Location Alerts

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Paola
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No more having to open a map app to see where your kid is — we’ll automatically alert you when they arrive at or leave a location you’ve added! This feature is available for iOS and Android devices on the Bark Premium and Bark Jr subscription plans.

Set Up Location Alerts

STEP 1: Update the Bark Kids app 003.png on your child's iOS or Android device.

If you haven't installed the child app on their device, follow the first-time setup instructions.

STEP 2: Grant the Bark Kids app permission to access Location Services.

Universally, this is found by going to your child's device Settings ⚙ app > under Apps, tap on the Bark Kids app > enter parent password if prompted > allow access to Location.

For more effective location alerts, we recommend setting the Location permission to "Always" or "Allow all the time." Make sure Precise Location is enabled, if applicable to your child's device.

Android iOS
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STEP 3: Verify that Bark Kids is allowed to use Cellular Data.

NOTE: If your child's device does not have cellular data, Bark will only be able to get location information whenever it's connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Universally, this is found by going to your child's device Settings ⚙ app > under Apps, tap on the Bark Kids app > enter parent password if prompted > Cellular Data (iOS) or Mobile data & Wi-Fi (Android).

We also recommend turning on Background App Refresh on iOS and Background Data + Unrestricted Data Usage on Android.

Android iOS
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STEP 4: Enable Location Services on your child's device. Universally, this is found by going to your child's device Settings ⚙ app > Location. If applicable, enable Precise Location and/or Google Location Accuracy.

STEP 5: Repeat the above steps for your other children, if applicable.

STEP 6: Set your child(ren)'s devices aside.

STEP 7: Download the Bark parent/guardian app on your device.

STEP 8: Tap on Locations under the child.

This will take you to the Locations section of the child's profile. While you can request check-ins here and see the latest check-in your child has sent, scroll down further to add locations for automatic location alerts. 

💡 Tip: Once a new location is added, it will take some time for your child's device to know that it needs to alert on that location. One way to speed that along is to have your child open the Bark Kids app and tap the check-in button (after you've added a new location on the dashboard).

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Congratulations! 🎉

You've now taken advantage of our location alerts feature! Going forward, if your child arrives or departs the location(s) you've set, you'll receive a push notification, as seen in the example below:

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FAQs

What is the difference between "location alerts" and "check-ins"?

Both check-ins and location alerts are part of Bark's location features. However, they have a couple of differences.

Check-ins can be sent by the child wherever they are by tapping the pink check-in button on their Bark Kids app. They are a one-time confirmation of the child's device location at that time.

The new location alerts feature, on the other hand, lets you set some locations that will automatically alert you when the child arrives and leaves those set locations. For this feature to work in the background and automatically, the child's device needs the Location Services setting for Bark to be enabled "Always" (as discussed in the first part of this article).

Can the Location Services setting be locked down?

If you want to prevent the child from being able to change their Location Services setting, you can use Apple Screen Time and Google Family Link to do so.

  • Apple Screen Time instructions:
    On the child's device, go to Settings > Screen Time > enable Screen Time, if applicable > Content and Privacy Restrictions > Location Services > Don't Allow Changes. Make sure you set a Screen Time password that only you (the parent/guardian) know.
  • Google Family Link instructions:
    First, turn on Location for the child in Family Link by following these steps. Then, open the Family Link parent app > select the child > on the "Apps installed" card, tap More > On the "Allowed" list, tap on Bark > tap App permissions > Switch the Location permission to be turned on always for Bark.

Do all Bark users get this or just Premium users?

All Bark Jr and Bark Premium users get access to our location features.

Is this optional?

Yes, these location features are optional.

Why can’t I see my kid move in real-time?

That’s not available for a couple of reasons. First, that’s something you can check on through phone features like Find My Phone or Google Maps.

Secondly, we want to give kids — especially older teens — reasonable privacy, while also empowering you to help keep them safe.

Lastly, parents are busy! Most folks don’t really have time to watch their kid sit in traffic, for example. Instead, you’ll get an alert when they arrive at or leave a set location.

How big is the radius for a location?

The radius will include 200 meters (~656 feet).

This means that if you want to set your house, your neighbor's house, your neighbor's neighbor's house, as locations for alerts, they likely will overlap and have unintended consequences of sending a TON of alerts. For the best experience, pick a few major locations (that are at least 200 meters apart) to set for location alerts.

How long does it take to get an alert after a child changes locations?

Alerts will come through within a few minutes. Any delays should be minimal and are based on how often the phone pings location in the background, so things like data saver settings, sleep settings, battery optimization settings, etc. can be factors.

What do I do if the location alerts are not working as expected?

It's an easy fix! You likely need to turn on location services, adjust data saver settings, or calibrate location on your child's device by following these steps: Calibrate Location

Need help or have additional questions?

We are happy to assist! Reach out to Bark Support, and we'll help every step of the way.