactly what it sets out to do and has a laundry list of useful features.
- Theme (4/5) – With a simple setup and a simple to follow interface on the web, it's a good-looking app that's easy to get around.
- Overall (4/5) – A decent app, SMS Tracker will help parents keep an eye out for their kids or just make sure they're safe and sound when they're traveling and such.
- GPS locations are left like a "breadcrumb trail" for easy following.
- Allows parents to take a look at incoming and outgoing text messages.
- Great for when kids are traveling with friends or other families.
- Easy setup and monthly fees are manageable.
- Doesn't stop teenagers from using WhatsApp or Facebook for communicating, but GPS will still be there.
- Notification icon could be a little more discrete and a feature to hide the app would be nice, but this can be done from Android itself.
Conclusion: While not everyone is going to be comfortable with SMS Tracker, it's just another tool and what you do with it, is your business. As someone who is till fairly young at 23, I know how dangerous a place the Internet can be and now that smartphones are all over the place I would definitely be a little wary of how my children use their phones. Being able to keep an eye on them when I feel I need to is something I think I would want to do. Of course, this is perhaps a more extreme use case, but it is nice to see an app like this available for teens that have had a rough time or something like that. SMS Tracker isn't expensive to pay for month-to-month and there's a public beta available for those willing to try out the latest and greatest.