Spy apps are a great option for tracking the behaviors of others. This can be your teen child copying bad habits thus hampering his/her health or your elderly family member who sometimes forget the way home. Indeed, sometimes it’s necessary to use spying apps to take care of someone you love. This overview of the best spying apps should help you choose the correct app for your specific needs.
How to choose the best cell phone spy app?
If you are reading this article now, it means that you are searching for a cell phone monitoring software for your target device. Nowadays there are so many cell phone spies on the market. And probably you are not sure how to find the best app for your personal needs. We have highlighted for you 7 the most important steps to make the right choice of a mobile tracker.
Step 1. Choose the right spying company
In order to choose the best spying software, you should check if the company which produces it is safe, real, and legal. Thus, we thoroughly recommend you to choose the developer which has positive feedback from the customers, good professional website, different payment options (like PayPal or credit card, thus your payment is protected), refund policy, and other guarantees like customer support, etc.
Moreover, do not trust developers which offer their products for free. There is a high risk to download and install a virus application on your target device. All the consequences are hard to predict, but it will be great if such a free solution is just useless. It can cause the data theft, bad performance of the target device and other issues. Manufacturers offering paid programs invest numerous resources in their production. That is why it is a reliable choice of spyware.
Step 2. Check the compatibility of the tracker with your target device
Before installation of the chosen spyware on a cell phone or PC, you should check if the software is compatible with this device. This information you can find in our comparison table. For more details we recommend visiting the website of your desired monitoring app.
Usually, this information is mentioned on the official website, if not — please, contact the manufacturer’s support service to find out the details.
Step 3. See if Rooting & Jailbreak needed
In simple words, rooting is an Android superuser mode. It helps you expand the boundaries of your system rights, thus enhancing the functionality of the operating system. For instance, root permissions allow you to replace system files, uninstall system applications, clean ads, back up, and more.
Jailbreaking is a synonym for rooting but for iOS systems. It is a process in which you achieve the possibility of free access to the file system and can make several modifications, adjustments, and alterations.
Mainly, numerous spywares require device rooting or jailbreak. Of course, you can spy on certain activities on not rooted Android or not jailbroken iOS cell phones. But you will not use the functionality of the spyware to the full extent. The pricing plans of the spying programs usually include rooting and jailbreak features. But still, our recommendation is to contact the support team of the manufacturer for more detailed info.
Step 4. Check spying functions
Before buying the software, you should check whether it has all the necessary monitoring and tracking features. Overall, spying applications possess standard features and up-market functions. For instance, recording, geofencing, and website blocking belong to not widely spread features, while tracking calls and SMS is a common feature for literally all monitoring programs on the market.
Step 5. Choose the right subscription plan
Cell phone monitoring apps have different prices and packages. Therefore, you should check if you need spyware to be active for one month or you need to make a subscription for a year.
In general, packages include the information about the functionality available, the number of devices to track, and the cost.
Step 6. For whom you are going to use the spy
Spywares are used widely among employers, parents, and partners. Tracking of the cheating spouses are illegal, so you either install the app for your own risk, or you should inform the person you are going to spy on. Some programs are not allowed to be used illegally.
Besides, a spying program may be dedicated for parent control and include some specific features. Once again, we recommend thorough checking of the information on the manufacturer’s websites. If there are any lacks, please, do not hesitate to contact their support team assistants.
Step 7. Check Demo version of free trial
Before buying some spying apps, you need to check all the subscription moments. Some manufacturers offer customers a possibility to try their solutions for free or use demo versions. Overall, it means you can test the chosen spyware for a short period of time. Please, note that you will not be able to test all program’s functionality, but the basic monitoring functions only. Many trackers have Demo version available, so you could check user interface to get the main idea how everything works.
Bonus Step. Choose the best spying solution
To be able to make proper recommendations of the solutions, we have tested and investigated a range of spywares available nowadays. In this perspective, we want to simplify your decision-making and offer you to take a closer look at our top 3 of the most reliable and productive monitoring and tracking applications. Ready, steady, go!
HoverWatch is one of the best spying apps for Android. The most useful features involve the following:
- Track incoming and outcoming calls of target devices.
- Track messaging activity of the tracked objects in social media (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, WeChat, etc.) as well as Viber and WhatsApp.
- Track geolocation of the target object.
- Take photos of the current location if the screen of the target device is unlocked.
- The app is compatible with Android, Mac, and Windows PC.
- It’s easy to track the browsing history of the target device as this app supports Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
- Free trial option is available for 3 days.
- Making screenshots of the target devices is possible.
If you decided to use HoverWatch, note that you need physically access to the target device to install it. It can’t be installed remotely. Another pitfall associated with HoverWatch is that sometimes the location tracking feature delivers inaccurate information. From this perspective, HoverWatch falls behind its competitors.
mSpy is a powerful tool that offers several useful mobile tracking options. This app is quite popular among customers. The features of mSpy include the following:
- Keylogger option that allows for tracking the events happening on your child’s phone or other target devices. Also, you can get passwords and search requests easily with the help of this tool.
- It’s available for the latest versions of iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.
- From now on you can track Telegram (available on the premium package for Android only).
- You can track many devices using Monitoring Bundle (now available with a discount).
- Opportunity to monitor many actions undertaken by the target device such as calls, text messages, e-mails, URLs, websites, and social media accounts.
- Opportunity to access the contacts and calendar events of the target phone as well as block undesired instant messages.
- Monitoring of incoming and outcoming media files.
- You can control over applications and programs of the target phone remotely.
