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A good way to describe a mobile phone spying application would be to term it as a software installed on a mobile device, with the intent of tracking its various activities including phone calls, GPS location, IM interactions, social media posts, text messages and more. In most cases, such apps also have a version which can be used for effective tracking of the computers and tablet PCs.

A great multitude of people actively use such mobile phone spying apps, all over the world. However, prior to going ahead and buying a subscription for yourself, please remember that using an app like this, without the consent of the target user, is considered illegal in many countries. Having said that, you don’t need any consent if you wish to track the activities of your underage children (below 18 years), or in cases wherein you’ve taken consent of your employees as a part of their appointment agreement.

Why parents are usually not deemed as doing anything illegal by secretly monitoring their younger ones’ cell phones and mobile devices, is due to the reason that they are the lawful guardians of their children, and are expected to take all possible precautions for the safety of their wards. On the other hand, as emphasised above, when it comes to the employees, you’ll need to notify them and take prior consent before indulging in any such spying activity.

Hence, if you’re a business owner who would like to plug all possible holes with regard to your business secrets, or a concerned parent wanting to monitor their kid’s online activities, a mobile phone spying and monitoring app can be of immense use to you. Using these applications, you can do a wide variety of monitoring activities including spying on WhatsApp, Snapchat, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, text messages and even the incoming and outgoing phone calls. Majority of these applications constantly track the activities happening on the target mobile phone/device and upload the retrieved data to a cloud server, which can then be accessed via a control panel or dashboard, later.

A simple Google search will reveal hundreds of such cell phone monitoring apps in the market, however, as is the case with any such product, not every app will be worth your time. Keeping in mind the wide variety, picking the right service provider for your requirements can be a very overwhelming task. We studied all the available spying apps in the market, and then shortlisted the top 10 of them. Thereafter, we conducted a thorough comparative analysis on those 10 and came to a final list of 5 best Mobile phone spying apps for Android and iPhones. Let’s go over their details below.

FlexiSpy

FlexiSpy easily stands out as the best mobile phone spying and monitoring app in the market today. It comes equipped with some really unique and useful features, not available with other spying apps.

After studying FlexiSpy in a bit more detail we discovered that it’s particularly useful for people who aren’t too comfortable using technology, and don’t mind paying a little extra for some handholding and advanced level features. FlexiSpy makes sure that you stay constantly updated about all the activities happening on the target mobile phone/device, by tracking every single aspect of it. In fact, if you go through the capabilities delivered by FlexiSpy’s Extreme Package, they are at par with pro-level spying tools, and are often unmatchable.

The app doesn’t just stop at giving you easy access to all the call logs on the target cell phone, it also equips you with the ability to listen to the phone calls, live. To top it all, FlexiSpy has its own branded smartphone which comes with pre-installed copy of the application, giving you instant access to all its features, from the word go!

Other than that, FlexiSpy usage isn’t limited to Android mobile devices and phones. You can use it equally effectively on mobile phones running on other well-known operating systems including Nokia Symbian, BlackBerry and various iOS versions. To add to that, any individual in need of technical assistance can speak to FlexiSpy’s helpful tech support team, consisting of highly qualified people with multiple years of experience. These cell phone spying experts can guide you through the complete installation process, and even assist you with complicated rooting or jailbreaking process. Furthermore, you can even reach out to them for regular maintenance tasks on the target mobile device.

