When done correctly and within the law, phone spying is a great monitoring tool for employers and parents.
For instance, imagine your employees are misusing business resources or passing out vital information to your competitors. That is something you don’t want to happen.
On the other hand, if you’ve recently started to get suspicious of what your teenagers are doing with their phones. Spying on their phone is one great way to have peace of mind, as we know phones can negatively affect them.
From getting tempted to check adult content to risks of getting cyberbullied there is a lot to worry about when your curious teens have access to a smartphone.
However, with the market plagued with scammers ready to pounce on any unsuspecting customers, it can be daunting to find the best spying app that suits your needs and preferences.
Below is a comprehensive guide with all-inclusive reviews of the best spy apps on the market. We also included a detailed buying guide on some of the important things to consider when choosing the best spy app.
So, let’s jump right in, shall we?
Spyic (Overall Best)
SpyTrac ( Best for Android devices )
Best Spy Apps In 2021 Reviews
Featured in some of the top-ranking platforms like the New York Times, Forbes, CNET, to name a few, Spyic is a sophisticated phone spying app that offers everything cell phone monitoring app for parents and employers should do.
So, what makes this high-end spy app unique?
How Does it Work?
The monitoring app comes packed with state-of-the-art features that enable you to comfortably and remotely spy on your child, employee, or any other person. These features include:
- Call tracker: This feature allows you to track the target device’s incoming and outgoing calls. It also enables you to gain access to a detailed call log containing each call duration, number of calls made, a list of the most popular contacts, and the exact information on when calls were made with the help of timestamps.
- SMS tracker: This enables you to read all incoming, outgoing messages and MMS media files even if the targeted individual deletes them. It also allows you to access detailed information on when messages and media files were sent and received thanks to the timestamps. What’s more, it also enables you to view the sender and receiver names, contact details, and pictures.
- Location tracker: The feature enables you to get real-time location updates with timestamps based on Wi-Fi and GPS data uploaded in the target device. You can also see addresses and geographical coordinates of places the individual is and has been to.
- Geofence alert: Perhaps you have areas you have forbidden your child to go to or restricted areas within your company that employees are not allowed in. Spyic features a Geofence alert that enables you to mark those restricted zones on a map. So when the target individual actually enters that restricted area, you will receive an alert. What’s more, you can also keep tabs on how often the individual enters or leaves the restricted area accompanied by time stamps.
- Facebook messenger tracker: This feature allows you to see all incoming and outgoing private and group chat messages. You also get access to the target device’s profile photo and the profile photos of the people the target person interacts with.
It also allows you to download photos, videos, and audio files sent and received through Facebook messenger. And that’s not all; it also allows you to view the target device’s Facebook usage history.
It is important to note that this feature does not work on iOS devices since the target device has to be rooted for the feature to work.
- Website history tracker: This feature enables you to know which websites the target individual visits accompanied with time stamps. It also allows you to get detailed information like how often the person has visited a particular website, its title, and URL, and whether it was bookmarked.
- SIM card location tracker: This enables you to view the target device’s location based on the SIM card network and have access to information like its IMEI number. What’s more, it also enables you to see all SIM card’s incoming and outgoing calls and SMS messages. In case the target phone gets lost, this feature enables you to track it.
- WhatsApp tracker: The feature allows you to view all incoming and outgoing messages, media files, and calls on WhatsApp, accompanied by time stamps. It also provides you with names, display pictures, and phone numbers of people the target individual interacts with.
- Snapchat tracker enables you to view all incoming and outgoing messages and media files on Snapchat with time stamps, plus contact details of the people the target person is interacting with. This feature, however, does not work on non-jailbroken iOS devices.
- Instagram Tracker: This feature allows you to receive real-time updates on all incoming and outgoing messages and media files on Instagram accompanied with time stamps. However, like the Snapchat tracker, it only runs on rooted or jailbroken devices.
- Viber tracker: This allows you to see all private and group chats and calls accompanied with time stamps. It also provides detailed information on the target individual’s friends’ contact details. Viber tracker also works only on jailbroken devices.
