How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

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JQH
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How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by JQH » Wed Jan 31, 2024 1:21 pm

Reason I ask is two young women came to the door this morning; one said she had lost her phone and it had led her to my address. I told her I didn't have it (as I don't) and they left. I was just wondering how many doors they'll have to knock on before she finds her phone.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Woodchopper
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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jan 31, 2024 1:27 pm

The find my phone function that Apple phones have is accurate to a few meters, so long as the phone can get a GPS signal or location fix from a Wifi hot spot. Its just as good the location you get when using a map application.

If they were knocking on doors all down the street the women may have been trying to find an unoccupied house or a vulnerable resident.

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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by monkey » Wed Jan 31, 2024 3:05 pm

JQH wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2024 1:21 pm
Reason I ask is two young women came to the door this morning; one said she had lost her phone and it had led her to my address. I told her I didn't have it (as I don't) and they left. I was just wondering how many doors they'll have to knock on before she finds her phone.
Depends on how the location is being determined. I track my partners location (and her mine) and you get a blue circle denoting the accuracy, it seems that it can be anywhere between ~5 and 50 m (guessing from memory). There can be a time lag as well, 'cos you only get the location when the device last sent its deets, which might not be that often if the battery saver is on, but my phone tells me how long ago the last update was.

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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by JQH » Wed Jan 31, 2024 3:09 pm

I don't know if they actually were knocking on other doors - I just assumed that since her phone isn't in our place.

Could be a way to gain entry as Woodchopper says. Could only give a vague description of them though, so not much point contacting the police.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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bob sterman
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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by bob sterman » Wed Jan 31, 2024 9:42 pm

Depends - the built in google powered tracking on Android can flip between using actual GPS vs working out the position based on detectable nearby wifi networks (when google streetview cars drive around they built a database of the locations of wifi SSIDs).

When phone tracking is wifi based it can be quite far off - e.g. if you're in an open field it might put you on a neighbouring street.

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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by monkey » Thu Feb 01, 2024 2:32 am

I have never crossed a stile or gate into a field telling me what the WiFi password was :P

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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by jimbob » Fri Feb 02, 2024 9:19 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2024 9:42 pm
Depends - the built in google powered tracking on Android can flip between using actual GPS vs working out the position based on detectable nearby wifi networks (when google streetview cars drive around they built a database of the locations of wifi SSIDs).

When phone tracking is wifi based it can be quite far off - e.g. if you're in an open field it might put you on a neighbouring street.
My old phone (HTC 1, to give you an idea of the age) had separate location and GPS. I was walking in Snowdonia, and decided to see how accurate the location was around Capel Curig without the GPS.

On top of Moel Siabod - it placed me somewhere in Anglesey, whilst in parts of Capel Curig with no wifi it was very accurate, placing me right on the landscape features I was on - when on a 1:25k map.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by dyqik » Fri Feb 02, 2024 10:36 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2024 9:42 pm
Depends - the built in google powered tracking on Android can flip between using actual GPS vs working out the position based on detectable nearby wifi networks (when google streetview cars drive around they built a database of the locations of wifi SSIDs).

When phone tracking is wifi based it can be quite far off - e.g. if you're in an open field it might put you on a neighbouring street.
There's also cell based positioning which uses the relative strengths of cells

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Re: How Accurate Are Phone Tracker Apps?

Post by cvb » Mon Feb 05, 2024 4:00 pm

when my son lost his Apple phone the find my phone brought right to it, in a country park.

The GPS on my two Samsungs phones is accurate to about a metre so I do not reckon there were nefarious things going on.

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