For our rating, we have bought and tested all the cell phone spy apps that we were able to find, so you don’t have to do the same. We have graded these spy applications according to the number of features, compatibility with various devices, their performance on certain models, as well as their overall functionality. We have found out that the best app for spying on cell phones cannot be determined by statistics on what options they have since every concerned consumer is interested in how exactly these applications meet their specific requirements. There are actually lots of reasons to grade these apps, and in this article, we will try to explain some of them.
What is spy app?
Do you want to secure your mobile phone with spy application? It can be really important to install spyware apps on your smartphone just in case you lose your mobile phone or someone steals it. Or you can also use mobile spy app to spy on your friends’ smartphone and know the activity of the device.
Spy Phone Apps works with many devices: Android phones, iPhones, tablets, MAC or Windows PCs. Using spy apps, you can track a phone based on GPS location tracking and you will know where the device is located. Moreover, you can also use the app to monitor text messages, call logs, WhatsApp, and much more. If you want to spy on your friends’ device, then you can install this mobile spy app on the smartphone.
So, spy Apps actually has two basic functions. The first function is for a mobile phone monitoring for security. You can install it on your own device just in case you lose your mobile phone or someone steals your phone. The second function is to spy on other people’s device. Of course, you need to install this spy app on their device but you have to make sure that the owners do not know that you have installed it. Then, you can just spy on the device from the distance.
Top 10 Spy Apps Tested & Reviewed
1. mSpy – Top Spy App in 2023
As one of the best spy apps for parental control, mSpy leads the monitoring software list with its splendid set of over 30 monitoring features. It is suitable for iPhone and Android devices.
This monitoring app with high spy app review ratings covers a vast number of features, including monitoring calls, text messages, and instant messages from social media apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, etc.
As a parent, you can monitor the text messages received and sent from your child’s mobile device. It also enables you to track videos and photos sent via such apps. This helps in preventing inappropriate messages, texts, photos, and videos.
However, if you monitor an Android device, you will need to root the device for tracking the instant messenger apps. If the target device runs in iOS, a jailbreak is required for accessing the advanced features.
This cell phone monitoring software can identify the current location via GPS and monitor videos, photos, and browsing history. The monitoring can be done remotely. Geofencing is a special feature in mSpy that allows you to set safe boundaries like home, school, or grandparents’ home. The feature will send alerts when such zones are breached.
2. SpyBubble – Reliable Tracking App
As one of the phone spy apps available at affordable pricing, SpyBubble does not have an elaborate set of features found in mSpy. It is a simplified monitoring solution that is easy to use. It is focused on people who want to spy on their spouses or partners.
Although the app does not offer any advanced features, the tracking features present are sufficient for basic monitoring of calls, messages, etc. It can track activities on social media apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and others. You can record all the text and call information, including details of the call, call duration, date, and more.
SpyBubble is a cell phone spy app that allows you easily track your child, spouse, or employee’s activities. The app’s email monitoring feature also allows tracking the YouTube activity of the target user. However, this app does not have the website blocking feature; hence, it doesn’t offer good value for money.
3. Hoverwatch – Smart Choice
As one of the top spy apps for tracking and monitoring, Hoverwatch has several beneficial features. If you are searching for spyware that can help track your child, employee, or spouse’s activities, Hoverwatch is an excellent choice to consider.
Hoverwatch has tracking and recording features, so you can have a close watch on the target device without the device owner being aware of it. Using this app is easy and straightforward. You need just to download the phone monitoring software and start spying on all information.
The application has trackers for SMS, GPS, and calls, which can be used to track while remaining invisible to the monitored device user. The only downside of the app is its location monitoring, which is not accurate.
4. Mobile Spy – app for Android
Mobile Spy is a spy app for Android that supports all types of Android devices, including tablets and smartphones. This application’s monitoring features include spying on visited websites, phone calls, media files, GPS location, etc.
Mobile Spy app has a live panel for the subscriber, which can be used to access all the call logs. Alerts on contacts, keywords, profanity, and geofencing are also quickly sent to your dashboard.
Another useful feature of this app is it can help you retrieve your device if it has been stolen or lost. The app helps in locking the device from the account created remotely. The tracking features include Gmail and social messenger apps monitoring. One major drawback found in this app is the need for rooting of Android devices for accessing advanced features such as screenshot capture.
