In the annual race to score the most candy on Halloween night, kids can easily lose their way. App developer Iconosys has updated its family tracking app to include a safety compass that points children in the direction of home.
Its Trick or Tracker app links a parent's and child's phone and uses each phone's GPS capabilities to monitor locations. If parents leave the house to visit a neighbor, the compass will point in the direction of the parents' location. Children must have an Android phone , but parents don't need one; they can use their iPhone, BlackBerry or Windows 7 phone.
Parents can set a boundary or geo-fence by specifying an acceptable radius around the home on the app's map. If a child wanders out of range, the parent will receive a text message alert. Also, curfews can be enforced through Trick or Tracker. A "latchkey kid" feature sends an alert to the parent's phone when children arrive at the door.
On a lighter note, the child's app has a flashlight for illuminating dark pathways or finding that special treat at the bottom of a full pillowcase of loot. Kids can choose from white, glow-stick neon colors or other holiday hues.
Trick or Tracker 3.0 is available for download from TrickorTracker.com or from the Amazon App Store. The app costs $5 for a lifetime license. And though the app has a Halloween theme, its useful safety features won't disappear at the stroke of midnight — it works all year long.
Extra treat: Wondering which neighborhoods are the best for trick-or-treating? Zillow, a real estate app developer, recently released its fourth annual Trick-or-Treat Index. Results reveal the top 20 cities in terms of providing the most candy and the safest environment.