Tracking the Mobile:
The discovery that has revolutionized the world more than other one, with the exception of perhaps the wheel is the mobile phone. From being ‘unavailable’ to family and friends for long periods of time, people have suddenly become ‘reachable.’ A small but highly efficient gadget, which started from a being palm-sized gadget; then went on to become a ‘slate-sized’ tablet and now has finally settled down into being a ‘phablet,’ a mobile phone identifies with our personality, like no other accessory. Marketing people have been selling automobiles as being an extension of our personality; the mobile phone could well be the extension of our soul itself. This gadget has become so irreplaceable in our lives that manufacturing companies have come up with mobile tracking solutions.
Mobile phone tracking is essentially, identifying the geographical location of the phone and with it, its user or bearer at any given time. Thanks to this technology we are never far way from help, whether we are in the deepest parts of Africa or on the highest peaks of the Alps. Children can be monitored; cars can be located, and families can be reassured. Whether we are stationary or on the move, we are about as accessible as the dot on the map in front of us.
Types of Tracking
There are many ways in which mobile phones can be tracked or localized – we have a Network based tracking technique, which utilizes the service provider’s network grid to locate the handset. There is the Hand-set based technique, in which software needs to be downloaded on the mobile device of the user; known as localizing cellphones by Apps, where-in the device is located using cell identification and strength of the signal to the mobiles in the vicinity, this information is fed back to the carrier. Cell location can also be achieved by having a GPS receiver installed in it. The SIM card is also unique to each cell and network, so there are sim based location techniques. Wi-Fi data collected through crowd-source is also one unique way to localize mobile devices. Alternatively, one can also use Hybrid Systems, like Assisted GPS, in which GPS and Network information are used in combination to locate cell phones. Localizing cellphones by Apps is fast gaining popularity among tourists.
Localization Using Apps
Apps are nothing but applications, which are pieces of software that have been created or designed to accomplish a certain task. These are basically compatible to your desktop, laptop or mobile functional platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, etc. Most of the applications run from your device, but there are some applications that run directly from the internet like Google Docs. Some of these Apps are dedicated to particular functioning systems, like Android Apps are created for Android phones, iOS Apps for the i-phone, and the Blackberry Apps for Blackberry phones.
The ‘Google Maps’ is one such application or App, which is available to Android and iOS users to locate their mobile phone. handy orten GPS is the trendiest form of mobile location techniques available to users today; it works with or without a GPS enabled device. Cell phones are also being used for navigational assistance; so these applications have come up with many user friendly features like – the Search by Voice, the Satellite view, the Street view, the Traffic view and the Car dock mode. This App is so user friendly, that Google has suggested travelers to foreign cities, to use this feature and download the map of the city they are to visit, to avoid being ‘taken for a ride’ by local taxi drivers.