In my last post, Stolen Surface Tablet – what to do?, I talked about what you can do to prevent your Surface tablet from getting stolen and how to help ensure that you recover it. In that post, I mentioned 3rd-party tracking software. After some research, I found this app that provides location tracking for any Windows 8 device. So, I installed it on my Surface 2 LTE and gave it a try. Here is my review:
Windows Location Tracker Review : Info
- Name: Windows Location Tracker
- Runs on: Any Windows 8 device (Android, iOS, and Blackberry also available)
- Find it: Windows Store
- Cost: $Free for Trial Edition
Windows Location Tracker Review: Overview and Features Windows
Location Tracker by FollowMee allows you to locate your device when it is lost or stolen. It essentially tracks the location of any Windows 8 device – for me that’s Surface 2. It records the location of equipment via GPS, WiFi, or cellular and uploads it to a secure server. To monitor the location of your Surface you go to the FollowMee web site in any browser. When you download and install the app, you will be asked to register your user name and password. The tracking website provides these services:
- Interval configuration
- Location sharing
- Location download
- Geo-fencing – for email alerts
This is a 15 day trial version, which after the trial converts to a free version. The free version has the same features, except (1) Track interval cannot be less than 60 minutes and (2) Only current location and past 2-hour history is available. To remove these restrictions, you have to upgrade to standard edition in the FollowMee web site.
Windows Location Tracker Review: Limitations
The app does what is claims. It tracks your device’s location and it is good for tracking the location of your Surface but it has a couple of gotcha’s:
- The app doesn’t run when your Surface is in sleep mode or is turned off (makes sense).
- The app depends on WiFi or cell signal – this is fine but usually when you lose a device, it won’t be anywhere near a familiar WiFi. Works great on cell signal though on my Surface 2 LTE.
- There is a small drain on the battery because the app runs in the background at all times.
Windows Location Tracker Review: Overall Rating
So, I like this app for any device with LTE, as soon as the device comes on, it reports in – very cool and especially useful for Surface 2 LTE. The Surface versions without LTE will have to depend on WiFi. This can be bad, in case of theft, if the device never comes online before it is wiped – which will likely be the case. I also like the price of the app – FREE. So, for Surface 2 LTE, I’d give this app 5 out of 5 smilies. But for Surface RT I’d give it only 3 smilies, so splitting the difference I’ll give it an overall rating of 4 smilies.