FlexiSpy Pros

  • Availability of a branded FlexiSpy smartphone which comes with the app pre-installed into it.
  • The ambient listening functionality that enables you to listen to all the conversations in the phone’s immediate surroundings.
  • FlexiSpy operates in complete hidden mode, without giving any hint of its presence to the target user.
  • FlexiSpy is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
  • FlexiSpy has a budding community of users in the form of an online forum consisting of over 25,000 enthusiasts.
  • Using FlexiSpy, you can effectively convert the target mobile phone into a remote-controlled camera and video recorder. Not just that, you can access the target mobile phone’s microphone and hear its surroundings from a remote location.
  • FlexiSpy creators are the inventors of first-ever commercial grade mobile phone spying app in the world. They launched this app in 2006 and continue to be the leader in this space, since then.
  • FlexiSpy allows you to listen to the outgoing and incoming phone calls on the target mobile phone, in real time. You can also record the calls and listen to them later.
  • FlexiSpy lays a lot of emphasis on modern day Instant Messenger apps that are regularly used by the teenagers.
  • FlexiSpy are so confident about their product that they allow you to exchange a competitor’s app, with FlexiSpy, and earn a handsome discount for it.
  • FlexiSpy enjoys a 100% clean record in terms of data security. Not every mobile phone spying app out there can make such a tall claim.
  • Every purchase of FlexiSpy comes backed with 24 x 7 and 365 days a year, customer service support.

FlexiSpy Cons

  • Some people may find FlexiSpy to be slightly expensive than other spying apps in the market. However, if looked at closely, its list of comprehensive features very well justify its cost.
  • To be able to use FlexiSpy on an iOS device, you’ll need to jailbreak the latter

FlexiSpy Pricing

The makers of FlexiSpy provide multiple package options, depending upon the target device you want to spy on. Therefore, the packages vary based on the features and whether you wish to run the app on a tablet PC, computer or mobile phone.

FlexiSpy mobile phone monitoring

Lite package – Consisting of basic level phone monitoring features; ideal for people on a budget

  • $ 29.95 per month

Premium package – Ideal for comprehensive monitoring of mobile phones, using special features that are not usually found in other spying apps in the market

  • $ 68 per month
  • $ 99 for 3 months
  • $ 149 for 12 months

Extreme package – Suitable for people in need of high-level phone monitoring features, such as recording of all the audio streams.

  • $ 199 for 3 months
  • $ 349 for 12 months

FlexiSpy offers a special payment plan of $ 19.99 per week for monitoring of iPhones. This plan is considered best for tethered iPhones.

FlexiSpy computer and tablet monitoring

  • Subscription with 1 month validity: $ 68
  • Subscription with 3 months’ validity: $ 99
  • Subscription with 12 months’ validity: $ 149

mSpy

Placed second on our list of best mobile phone spying apps is mSpy, a top-rated product meant for detailed monitoring of mobile phones and devices used by children, partners and employees. If you check out the official website of mSpy, you’ll see that the makers have positioned it specifically for parents interested in monitoring their kids’ phone and online activities. An area where mSpy really stands out from the competition is the kind of customer care and reliability it offers.

Please note, there will be no need of jailbreaking the target iPhone if you choose the basic monitoring plan. The basic subscription also proves to be the ideal one for individuals who are not very tech savvy and would rather prefer simple monitoring, without any complex procedures. Opting for the full version of mSpy will offer you unlimited access to all the activities occurring on the target mobile phone/device. And what’s best is that the target user will never get even the slightest idea or hint about its presence.

Irrespective of the model or brand of phone you’re planning to spy on, whether it’s an Android phone or an iPhone, mSpy will get the job done. It works very smoothly on both the operating systems. Furthermore, mSpy comes with a wide range of attractive features including location tracking, contact list access, text message spying, call monitoring, IM monitoring and more. Using mSpy’s geo-fencing feature, you can also define forbidden and safe zones for your kids, to ensure that the younger ones steer clear of potentially dangerous areas.

With respect to mSpy usage on iPhones, as we briefly discussed earlier, you have a choice of jailbreak or non-jailbreak version, depending upon the target iPhone and your own preferences. In a similar manner, you can choose between root and non-root versions for the Android devices too. To help out all the concerned parents who may not be very comfortable using technology, but still want to learn everything about their kids’ cell phone activities, mSpy makes available a highly efficient tech support team that can handhold you through the entire installation process and be there with you round the clock to answer all your questions.