5. FlexiSPY – Top Rated App
Launched in 2006, FlexiSPY is one of the best mobile spy app programs with an extensive set of features. Specializing in parental control and employee monitoring features, FlexiSPY supports Android phones with OS 4 and above, and iOS devices of version 9.1 and higher. It can also be used for monitoring computers and supports Windows 7 and higher versions.
Special features in this app include intercept live calls from the target device, and deletion of SMS and SMS keywords. The SMS feature allows you to delete messages with keywords you searched for in the target device. It can also delete SMS messages and send spoof messages.
This phone monitoring app can be used for monitoring a single device for a license at a time. The major drawback with this app is it does not allow monitoring of WhatsApp messages.
Listening to the calls that your child receives or makes is easier with Spyera. This free phone spyware is useful for spying on all the popular social apps children use, including WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, Viber, etc. The video and audio monitoring features are handy here.
Viewing Internet browsing activity and reading emails or MMS can be easily done with this app. Installation is easy, and it is an undetectable spy app, so you can use it without worrying about being found out. The app features remote upgrades and free updates, which is a significant advantage for users.
7. Highster Mobile
Highster Mobile is an cell phone spy app that boasts an extensive list of monitoring features at an affordable price. The spyware is compatible with most iPhones and Android devices. Tracking social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and others is simple with this app. Highster Mobile also lets you monitor call logs, and all sent and received messages on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger.
This phone spyware also helps track emails on the target device. Its keylogger feature helps in password identification and finding all keystrokes used by the target device user. Although jailbreaking or rooting is not required, the features are not as comprehensive as other top rated spy apps featured here.
If affordability and basic monitoring features are sufficient for you, the Mobistealth spy app for Android and iOS is the right choice. Its features include monitoring SMS, calls, location, and it does not require jailbreaking or rooting the target device.
Spying on social media apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and others is easier with this parental control app. This cell phone tracking app offers parents 24/7 monitoring features, remote access to data, and tamper-proof applications. However, it does not intercept live calls as the premium level apps are capable of.
eyeZy is a powerful phone spyware that effectively extracts and monitors data from a target device as an undetectable spy app. It offers quite a wide range of features that allow monitoring of all activities on a target device.
The features include spying on device location, text messages, call history, WhatsApp messages, social chats, web browsing activity, live call recording, etc. The Control Panel is user-friendly, allowing you to access all the tracking features easily. This monitoring app has excellent remote monitoring features that keep you informed of your child’s activities without being visible.
Parents worried about their child’s smartphone usage will keep track of the phone activities effectively with PhoneSheriff. This spy app for Android can block incoming and outgoing phone calls.
You can also set personalized time restrictions and even block the apps you want. This monitoring app sends activity alerts and uses location tracking in real-time. Your child can also use the app to check-in so that you will view the location. This phone spyware uses lock commands and is fully compatible with Android devices. However, it is not compatible with iOS devices or BlackBerry.
How Do Spy Apps Work?
The software on the device that is being tracked collects and sends the information requested to your device for you to review. The first obvious difference is noticed in the way that this information is being sent. Some applications like Flexispy gather information and send it immediately if the device at hand has an active internet connection. On the other hand we have applications that will only use wireless internet for sending data.
This can be quite handy in some occasions if you don’t want the person to know that their phone is being tracked. Connection vise, some applications naturally stand out, on the first test the application Highster Mobile connected to our device on its first try, but later on we realized that this was not constantly happening because during the next several attempts the application failed to connect.
On the other hand we would like to point out that PhoneSheriff didn’t connect on the first attempt but after that managed to connect several consecutive times. Other applications on the top 10 Spy apps list like Spyzie and Mobistealth gave us results that were balanced out. By this we mean that the number of successful connection was better that Flexispy and still not as good as Highster.
When we took a look at the bigger picture it was obvious that there was a clear tradeoff between functionality and the overall visual quality of the application. What we are trying to say is that, for example Spyera had a pretty well thought out user interface and the functionality of the application suffered for it, while Highster Mobile had a user interface that wasn’t anything to brag about, while it delivered the result that we were looking for.
How to Choose Best Spy App?
There are few things you should consider while choosing the best spy app according to your needs. First of all see what mobile operating system you use and which apps support that platform. If the target device is an iPhone then top 10 iPhone spy apps might give you some options. Although a lot of spy apps and services support all major mobile and desktop operating system but some don’t so check that before buying any app. Now you’ve found a compatible app and service, the next step is to check whether that app has the required features or not.