- You can I install mSpy on iPhone remotely without jailbreak using iCloud credentials, but this function isn’t available for Android phones. Otherwise, you will need permission from the owner of the target device.
Note that you can’t block the undesired numbers, but you can block incoming calls easily. In case if any problems arrive, the support team solves them in a timely manner. It’s important since sometimes the app is hanging and clients need to get information as soon as possible. One of the biggest advantages of mSpy is that you can try it for free and decide whether it’s good for you or not.
The free trial option is available for 7 days. So, you can test this app in different situations for different purposes to make the final decision.
The basic package for one month starts from $29.99, the premium package will cost you $69.99. Bundle Kit allowing for tracking a smartphone and a desktop is available at $72.24. The annual subscription will cost you roughly $200. mSpy isn’t a cheap spying option but it offers high-quality services and 24/7 support. For this reason, this is one of the favorite mobile spy options among customers. Actually, this is one of the best spying apps for the iPhone.
Please, note that mSpy doesn’t support the following devices:
- Regular mobile phones,
- Windows mobile devices,
- Any OSs including Bada OS.
Also, to use this app on the targeted iPhone, it should be jail-broken. If the SIM card was changed, you will not get a notification. There is no chance to reclaim lost data when the target device is wiped. Despite the minor inconveniences, mSpy is considered one of the best spying apps.
Another spy app that is worth your attention is iKeyMonitor. The app is popular among parents aiming to track the moves of their children aiming to protect them from bad actions of bad people. The tool is used by employers to track the online activities of their employees and check whether they share sensitive data with competitors. People who are in relationships or spouses use iKeyMonitor to check the loyalty of their partners. Among the most prominent feature of iKeyMonitor are the following:
- Certain apps can be blocked and the owners of the target device can’t use them anymore.
- The option of monitoring of the screen time is great when you need to control the time spent in front of the laptop/desktop/smartphone.
- Tracking geolocation is available.
- The free trial option is available for 3 days.
- The app is available for download only to jailbreak iPhones or iPads. It’s available for Android OS as well.
- Employers may fancy the opportunity to install this app to Mac or Windows as computers and laptops are used more in the work setting.
The price for installing iKeyMonitor ranges from $49.99 per month to $299.99 for an annual subscription. This is slightly more than the companies offering similar products used to price them. For companies, the price is extremely attractive as iKeyMonitor offers a 50% discount for the yearly subscription. For parents, this option may be somewhat expensive. However, the quality of data proposed by this app is outstanding. A one-month refund guarantee proves high-quality of this product.
When considering this app, do remember that sometimes it doesn’t function as expected as the app lags. Be ready to re-install it from time to time. If the app crashes, you can’t track the online and physical activities of the target objects. Also, the app can’t be installed to smartphones remotely like many other similar spy apps. However, this option is available for PC and laptops.
SpyEra is considered one of the best spying apps but it’s not as well-known as iKeyMonitor or Spyzie. Despite this, it offers several useful features helping track target devices, namely:
- The app is available for Android (smartphones and tablets), iPhone and iPad.
- You can remotely monitor target devices using Windows PC or Mac.
- All updates are free and remote.
- Easy installation.
- Spy many instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber or Snapchat.
- The option of recording the VoIP calls (Skype, Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp) is available.
- Opportunity to track SMS, MMS, emails, web browsing history, photo and video files.
- The app can’t be detected by the target objects.
The app won several awards allowing for spying calls in real time. Note that free trial isn’t available, but you can use a 10-day money-back guarantee once you’re not satisfied with the service quality.
This app is somewhat expensive is compared to other similar options. Probably, the owners charge more for the opportunity to track calls and messaging in the live regime.
However, its customer support system needs some improvement since it sometimes takes two days to get a response.
TheTruthSpy is less developed but not less effective spying software. Its features don’t fall behind the features offered by the best spying apps:
- Tracking instant messages on WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook
- Tracking all calls
- Identification of geolocation of the target object
- Identification of geolocation of the phone if it was lost
- Available for both iOS and Android
- Full access to all media files including photo and video
- Tracking email message exchange
- Tracking browsing history on the target device
- “Hide” option to avoid detecting Phonty on the target phone
- The app can be used to track target devices anywhere in the world
As well as in the case with many other spying apps, you will need to access the target phone physically. Remote installation isn’t available for TheTruthSpy. You can’t try TheTruthSpy for free. Also, the refund option isn’t available, but this app is very cheap. A monthly subscription costs $22. Among the best spying apps, this one is the cheapest. Have in mind that the support team isn’t very responsive while buying this app.
This is cutting edge software for monitoring of target phones. It features a plethora of useful functions including:
- Monitoring of text messages
- Track apps downloaded to the target device
- Track instant messages in chats
- Monitor web browsers
- Monitor emails in Yahoo, MSN, Gmail and PC logs
- Track GPS location disregard activation/deactivation of GPS or internet connection on the target device
- Log keystrokes and make screenshots remotely with the help of keylogs
- Monitoring of photos, images, and video files
- Make records of incoming/outcoming calls
- Record surroundings of the target phone (this is a unique feature offered by this app)
- Available for iOS, Android, and Windows
Trial option isn’t available, but the app is rather cheap if compared to other providers of the best spying apps: a two-week subscription will cost you less than $20, while a monthly subscription is only $49.99. This is one of the best-priced apps in this market.
If you choose Mobistealth for your purposes, note that this app can’t intercept calls or demonstrate a live screenshot. However, other functions are ample for spying the target devices.