App of the Week: GPS Punch!

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Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a weekly series that will appear every Monday in which MainStreet spotlights one new smartphone app that can help readers manage their money, shop better or improve their job search. Check back each week to find out how to make your smartphone even smarter!

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Most employees will probably have a love/hate relationship with this app.

GPS Punch! is a free iPhone app that lets employers track the whereabouts of their workers by using a phone’s global positioning system (hence the GPS in the name). As with other apps like Find My Friends, users must sign up and agree to let select people view and track their location. The main difference is this app tracks co-workers instead of friends, which might make some users a little more uncomfortable.

The goal of the app is to create a more accurate and efficient “timecard management” service for professionals like postal workers and traveling salesmen who do most of their work on the go. All the employee has to do now is punch in with the app and update their status as it changes throughout the day with one of six options including “Begin Task” and “Take A Break.” This will create a log of where you worked and precisely how long each task took you, which the employer can verify by checking the GPS coordinates.

The benefits here are twofold. Anyone who runs a small or midsize business can use apps like this one to manage their resources and make sure that employees are being as productive as possible. Meanwhile, this creates a detailed record for workers to ensure they get paid for every minute they’re on the job.

The downside, of course, is that  workers will never truly be able to escape the prying eyes of their boss.

An Android version of the app will be released shortly.

Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by email at Seth.Fiegerman@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.

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