Regardless of the fact that mSpy lacks some of the very advanced level features available in FlexiSpy, it does offer everything you may possibly need for day-to-day mobile phone monitoring. It offers a highly intuitive dashboard and a fairly simple installation procedure, all of it at very competitive price.

mSpy Pros

  • As emphasised earlier, mSpy really stands out for the level of customer care it offers to customers, in multiple languages, 24 x 7, throughout the year.
  • mSpy offers the widely popular geo-fencing feature which isn’t provided by a large number of other spying apps in the market.
  • The app can be installed fairly easily, and anyone facing trouble can take help of mSpy’s tech support team.
  • The activity tracker feature of mSpy allows you to stay constantly on top of your kids’ screen time.
  • Looking at all other spying apps in the market, it won’t be wrong to state that mSpy is quite competitively priced, for all levels of users. mSpy proves to be a highly affordable spying solution, offering comprehensive monitoring services at less than 1 dollar per day.
  • The tech support team at the mSpy is very responsive, and you get answers to your queries normally within 24 hours.
  • The app works equally well on both Android and iOS phones/devices.
  • The family package option, targeted specifically at parents, has proven to be very useful as it enables easy and simultaneous monitoring of up to 3 mobile devices.
  • With mSpy, you are equipped to monitor all the media files on the target device.
  • mSpy works very discreetly on the target device, and the monitored person can never learn about its presence, unless explicitly told.

mSpy Cons

  • The only potential drawback of mSpy is that some users may find a few advanced features absent from it.

mSpy Pricing

For mobile phone monitoring

Basic plan:

  • $ 26.99 for 1 month subscription
  • $ 59.99 for 3 months’ subscription
  • $ 99.99 for 12 months’ subscription

Premium plan:

  • $ 69.99 for 1 month subscription
  • $ 119.99 for 3 months’ subscription
  • $ 199.99 for 12 months’ subscription

For computer monitoring

  • $ 26.99 for 1 month subscription
  • $ 39.99 for 3 months’ subscription
  • $ 69.99 for 12 months’ subscription

mSpy Family Kit

With mSpy you also get the option of a family package, which can help you simultaneously monitor 3 devices. Its pricing details are as follows:

  • $ 119.97 for 6 months’ subscription
  • $ 167.97 for 12 months’ subscription

Hoverwatch

Hoverwatch has made a big name for itself as one of the top-rated mobile phone monitoring and spying apps in the market, that provides all the basic monitoring functionalities quite efficiently, and some more. Using Hoverwatch, you can monitor and record phone calls, locations, text messages, browser activities, instant messages and much more. If you’d like to monitor the mobile phone and online activities of employees, or keep a track of your kids’ whereabouts, this app may prove to be extremely useful for you.

You receive not only the above-mentioned features, but can also access the target device’s camera from a remote location and snap pictures through it, learning a great deal about the person using it and their surroundings. Other than that, the app retrieves and uploads periodical screenshots from the mobile device, to the Hoverwatch cloud server. Therefore, you get updated about activities done on the device, at different times of the day.

It also retrieves and uploads messages exchanged on all kinds of social media applications including Facebook Messenger, Viber, Snapchat and WhatsApp. Please note, all these details are separate from snapshots taken of these apps.

Considering the comprehensive list of features it offers, Hoverwatch may allow you to possibly monitor every single activity occurring on the target mobile device / phone. If there is someone specific that your kid has been speaking to, at odd hours of the day, you can access their contact list and call records, and gain a better understanding of what’s going on. The location feature keeps you abreast of your kids’ whereabouts, ensuring that they never enter any potentially dangerous area.

As per Hoverwatch makers, the app is used by over 12 million people in 190+ countries across the world. All these Hoverwatch users are of different kinds, ranging from big multinationals to concerned parents. We discovered that a lot of big corporates use Hoverwatch for their day-to-day monitoring needs, mainly to prevent their intellectual property secrets from getting leaked out to unwanted elements or competitors. The research team at Hoverwatch is constantly engaged in efforts to unearth more innovative features, which can make their product safer and more useful for clients.

