Footprints - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why did Footprints stop tracking on iOS 7?

    iOS 7 has changed the way Footprints tracks in the background. In iOS 7, when Footprints is killed by the user from the new App Switcher (by swiping up), Footprints will no longer track until it is manually launched again. This is different than iOS 6, where even if the app was killed from the app switcher it would have been automatically launched again.

    Apple made this change to protect its users, so that any app that is killed by the user is no longer automatically relaunched. In the case of Footprints, however, kids can now easily disable background tracking by killing the app. We hope Apple reconsiders this new policy in future updates. In the meantime, please ask your kids not to kill Footprints from the app switcher.

  • What is Footprints?

    Footprints is an app for sharing locations privately with family and friends.

  • Where can I get Footprints?

    Footprints is available at the Apple App Store [Link].

  • How much does it cost?

    Footprints is free to download and comes with a free 30-days initial subscription. Subscriptions for location sharing can be extended from the Account view for 3-months ($1.99), 1-year ($3.99) or 2-years ($5.99). The Footprints Tracker and Facebook integration are free and do not require a subscription.

  • How do I add my family members to Footprints?

    Install Footprints on the devices of your family members, and have them grant a permission to you from their device. Make sure to register your family members' phones with their own unique email address.

  • Can I register my kids phones with my email address?

    No. Each person should register with their own unique email address.

  • Can I install Footprints on both my iPhone and iPad?

    Yes. Make sure to register both with the same email address, so your permissions and subscription are shared between all your personal devices. Turn on Tracking from only one device to avoid logging duplicate waypoints.

  • How can I prevent my kids from disabling Footprints?

    Setting Parental Controls and disabling access will prevent your kids from accessing Footprints and turning it off. You may also want to set Restrictions on their phone to prevent them from deleting Footprints or disabling Location Services. Please refer to the Parental Controls section in the user guide.

  • Will my kids know that I am tracking them?

    Possibly. Since the Footprints icon cannot be hidden, your kids can see it on their phone. Setting Parental Controls and disabling access will prevent your kids from actually accessing Footprints.

  • Do my kids phones need their own subscription?


  • Can I use my iTunes account to purchase my kids subscriptions?


  • Can I track an iPhone that has been turned off?


  • Why can't I see any friends besides Me?

    You can only see those who have installed Footprints on their phone, and have granted you a permission from their phone.

  • I didn't receive a verification code. What can I do?

    Check that your email address is entered correctly in Settings > Account. Check your junk mail inbox for an email from Footprints. Finally, try to register once again.

  • How often will Footprints update locations?

    Waypoints are logged and shared whenever a device moves a 'Significant Distance', usually 300 meters to 3 km (a quarter mile to 2 miles), depending on the cellular coverage in the area. Waypoints are generally logged more often in urban areas than in rural areas.

  • During long commutes, why are locations updated at 10 minute intervals?

    Footprints looks for ways to minimize battery usage during long commutes when many waypoints are logged.  The default 'Auto Sensing' feature detects the movement duration and increase the logging interval over time, so that after 30 to 40 minutes of movement it logs only once every ten minutes. When the device stops moving the logging interval is reset back to three minutes.

  • Why can't I track my son's iPod touch as he moves?

    Footprints detects location changes when the device "sees" new cellular towers and WiFi networks. Since the iPod touch and iPad WiFi lack a cellular radio, they can't detect location changes until they connect to a WiFi network.

  • Why did Footprints all of a sudden stop tracking my child?

    There are a number of possible reasons; first, ensure that the permission to you on your child's phone is still there, and has not expired. Next, ensure that both Tracking and Sharing are still turned on in Settings. Ensure that Location Services on the device has not been disabled (see Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Footprints).

  • Why isn't my device logging any waypoints?

    Ensure that Tracking is turned on in Footprints Settings. Ensure that the device Location Services are enabled for Footprints (see Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Footprints). Ensure that your device has a cellular data connection.

  • Does Footprints work worldwide?


  • Will Footprints track me in foreign countries when my Data Roaming is turned off?

    Yes, but not very well, since Footprints relies on data connections to cellular towers to detect when your location changes.

  • How can I see where my kids have been, not just where they are now?

    Ensure that their permission to you, on their phone, includes prior waypoints. Then, on your device, tap the little flag icon next to your child's name to see their prior waypoints.

  • Why is 'Unknown' shown as the Friend name?

    Footprints looks up your friends' names in the Contacts app by email address or phone number. Unknown is shown when the contact is not found in your Address Book. In iOS 6 and later, the Contacts Privacy setting may prevent Footprints from accessing your Contacts (under the Settings app, make sure that Privacy > Contacts > Footprints is turned ON).

  • What is the blue-filled icon next to my friends names?

    The icon indicates the accuracy of the waypoint. A blue-filled icon indicates a good accuracy of less than 50 meters (150 feet). A white-filled icon indicates an accuracy between 50 meters and 250 meters. The waypoint details view shows the exact waypoint accuracy.

  • How accurate is the speed indicated on the waypoints?

    Speeds measured by the device are fairly accurate.

  • How can I temporarily stop sharing my own location?

    From Settings, turn off Sharing. This will prevent all your friends from seeing your movements. To stop sharing locations with a specific person, delete their permission.

  • When I delete someone's permission, can they still see my location?

    When a permission is removed, the other person sees the last waypoint they saw before the permission was removed.  Once Footprints is restarted on the other person's phone, they will no longer see your location.

  • How do I hide my Facebook friends?

    Disable Facebook Check-ins under Settings > Facebook Check-ins.

  • What's the difference between a check-in and a waypoint?

    People check-in to Facebook Places manually. Waypoints are automatically logged by Footprints as you move.

  • How can I know when my wife arrived at work, or my son left his school?

    Footprints offers Geo-Fences and Movements notifications that are sent to you when your friends move or cross the fence perimeters you define. Refer to the Notifications section in the user guide.

  • How can I know when my teenager is speeding?

    Footprints offers Speeding notifications that are sent to you when your child moves faster than a predefined speed limit. Refer to the Notifications section in the user guide.

  • Does Footprints offer continuous real-time tracking?

    No. To conserve battery power, Footprints accesses the GPS only when you move a significant distance, or every 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your tracker's settings. It does not show a continuously moving dot.

  • How can I recover a forgotten passcode?

    To prevent kids from easily disabling Parental Controls, the passcode recovery sequence will send an email with a new passcode to the parent's email address. A 'Forgot' button will appear after 12 incorrect passcode attempts. Refer to the Parental Control section in the user guide.

  • Is Footprints available for Android?

    Not yet.

  • Can I track others from my computer browser?

    Not yet.

  • What is error 399?

    A 399 error indicates an intercepted internet connection, possibly from a public hotspot. Try to connect from another location, or turn off WiFi to connect with 3G.

  • What is error 401?

    A 401 error usually indicates an incorrect time on your device. For security purposes Footprints requires that your device be set to the correct time (within 15 minutes). Also ensure that the device timezone and daylight savings settings are set correctly. A 401 error may also indicate an invalid registration. If you have restored Footprints from a backup onto a new device, try to register again from the new device.