- Keylogger. This feature allows you to view everything the target individual types on their devices by extracting keystrokes from the target device’s keyboard.
Spyic app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. However, it only works on Android devices with Android version 4.0 and above and iOS devices with iOS version 9.0 and higher.
One of the highlights of this app is that it doesn’t require you to jailbreak or root the target device for it to work. However, this doesn’t apply to features like the Facebook messenger tracker, Instagram, and Viber tracker.
It’s important to keep in mind that Spyic is legal in the United States only if used on underage kids, employees using a company’s devices, or other personal devices.
Installing and setting up the app depends on the type of device. You will need up to 5 minutes of physical access to the target phone to download the app for target Android devices. While there’s no need to download the app on iOS devices, you will need its iCloud credentials.
On Android target devices, the app works in stealth mode, meaning you will be able to monitor it discreetly and remotely. As for iOS devices, the app is web-based, so you can spy on it remotely and discreetly.
There are three payment plans to choose from for both Android and iOS devices. For Android devices, there three payment plans:
- The basic plan costs $39.99 per month for one device.
- The premium plan allows you to access more features at $49.99 per month for one device.
- The family plan costs $69.99 per month for three devices.
For iOS devices, there are also three payment plans.
- Premium plan costing $49.99 per month for a single device
- Family plan costing $99.99 per month for five devices
- Business plan costing $ 399.99 per month for 25 devices
- It has a user-friendly design
- It comes packed with advanced and customizable features
- It allows one to spy on devices remotely
- Not all features work on non-rooted or non-jailbroken devices
Ease of use, amazing features, and top-notch functionality makes SpyTrac one of the best spying apps for Android devices.
How Does it Work?
First things first, it’s important to keep in mind that SpyTrac can only be used on underage children, employees with company devices, or any other consenting adults.
SpyTrac works on both rooted and non-rooted devices. However, to fully utilize the app’s features, experts recommend rooting the target device.
As expected, the app comes loaded with features that will enable you to monitor your child, employee, or any other person with ease. Among these features include:
- Call tracking service that enables you to keep tabs on the time, date, duration, and type of call ( whether it was incoming, outgoing, or missed), detailed information of the people contacted, and GPS coordinates indicating where the calls were made. What more, it comes with a call recording and blocking feature.
- Messaging apps monitoring feature. This allows you to view all incoming and outgoing messages, media files on apps including; Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype KIK, Google hangouts, Instagram, Gmail, Snapchat, and more!
It also enables you to have access to the details of each message such as the type, date, and contact details of the recipient or sender of the messages on the apps.
- SMS tracker. Another great feature is that allows you to see the content and information of all incoming and outgoing messages even when they are deleted.
- GPS location tracker. The feature allows you to track the movements of the targeted individual using their device’s GPS data. One of the things we love about it is that it enables you to narrow down a device’s location and position within approximately 15 to 30 feet of its actual location.
It also allows you to get details like the exact date and time when the targeted person was in a particular location, the address, and GPS coordinates. It also enables you to view the targeted device’s location frequently by setting alerts in time intervals from 15 minutes to 1 hour.
- Live audio, video, and screen feature. This feature allows you to view the real-time activities of the target device using its camera and screen.
- Website history tracker
- Installed applications tracker
- Calendar monitoring
- Photo and video monitoring feature
- File manager monitoring
- Statistics feature enabling you to receive details of the targeted device’s frequent activities like the most visited website, the most visited location, among others.
- Contacts monitoring
- Geofencing, profanity, and contact alerts
- Audio recording and camera feature that allows you to record audio and video of the target device’s activities and surroundings.
- SMS commands that enable you to send commands to the target device even when there’s no Wi-Fi
SpyTrac also comes with extra features and capabilities including:
- Sending a voice message to the target device
- Send a text message and call the target cell phone
- Take a screenshot of the dashboard
- Enable or disable the target device’s Wi-Fi
- Restart and format the phone
- Block target phones with OS version 6.0 and above
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SpyTrac only works on Android devices with OS version 4.1 and above.
