A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Because of the privacy and safety risks with location-sharing apps, Find My Friends should be restricted to use by older teens. With guidance from their parents, teens can learn about responsible sharing, privacy (managing their own and respecting others'), and ways to socialize with others. While the tutorial is very good at explaining how to use the app, the app itself doesn't give teens much guidance on making good decisions when they're using it. Teens can learn important tech and social skills, but parental guidance is key.
Ease of Play
The app is simple to use with an always-on feature for those who want it -- and an easy way to turn off location sharing for moments when you want privacy.
Users can set up events, which could open the door for potentially offensive language.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Users are likely to be found at any number of retail establishments, which could promote that company to their peers. There are no explicit ads, however.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Users may be at a bar or other establishment that sells alcohol or smoking materials when friends look for them.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Find My Friends is a location-sharing app for iOS devices. While there are several notable parental controls, the app is still best suited for older teens and adults. Users can communicate their location to friends (who have to request permission to add you to their tracking list). And while users can turn off location sharing, it's easy to forget and leave turned on. Parents can turn the app off on their children's iOS devices (and prevent them from turning it off as well, allowing them to use the iOS product as a tracking device).
Is It Any Good?
The risks that accompany any location tracking app are present in FIND MY FRIENDS, but to Apple's credit, the company has taken several steps to mitigate risk. That said, the app is still not a wise choice for children, unless parents want to use the iPod Touch or iPhone as a tracking device for their kids.
The free app allows people to track where their friends are, but uses a permission-based system. No one can track you unless you give your consent first. (Kids, though, might let anyone track them in an effort to build a large cache of online "friends.") It's easy to stop broadcasting your location, but given people's tendencies to sometimes forget simple tasks, it's inevitable that users will sometimes inadvertently announce where they are when they would rather not. Functionality-wise, it's not dramatically different than other location sharing services, but it does the job well and includes enough additional features (such as temporary location sharing) and controls that it might be worth checking out -- if the user is age appropriate.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.