Hoverwatch Pros

  • Hoverwatch app provides a comparatively better frequency of data uploads.
  • It can be used efficiently without the need of rooting the target mobile phone or device.
  • You can make easy adjustments to the Android phone/device settings, through the Hoverwatch dashboard.
  • The app has proven to be much simpler compared to other products, especially in relation to its usage and installation.
  • With Hoverwatch constantly taking screenshots on the target mobile device/phone, and uploading them to its cloud server, you are able to learn about the activities on the device/phone round the clock.
  • The retrieved call records have amazing clarity, making it possible for you to clearly learn what is being said.

Hoverwatch Cons

  • You don’t get any geo-fencing feature in Hoverwatch app.
  • The retrieved SIM card details and GPS locations are sometimes found to be inaccurate.
  • You will require a separate key logger when you use this spying app.
  • You can’t term Hoverwatch as the easiest-to-use mobile phone spying app in the market.

Hoverwatch Pricing

Personal package for spying on 1 device

  • $ 24.95 for 1 month subscription
  • $ 59.95 for 3 months’ subscription
  • $ 99.95 for 12 months’ subscription

Professional package for spying on up to 5 devices

  • $ 49.95 for 1 month subscription
  • $ 99.95 for 3 months’ subscription
  • $ 199.95 for 12 months’ subscription

Business package for spying on up to 25 devices

  • $ 149.95 for 1 month subscription
  • $ 299.95 for 3 months’ subscription
  • $ 499.95 for 12 months’ subscription

iKeyMonitor

iKeyMonitor is widely considered the best option amongst cell phone spying applications for budget users. It is also a very easy to use and user friendly, a far better app than many of its competitors in the industry. iKeyMonitor comes equipped with multiple spying features which we’ve already discussed in other apps. It also boasts of an easy-to-use control panel that facilitates reviewing of all retrieved data from the target mobile phone. Additionally, you can also use it as a remote for the target mobile device, and can send commands through SMS messages. It is also possible to limit screen time of kids through this app.

One of the notable drawbacks of iKeyMonitor is that in order to make the most of it, you will have to root or jailbreak the target mobile phone. In fact, one of the most frequently noted complaints of people who have purchased iKeyMonitor is that they cannot use the key logging feature, due to the jailbreaking/rooting limitation. Even though jailbreaking/rooting is necessary for various other features too, people are particularly vocal about the key logging aspect. Therefore, if you’re someone who doesn’t go along very well with the technical processes, or can’t get physical possession of the target cell phone, you’d be better off choosing an alternative spying app. You can pick from any of the top three monitoring apps we’ve detailed above. All of them are backed by efficient customer care teams, which can help you with any technical process.

Besides the installation-related technicalities, iKeyMonitor serves as a fairly strong package, offering every comprehensive spying feature you expect from a good product in this category. What makes it special is that you don’t have to spend a lot on the monthly subscription. In a way, if you can somehow get past the rooting or jailbreaking process, you’ll have with you an excellent and efficient spying app, at a very good price.

iKeyMonitor Pros

  • iKeyMonitor captures the target device’s screenshots at different intervals of the day, to keep you updated about its activities.
  • You can limit your children’s screen time by implementing certain parental control measures
  • It has a fairly powerful keylogger which allows you to monitor inputs into various apps, including all the modern-day IM apps.
  • Using iKeyMonitor, you can record the sounds from the target mobile device’s surroundings too.
  • Unlike its various counterparts in the market, this app comes equipped with the geo-fencing feature, allowing you to set forbidden and permitted zones for your children.
  • Even though iKeyMonitor comes across as a fairly basic spying app, it’s actually very solid at core.
  • The makers of iKeyMonitor offer a 30 days money back guarantee on every purchase, allowing you to try it out in a hassle-free manner.
  • Before investing into the app, you can check out its workings through an online demo.
  • You can receive instant email alerts whenever the target user types certain keywords into their device.