Installing and setting up the app is a walk in the park thanks to its simple 7-step installation process available on its website. However, you will need some minutes of physical access to the target device for complete installation.
SpyTrac has three payment plans including:
- Basic plan that costs between $4.92 and $19.99 per month for one device.
- Xtreme plan costing $16.58 and $59 per month for one device
- Premium plan costing $9.92 and $39 per month
The payments can be done in a 1-month, 3-month and 12-month plan.
- It has a wide range of customizable features
- It enables one monitor devices even when there’s no Wi-Fi
- It allows one to remotely monitor the target devices
- Only for android devices
3. StealthX Pro
Although it is a relatively new monitoring app, StealthX Pro has managed to become one of best spy apps for Android devices because of its reliability, ease of use, and versatility.
How Does it Work?
This one-of-a-kind spying app offers a full set of features and capabilities that enables you to monitor your employees’, kids’, or any other person’s online activities. One of the things that we like about this app is that it can still enable you to monitor the target device even when switched off.
StealthX Pro works on both rooted and non-rooted devices, but the company recommends rooting the target device if you want to use most of its features.
However, like most other legit monitoring apps, StealthX Pro is legal in the United States if used on underage kids, employees using your company’s devices or any other consenting adult.
Among the features that make this app worth investing in include:
- Call log tracker, blocking calls, and call recording feature.
- An instant messaging tracker that enables you to monitor all incoming and outgoing messages and media files received on various social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, to name a few.
- Live audio, video, and screen viewing features that enable you to view real-time activities on the target device.
- GPS location tracker.
- Website history tracker that also allows you to block websites of your choice.
- Installed applications tracker that also enables you to blacklist installed apps of your choice.
- Photos and videos tracker.
- File manager tracker allows you to access and save media files and other files in the target device including those that are downloaded from various social media apps.
- SMS and MMS tracker with an SMS alert that notifies you every time the target device has an incoming message.
- Contacts tracker with an alert that notifies you when the target device has a new contact.
- Calendar tracker with an alert that notifies you when there’s a new event added to the calendar.
- Analysis tools that provide you with detailed reports of the target device’s activities.
StealthX Pro is a spying app for Android devices running on OS version 4.0 and higher.
After purchasing the software, you will receive an email with a registration code, a license code, and the password to your StealthX Pro account. You will then receive a request to verify your email address. It’s important to note that you will not be allowed to change your email address once verified.
The next step is to install the software, which is super easy thanks to the detailed installation guide available on the website.
While the app works remotely, you still require a couple of minutes with the target device to download the app.
StealthX Pro has about four payment plans:
- The premium plan costs $29.99 per month with a one-month payment plan
- The Xtreme plan costing $69.99 per month, also with a one-month payment plan
- Another Xtreme plan that costs $39.99 per month with a three-month payment plan
- Another Xtreme plan costing $16.66 per month with a 12-month payment plan
- It is easy to use
- It is very affordable
- It enables one to monitor the target device even when it’s switched off
- Some features don’t fully function on non-rooted devices like Skype tracker, LINE tracker, among others
Founded in 2006, FlexiSPY has continued to stay on top of the spy app market because of how comprehensive it is. Not only does this app run on cell phones, but it also operates on computers, laptops, tablets, and iPads.
How Does it Work?
This is one of the apps with an extensive range of features. Of course, accessing the features depends on your preferred payment plan. FlexiSPY is legal only if used on underage children, employees with the business’ devices, or any other consenting adult.
Apart from the basic features like GPS location tracker, SMS and MMS tracker, Messaging app tracker, keylogger, to name a few, the app comes with extra features and capabilities like:
- The phone interception feature allows you to listen in on actual calls made or received by the target individual.
- Spoof SMS feature that allows you to send a fake SMS message from the target device to any contact on its phone book discreetly and remotely
- The ability to remotely deactivate, upgrade, or uninstall the app from the target device. What’s more, you can also check the target device’s battery, restart it, and turn certain features on or off.
And then there’s FlexiSPY Express. If you are thinking about buying a new phone for your child or employee, FlexiSPY, through FlexiSPY express, offers you a brand new smartphone with the app preinstalled in it. And that’s not all; the phone also comes with a one-year warranty. Impressive, right?
