Mike's NBC-TV stories

Apps to keep track of friends and family

With so many vacations, concerts, festivals and more this time of year, you likely will be busy trying to make sure no one gets lost, including yourself.

As PC Mike Wendland reports this week, there are apps that can help make keeping track of everyone a heck of a lot easier.

The app called Life360 sets up small circles of friends and family to automatically share information such as location and safe arrival. You can create custom circles, too, like if a group is going on a hike or exploring and want to keep track of each other for a short time. The app allows for chatting and sending private messages to other users. It’s free for Android and iOS.

The Zenly app is a real-time location sharing app designed to help friends keep track of each other and connect in person. Whether at the a park, campground, concert, carnival, or beach, the app lets others know where you are. It is also free for iOS and Android.

And the app MamaBear Family Safety helps parents monitor their kids’ location, as get updates and messages from them. Children can keep parents updated without having to text or call or check in, and even press a panic button if needed. The app goes a step further by allowing users to monitor social media, and even their teen’s driving habits. It’s free for iOS and Android with premium features available for purchase.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.