News broke this week that law enforcement has been using a service called Securus, to keep track of people through their GPS data on their cellphone. Securus is a company that data-mines information from cellphone towers, metadata on email and text messages, and phone calls. And it's completely legal.
Andy has a loved one with dementia that tends to walk off. He wants to know if there's a tracker that is hidden in a necklace or something that he can have her wear so he can track her. Leo says that this category is popular for parents wanting to keep track of their kids. He should check out the Pocketfinder outdoor personal GPS tracker. He can also get a list of the ten best wearable GPS devices at safewise.com.
Steve has an LG Stylo 2 and he's starting to lose his GPS lock. His Bluetooth also comes and goes. Leo says the Stylo has a weak antenna. That could mean a failing antenna or faulty GPS chip. This could be caused by heat too. That's the likely culprit because when the phone overheats, it's going to protect everything by shutting it off. Leo also thinks that the phone has just worn out and it's time to get a new one.
Paul wants to know how he can also keep track of his pets. Can he put a Trackr on the collar? Leo says that most trackers use Bluetooth and are designed to help find lost objects. But that would be a great idea that Leo thinks will eventually happen as a GPS device gets smaller and smaller. Then you'll be able to find a runaway dog that has been chipped. In the meantime, The Wirecutter has a great article on the best GPS pet trackers.
(Disclaimer: TrackR is a sponsor)
Marco is having trouble seeing his location on his mobile phone. It thinks he's in Jordan. Leo says that chances are the phone's GPS is having issues and the phone is using Wi-Fi triangulation to approximate his location. The problem is that sometimes the phone gets confused and sends his location somewhere else based on where his ISP is located.
Jonathan wants to know how he can find his Apple TV remote. He's frustrated because he loses it all the time. Rich says it's almost always in a seat cushion. The good thing is that iOS 11 supports the Apple TV remote natively, so if he's installed iOS 11, he'll be able to control his Apple TV from Control Center on his phone.
George uses his iPad to call Uber, but they don't know where to pick him up. Leo says that's because the iPad doesn't have GPS. The app just has to ask for the address of where he is in order to find him. With a mobile phone, they would have his coordinates in the app. Without GPS, the app has to use other means to find his general location, usually it uses "WiFi triangulation," and that's not always very accurate. The app puts a pin where he is, and if it's using WiFi triangulation, the pin just goes close to where he is. The good news is he can move the pin in the app.
Brian wants to know if he should get a mobile phone or a dedicated GPS. Leo says that the benefit of using a smartphone is that he'll get a map with his GPS bearing. He can also cache the maps locally onto the phone and not use data when he's out of reach of WiFi.
Milian wants to know why he can't use his maps app on his Samsung Galaxy S5. Leo says that Milian may have not given the app permission to use his location and as such, it won't access the GPS. But if it used to work, then there may be a hardware issue, like a flakey antenna. It may have a lose connection. He may want to go to the store and ask them to check it. If it's out of warranty, then it may be time to get a new phone and the timing is perfect since the Samsung Galaxy S8 is coming out this week. That will drop the price of the S7 as well.
Tom is looking for a GPS watch that has cellular service, which can be worn by a sleep walking child. They need to have a lockable wrist band so he can't take it off. Leo suggests several GPS watches out there, but none with a lockable watch band. Leo recently got the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. It has all the features Tom is looking for, as well as a 22mm removable band that can be replaced. You can also make calls to and from it. The battery life is on long side for a smart watch.. MSRP for $350. It is compatible with Android or iOS.