After subscribing to your preferred payment plan, you will receive a confirmation email with your login details and comprehensive step-by-step instructions for installing the app. If you are spying on an Android device, you will need physical access to the device to download the app.
The app also requires you to jailbreak or root the target Android and iPhone devices. If you are not familiar with the process, a FlexiSPY technician can do it for you for $39.99.
FlexiSPY is compatible with Android devices running on Android versions 4 to 11 and iOS devices with iOS versions 6.0 to 14.x. It also works on computers with Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10.
FlexiSPY’s payment plans vary from one target device to another.
For Android and iPhone target devices, there are three payment plans:
- Lite plan costing $29.95
- Premium plan costing $68 available in 1, 3, and 12-month plan
- Extreme plan costing $199 available in 3 and 12-month plan
For iPads and computers, there’s only one payment plan costing $68 available in a 3 and 12-month plan.
The app also comes with a portal, a free interface that enables you to view your dashboard’s data using a web browser.
- It comes with an extensive range of customizable features
- It enables one to monitor different types of devices
- It is easy to use
- It is quite pricey.
While it doesn’t have many advanced features that other sophisticated spy apps offer, it still comes packed with top-notch basic features that enable you to comfortably monitor your child, employee, or any other targeted person.
How Does it Work?
Like most apps, Mobistealth does not require you to jailbreak or root the target devices. Like we mentioned before, the app comes with all the basic features you would want to find in a monitoring app. From call tracker and call recording feature, SMS and MMS tracker, location tracking feature, messaging app tracker, keylogger, to name a few.
Installing and setting up the app is super easy. All you have to do is sign up for a free Mobistealth account, select your preferred payment plan, then receive an email with detailed installation instructions, and connect to the target device.
When it comes to connecting to target devices, you will need some minutes of physical access to Android target devices for complete installation. As for iOS devices, you’ll only need their iCloud details.
Mobistealth runs on Android devices with OS version 5.2 or higher and iOS devices with OS version 9 and above. What’s more, the app is compatible with Windows and Mac computers.
Mobistealth has different payment plans for different target devices.
There’s the Pro X plan for Android devices costing $69.99 per month available in 1, 3, and 12-month payment plans.
Pro plan that costs $59.99 per month is available in 1,3 and 12-month payment plans.
For iOS devices, there is the Premium costing $16.66 per month available in a 3-month plan.
For PC computers, there is the Pro plan that costs $20 per month available in a 3, 6, and 12-month payment plan.
For Mac computers, there’s the LITE plan costing $13.33 per month available in a 3, 6, and 12-month payment plan.
- It is easy to use
- It works on different types of devices.
- Some features don’t work on iOS devices.
Ease of use and convenience is what mSpy is all about. Like Mobistealth, it also does not come with any advanced features, but its user-friendly interface and convenient features make it a great spying app. One capability that sets this app apart from many others is that it allows you to monitor non-jailbroken iOS devices.
How Does it Work?
The app comes loaded with all the basic features you would be looking for in a monitoring app. From keylogger feature, SMS tracker, call log tracker, messaging app tracker, among others.
We also like how easy it is to install the app. All you have to do is sign up for a free mSpy account, select your preferred payment plan, then get an email with detailed installation instructions, and connect to the target device.
mSpy works on Android devices operating on OS version 4 and above and on iOS devices running on version 7 and higher.
The app has two payment plans:
- The basic plan costs $29.99 per month
- The premium package costs $48.99 per month
There is also a family kit option, allowing you to monitor up to 3 devices simultaneously.
- It is easy to use
- It allows one to monitor non-jailbroken iOS devices
- Some customers have mentioned that saved mSpy data on the dashboard might get lost if the target device’s data is completely erased.
Otherwise known as KidsGuard Pro, this app’s reliability, ease of use, and convenience make this one of the best spying apps, especially for parents.
How Does it Work?
For starters, KidsGuard Pro works on stealth mode, meaning you can monitor the target device discreetly. The app also doesn’t require you to jailbreak or root the target device. So, what do you get from KidsGuard Pro?