If you need basic features like message monitoring, call monitoring and GPS location tracking then you can go for any monitoring app but if you need some advanced features like Facebook Messenger monitoring, internet usage monitoring or media access then you should check the official websites of all the available options and check their features. The next step is to see whether the app or service you like does meet your budget or not. Most of the monitoring apps and services offer several different pricing options so that one shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Can I Really Use Cell Phone Tracking Apps to Spy on Someone?
Yes, you can! The spy technology is actually rather old, and the only difference between its modern versions is the functionality of these applications. For example, the mSpy app provides accurate information within a short time period while Flexispy provides data in an incredibly fast manner, but the information this app gathers is sometimes incorrect or corrupted. When it comes to the overall accuracy of the cell phone tracking apps, a couple of applications outperform the rest. Mobistealth and PhoneSheriff deliver good results within a moderate period of time. For instance, although Mobistealth lacks some spy features and we had to wait for a while, the results this app delivered were worth it. Not a single kilobyte of data was corrupted, and everything worked as intended.
How to Install Spy app on the Target Device?
It is quite easy to install monitoring apps on the target device whether it is a mobile device or desktop computer. Some monitoring apps are even available for less popular mobile operating systems like Windows Phone. All you need is few minute of physical access to the target device in order to install the monitoring app on mobile devices.
Amazingly after the installation and initialization process, you don’t need the physical access anymore because these monitoring and spy apps and services allow users to control and configure all the settings remotely with the help of web portal company provides at the time of purchase. Different monitoring apps and services provide different kind of settings and configurations in the web portal. Companies also provide login details via email at the time of purchase and you can go the control panel and login using your unique ID and password. Obviously you can access that web portal anywhere and anytime with the help of secure login details you have.
What are some different pricing models?
First of all, there are two different pricing models; one-time fee and subscription based fee. At the first glance, one-time fee seems a better option because all you have to do is pay one-time fee and you are done. Yet there is a little twist in the story; most of the monitoring apps and services with one-time fee do not come with technical support, so after buying those apps and software, you are on your own. On the other hand, one-time fee is ridiculously high as compare to the subscription fee.
Most of the subscription based monitoring apps and services offer different plans for different time period; for example subscription plans are available for 1 month as well as 3, 6 and 12 months time period. This way users can select the subscription plan according to his/her needs as well as according to the budget they have. On the other hand, longer subscription plans are likely to be less expensive than shorter plans.
Can spyware harm your phone?
The simple answer is No; spyware and monitoring apps and services do not put your device in danger but they have some disadvantages too. First of all, they run in background all the time and use system resources like RAM and Processing Power continuously. Some apps that monitor IM activities consume extra battery.
Obviously it is not recommended to buy such apps and services if you have intentions to install them on older devices because they will not work efficiently. Some advanced apps and services allow users to enable and disable different features from the web portal they provide at the time or purchase so users can turn off unwanted features. Spy and monitoring apps do not harm your phone but instead they guarantee your device’s safety because you can use features like GPS location tracking and remote access to control your device even if it gets stolen or lost.
Is It Legal to Use Spy Apps?
The first thing that we would like to say that if you chose any on the applications from our best spy apps list, we would like to point out that there is a strong line between law and ethics. As far the law is concerned, you need to advise the person that you will install spy software on their android device, on the other hand, if the device is registered to your name you can install spy software without notifying anybody about it.
Now, as far as ethics are concerned on this matter, we strongly suggest that no matter whose device is at hand, that you inform that person on the matter of the spyware that you are willing to install on their mobile device. We strongly suggest this because opinions on this matter differ prom person to person. Some will realize that having spy software on their Android device will increase their overall security while other will have a hard time accepting that you will have a total insight on their personal affairs.
Did you know?
- 94% of teenagers – Regularly use mobile phones, which includes texting and Internet usage
- 65% of teenagers – have experienced cyberbullying, and roughly the same amount were engaged in online bullying
- 91% of teens – don’t tell their parents that they have been a cyberbullying victim
- 19% of 14-18 years old teenagers – have sent or received nude or sexually suggestive images of themselves to their friends
Each app on our list of top 10 spy apps performed well in the overall run. The tests we did were conclusive and the results were collected and reviewed. Some apps performed better in the long run than others, but it is always up to the customer to decide which application will suit their specific needs the best. Based on this, its needless to say that maybe you won’t find everything that you are looking for in one application, and it is because of this that we reviewed more than a couple of applications.