IKeyMonitor Cons

  • As discussed above, to use iKeyMonitor you will have to mandatorily jailbreak or root the target iPhone or Android device.

iKeyMonitor Pricing

You can use a free- of-cost basic iKeyMonitor version available from its official website. It offers a good set of elementary spying features. To be able to choose the premium add-on features, you’ll need to pay either $ 16.6 per month or $ 9.99 for 3 days. These are on-demand subscriptions.

In case you’d like to use iKeyMonitor for your business, you can obtain comprehensive access to all its features by paying $ 9.99 per month, per device, with a commitment of minimum 20 devices.

Cocospy

Though Cocospy is placed fifth on our list of best mobile phone spying applications, it should be noted that it’s made this far, ahead of a large number of similar apps in the market. As in the case of any top-rated mobile phone spying app, Cocospy also allows you to easily monitor the outgoing/incoming calls on the target device, and retrieve various other important details.

You can stay continuously updated about conversations and messages exchanged through the target cell phone, irrespective of whether it’s a teenager, an employee or your partner using the device. As seen in other top-rated monitoring apps, the GPS location and geo-fencing are two very important features of any spying app worth its money. In this regard, Cocospy can send you regular updates regarding the target user’s location, something which can be lifesaving in case of vulnerable kids. Other notable features offered by Cocospy include Instagram spying, SMS tracking, stealth mode operation, SIM location tracking, call tracking, browser history updates, FB messenger tracking, Viber spying and Snapchat spying.

A quick visit to the Cocospy official website will reveal that the app is geared more towards parental control, remote surveillance and tracking. It delivers all these functionalities in a completely discreet manner. With Cocospy, you can comprehensively monitor Tablet PCs, Android devices/phones (running Android 4.0 or above) or iOS phones (without the need of jailbreaking). The on-boarding process is fairly simple. You just need to create an account with Cocospy, install the software on the target device/phone and then monitor all its activities through Cocospy dashboard.

Cocospy Pros

  • No rooting or jailbreaking of the target mobile phone needed.
  • The SIM card feature sends you an instant alert whenever the target user tries to change the SIM card.
  • Cocospy is quite quick at retrieving and uploading the activities done on the target mobile phone/device.
  • Every Cocospy purchase comes back with a comprehensive 60 days money back guarantee.
  • The app works in complete stealth mode, without giving any hint to the target user.
  • The product is backed by a fairly efficient after-sales support and a friendly customer service team.
  • As has been frequently reported by a large number of Cocospy users, the photo tracking feature is quite good.

Cocospy Cons

  • Lack of advanced level spying capabilities, including real-time listening of outgoing/incoming phone calls,
  • Some Cocospy users report inefficient working of the browser history feature.
  • The app is known to slow down the target device a little too often.

Cocospy Pricing

Pricing for Cocospy Android spying app

Basic package for monitoring of 1 device

  • $ 39.99 for 1 month license
  • $ 59.99 for 3 months’ license
  • $ 99.99 for 12 months’ license

Premium package for monitoring of 1 device

  • $ 49.99 for 1 month license
  • $ 69.99 for 3 months’ license
  • $ 119.99 for 12 months’ license

Family package for monitoring of 3 devices

  • $ 69.99 for 1 month license
  • $ 99.99 for 3 months’ license
  • $ 199.99 for 12 months’ license

Pricing for Cocospy iOS spying app

Premium package for monitoring of 1 device

  • $ 49.99 for 1 month license
  • $ 79.99 for 3 months’ license
  • $ 129.99 for 12 months’ license

Family package for monitoring of 5 devices

  • $ 99.99 for 1 month license
  • $ 199.99 for 3 months’ license
  • $ 399.99 for 12 months’ license

Business package for monitoring of 25 devices

  • $ 399.99 for 1 month license
  • $ 699.99 for 3 months’ license
  • $ 999.99 for 12 months’ license

Please keep in mind that all Cocospy packages renew automatically upon their expiry. Therefore, you’ll have to cancel manually in case you don’t wish to use the service any longer. Quite interestingly, you can pay for Cocospy using Bitcoin too, something that’s not seen in any other spying app.

LA Weekly