As we mentioned before, the app comes with all the basic features that enable you to conveniently monitor your child’s devices. These features include; the location tracker, geofencing, installed applications tracker, call logs tracker, SMS, and MMS tracker, messaging apps tracker, and more.
While it doesn’t offer any extra features, its versatility is what pushes it to the top. KidsGuard Pro works on a variety of devices. It is compatible with Android devices with OS versions 4.0 to 11, iOS devices operating on iOS versions 9.0 to 14, and PCs with Windows 7, 8, and 10.
Installing and setting up the app is super easy. All you have to do is sign up for a free KidsGuard Pro account, select your preferred payment plan, get an email with step-by-step installation instructions, and then connect to the target device.
For Android devices, you will need a few minutes of physical access to the target device for complete installation. For iOS devices, all you need is the target device’s iCloud credentials.
KidsGuard Pro’s pricing plans differ from one type of device to another.
For Android devices, there are three payment plans:
- A 1-month plan costing $29.95
- A 3-month plan costs $49.95 and $69.95, which is approximately $16.65 per month
- A 1-year that costs between $99.95 and $139.95, that’s about $8.82 per month.
For iOS devices, there are also three payment plans:
- A 1-month plan costing $39.95
- A 3-month plan that costs between $59.95 and $79.95 is $19.95 per month
- A 1-year plan costing between $109.95 and $179.95, that’s $19.95 per month
For Windows computers, there are also three payment plans:
- A 1-month plan costing $49.65
- A 3-month plan that costs between $79.95 and $99.95, that’s about $26.65 per month
- A 1-year plan costing between $129.95 and $159.95 is $10.82 per month
- It is easy to use
- It is reliable
- The target devices do not need to be jailbroken or rooted
- There are some features are missing in iOS devices
What to Look Out for When Choosing the Best Spy App for Android and iOS
Here are a few factors to help you make a better decision on which is the best spy app for you.
Anti-Spying Rules and Regulations
Let’s be honest; everyone, even yourself, dislikes their privacy being invaded, and spying on someone’s phone and online activities is an invasion of privacy. If you may have noticed, all of the spy apps we have reviewed state that they are legal in the United States only if used on underage children, employees with company devices, or any other consenting adult.
This is because, in the United States, it is illegal to install cell phone monitoring software on an adult’s phone without their consent. This act, which is almost similar to wiretapping, is a felony or equivalent to a felony in every state and punishable with over a year in prison and/or hefty fines.
Every state has a law that requires an individual to have the consent of at least one person participating in conversations done using the target device. However, some states require the consent of both parties to take part in the conversations.
So, before you choose the best spy app for you, try and familiarise yourself with the anti-spying laws and regulations in your state just to be on the safe side.
Jailbreaking or Rooting the Target Device
As you read the reviews, you may have noticed that some spy apps don’t require you to jailbreak or root the target device, while others need you to do so to get the best user experience.
Before choosing the ideal spy app for you, it’s important to explore both sides of jailbreaking or rooting a device, to determine whether you will be comfortable with the app.
Pricing is hands-down one of the top factors to consider before buying anything. When it comes to spy apps, most of them offer monthly, 3-month, 6-month, or yearly subscription plans. On the other hand, some offer a one-time license fee.
So, before choosing the best spy app for you, it is best that you check their payment plans to determine whether you will still be able to afford it over time.
Before subscribing to a spy app, it’s important to take a more in-depth look at its features. Does it have all the features you need? Does it offer any extra features? Is it easy to use? These questions will help you decide whether a particular monitoring app is the ideal one for you.
The Customer Care Service
Most people don’t give this factor much thought, but it is equally important, especially when purchasing a spy app. Not everyone is tech-savvy, right? And before we know how an app works, we will need some kind of help.
Before choosing the best spy app, check out how their customer care service is. Is the support team available 24/7? Do they respond quickly? Do they have positive customer reviews? All these questions will go a long way in helping you determine if a particular spy app is the best one for you.
And there we have it, the best spying apps on the market for iOs and Android devices.