Once upon a time, police enforcement and other governmental organizations could only monitor a cell phone by triangulating its location using one of the numerous approaches. However, with the widespread use of GPS in mobile devices, these methods have been obsolete.

Nowadays, most of the phone tracking apps are smart enough and track phone using IMEI or accessing the GPS position and sending feedback to the end-user In order to have an understanding of how cell phone tracking works, it is important to examine each main type of mobile phone as well as the various methods for identifying the specific mobile phone that is being sought.

What Is GPS?

The United States satellite-based navigation system, known as GPS (Global Positioning System), consists of a constellation of 24 satellites that relay precise three-dimensional location information to GPS receivers on the earth.

The Department of Defense (DOD) of the United States of America is authorized for maintaining the satellites, which were initially solely used for military purposes when they were deployed.

The United States Government took the decision in the 1980s to let the system to be used by citizens, and it has subsequently removed the constraints that were previously imposed on the accuracy of the GPS for civilian usage.

The global positioning system (GPS) that exists today may be used by anybody, anytime, and in any environment. The most significant part is that GPS doesn’t need any initial costs or monthly payments.

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How Does GPS Tracking Work?

All 24 GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a highly particular orbit. The signals from the satellite are sent to Earth as it moves.

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To pinpoint its precise position, a GPS receiver takes into account data from all nearby satellites and compares the time a signal was delivered by the satellite to the time the receiver gets the signal.

This gives us an idea of how far away the satellite really is from the receiver. A GPS receiver can pinpoint the user’s location on a map or chart within a few metres by comparing the signals it receives from many satellites.

A GPS receiver has to receive signals from at least three satellites to calculate an accurate 2D location in terms of latitude and longitude. If the GPS receiver can see four or more satellites, it can figure out its three-dimensional location, including its latitude, longitude, and altitude. 

Phone Tracking On Android 

The Android system has a GPS tracking feature much as the iPhone does. If an Android phone has a Google account that is linked to the device, then the Android Device Manager will be able to monitor the location of the phone.

  • Sign in to your Google account in any web browser on any Internet-connected device.
  • When you run the Android Device Manager, a map will load showing where the Android Phone is now located.
  • Look at the display in the top left corner of the screen; it will tell you the last time the phone was found, along with other information that is relevant to the phone.
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Phone Tracking On iOS

Regrettably, as iPhones have grown in popularity, it has become more frequent for customers to misplace or otherwise lose their devices. However, it’s much easier to track your iPhone

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If location services are turned on and you have an Apple ID, you can find your misplaced iPhone using any web browser. If you have linked your iDevice to your Apple ID, this feature is activated automatically.

  • Go to Apps Store and Find the “Find My iPhone” app
  • Install the App on Your iPhone
  • Open the App, Choose the “Devices” Menu Button
  • Enter Apple ID and Password (Associated with the lost iPhone)
  • Find out a List of iPhone Devices Attached to Your Apple ID
  • Tap on an iPhone that is Lost
  • See the Location of a lost iPhone on a Displayed Map

If the iPhone has been switched off or the battery of the device has run out of juice, the map will show the position of the phone as it was last known to exist.

Use 3rd Party Apps To Track

Alternatively, you may utilise a third-party app that tracks the target phone’s location. The app, once installed, uses the phone’s built-in GPS technology in the same way as the big service provider apps do.

Stealth Genie and Phone Sheriff are two of the most well-known and widely-used third-party applications for tracing a mobile device.