My Viewpoints on the Cell Phone Tracker App Called InstaMapper

Written by Felipe on November 16th, 2010

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6/7/2013 Update: It seems that this cell phone tracking app is no longer available. I just checked their website which is and it looks like they shut down on December 13th, 2012. According to the announcement on the InstaMapper website, they are hoping to be able to relaunch their service sometime in 2013.

2/20/2014 Update: I received an email notifying me that a new version of InstaMapper is back online. If you would like to read about the new app, you can do so by clicking here:

My ultimate goal is to make my cell phone tracking website the most comprehensive site on the Internet about these kinds of applications so today I’ll be adding another article to my collection of free GPS tracking apps and telling you about a program called InstaMapper.

First of all, you’ll be pleased to know that this really is a free application. It’s 100% free for everyone to use!

It even has a remote activation feature that will allow you to start the app by simply sending a text message to the phone. If you have the app installed on your phone, it doesn’t have to be running. It just has to be installed. Then, when you need to use the app to find a lost or stolen phone or just check on the location of someone, you simply send a text message that contains your unique “attention word” to the phone. When the phone receives the text message that contains this word, it will silently breath life into this tracking application and the phone will start transmitting it’s location to the InstaMapper service. This is one of my favorite features and I wish more of the phone tracker applications came equipped with this capability.

This kind of reminds me of those shows that hypnotists put on. I’m sure you know the type. The hypnotist tells the hypnotized participant that they will start doing something like “quacking like a duck” whenever they hear the word “baseball”.

This App Actually Works With Prepaid Phones

One thing that is unique about this program is that it will actually work with a prepaid phone. It’s not a mobile number tracker service that you can simply type a number into a website to discover the location of the phone. For now, that capability is still in the realm of science fiction. If you want to use this app, you’ll actually have to download and install the software onto the mobile device that you want to be able to track. So far, this is the only app that I’m aware of that will work with a prepaid phone. You can buy the Boost Mobile i425 phone for about $40 and you’ll be able to use this free online GPS application. You will, however, need to subscribe to Boost’s unlimited data plan but that will only cost you less than fifty cents a day.

Supported Devices

Other phones that work with this application are iPhone’s, any Google Android powered mobile devices, any BlackBerry mobile phones that have the 4.2.1 operating system installed on it, and Motorola iDEN phones. Those are the only phones that InstaMapper “officially” claims will work but they also say some people have had limited success using the app on other phones. If your phone isn’t on the list, you can try using InstaMapper and who knows, maybe it will work?

If you don’t subscribe to an unlimited data plan with your cell phone service provider, this program could really run your phone bill up if you leave it running all the time. That’s why I really like that this app has the ability to be remotely started. A phone tracker app isn’t really free if you run up a huge cell phone bill because of the large amount of data the app needs to transmit.

Anytime this cell phone tracking app is running on your phone, it is tracking. It should be noted that the app can be running in the background on all phones but the iPhone. On the iPhone, it must be running in the foreground.

An interesting security feature of this cell phone app is that it doesn’t transmit the phone number or any other information that could identify the owner of the phone. It only transmits the location, traveling speed, a time stamp, and other such information.

What Can This App Actually Do?

InstaMapper Mobile Tracking App ScreenshotUnlike some apps that are rich in graphics and loaded with every feature you could dream up, this app is quite simple. Let me rephrase that, it’s simple but powerful. When you look at the app on your phone, there are no graphical maps or other interesting things to look at.

All you’ll see is a screen that displays the location of the phone was well as some other information such as how much time has passed since the app last uploaded the location of the phone to the InstaMapper service. If you are moving, the app will also display your speed, your heading, your altitude, how accurate the reported coordinates are, and how many satellites the app is using to collect the tracking data.

The way this software functions is pretty simple. After installing the app, you navigate to the settings screen and tell the application how often you would like it to report the location of the phone to the InstaMapper server. The shortest time interval that is allowed is every 5 seconds and the maximum allowed time interval is 9999 seconds (27.78 hours).

Then, if you need to see the location of your phone, you use a computer with an Internet connection to go to the InstaMapper website and log in with your user credentials. Once you are logged in, you will see the current location of your phone displayed as a red circle with a black dot in the center and the locations that were reported at each prior time interval displayed as a yellow circle. These dots will be overlaid on a map.

It’s worth noting that this free cell phone tracker is only capable of broadcasting your location every five seconds “IF” you are moving faster than 20 miles per hour “AND” someone is tracking you on the Internet. If you’re going slower than that, the app will upload your tracking information every 60 seconds.

How Many Data Points Will InstaMapper Keep Track Of?

This free online program will keep track of up to 100,000 data points or your historical locations for up to 30 days, whichever is greater. This makes it a great program because you can log into the system and analyze the tracking data over a prolonged period of time. For example, if you wanted to see if your kids had been coming straight home from school everyday, you can log in and view the exact path that they took on their way home. If you see that they took a “detour” to the video game arcade, you can deal with that issue and you’ll have “proof” so you don’t simply have to take their word for it when you ask them whether or not they are coming straight home.

Is This App Really Worth Using?

If you are looking for a good free mobile phone tracking program, I suggest that you download InstaMapper and take it for a test drive. Since it’s free, you really have nothing to lose. Well, I guess you “could” lose your cell phone but hey, if you have InstaMapper installed on it, finding it will be a breeze!

Thanks for reading my free phone tracker website. I hope that I’ll see you around here again soon!

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