Top 10 Best Mobile Spy Apps in 2020
The digital era we live in is a double-edged sword of sorts. While we positively revel in the convenience and communication that any standard Android and iOS device brings with it, it also opens up users to a host of suspicious, and frequently, fraudulent activities that wreak havoc the world over.
This is precisely why the best mobile spy apps have become a necessary tool to counteract this, and restore a semblance of control over the online activities of the individuals that matter the most to us. But how do you pick the best mobile spy app? Well, we’ve done it for you so that you don’t have to.
mSpy – Absolute Best Phone Spying App
The mSpy spy app has emerged as one of the top applications to spy on cell phones today. It is chock-full of advanced features that make it easy to use for tracking GPS location without them knowing, social media monitoring, remote access to text messages on the target Android and iOS phone, and lots more. You simply can’t go wrong with it.
Below are some of the notable features of mSpy that make it one of the top cell phone monitoring software that’s hot on the market right now.
- It’s one of the few best mobile spy apps that integrate a live control panel allowing users to view all incoming and outgoing calls on any iOS and Android smartphone
- Provides access to Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Tinder, and other online messengers
- The mobile spy app also allows you to access web browsing history, files stored locally in the iOS or Android device
Like most best mobile spy apps in the market, mSpy requires users to purchase a subscription to enjoy the services. There are three packages available to choose from.
- Basic costs $29.99/mo.
- Premium costs $69.99/mo.
- No Jailbreak costs $69.99/mo.
As difficult as it is to find Android spy apps that are compatible with most target smartphones, mSpy brings something a little different to the table. It is compatible with Android phones running on Android 4 and later. You will, however, need to root the device if you want to enable Gmail, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Facebook monitoring.
When it comes to installing mobile spy apps on iOS devices, there are two ways to go about it.
First, there’s mSpy without jailbreak, which is compatible with all versions of the operating system. This method of installing the spy phone apps is ideal if you don’t have physical access to the device in question, but have the iCloud login credentials.
If you do have physical access to the phone, ensure that it is jailbroken first. mSpy with jailbreak is compatible with iOS 7-8.4 and 9.0-9.1.
Pros & Cons
- Comes with a 7-day free trial to get a feel for it
- It is compatible with both Android and iOS devices
- It has superior tracking and remote monitoring features
- You can make the app invisible on the target device
- Rooting may be necessary to access certain monitoring features
- Access to the premium functions may be slightly pricey for some users
Cocospy – Monitoring Solution without Rooting or Jailbreaking
It’s no secret that kids can get up to mindless mischief online – which is excellent for the most part. They can, however, be the target of malicious predators looking to take advantage of their naivety and innocence.
The Cocospy spy app is designed to allow vigilant parents to keep perverts, scammers, and cyberbullies at bay. The advanced phone monitoring features in this spy app let you view your child’s browsing history, all their instant messages, phone calls, text messages, and even hack their phones without touching it remotely. The fact that you can do this stealthily is what makes it one of the best mobile spy apps you’ll come across.
- It has a Viber, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook mobile spy function
- It comes with a GPS and SIM location tracker
- It has a geo-fence alert feature that notifies you when your child goes to an area they’re not allowed to venture into. You can then track their precise location remotely through your web account
- It lets you view the device’s full browser history
There are three available subscription plans you can choose from.
- Basic retails for $39.99/mo.
- Premium retails for $49.99/mo.
- Family retails for $69.99/mo.
- Basic retails for $49.99/mo. for one supported device
- Premium retails for $99.99/mo. for five supported devices
- Family retails for $399.99/mo. for 25 supported devices
Cocospy is one of the few best mobile spy apps in the market today that is compatible with all iOS versions. You don’t even need to jailbreak the target iPhone. It is also compatible with smart devices running on Android 4.0 and later. No rooting is required if the device has an Android operating system.
Pros & Cons
- It has robust monitoring features designed to keep kids safe and track target phone activities in real-time
- It is also suited for employers who want to monitor their employees’ activities both on and off the clock. You have to seek their permission first before you can do this
- It is one of the few spying apps where jailbreaking or rooting the device isn’t required
- It doesn’t have camera access for real-time photo and video recordings of the surroundings
Hoverwatch – Powerful Spy App for Android
You can’t have too much of a good thing, can you? Hoverwatch is the kind of spy app that can do it all. From location tracking and social media monitoring to front camera photo capturing and multi-device tracking, this monitoring app does it all.
The best part about this spy app is – it doesn’t even require you to root the device. Additionally, it comes with a stealth mode function that allows you to do all this while remaining completely invisible to the target device user. It is indeed one of a kind.
- It has a tracker for messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook
- It can track several devices
- It keeps a log of phone-call and browser history in an intuitive web control panel
- It saves all multimedia files exchanged over social media and chat apps
- It supports real-time GPS tracking
This mobile spy software is available to users through a subscription plan based on three principal models:
- Personal supports 1 device and retails at $24.95/mo.
- Professional supports 5 devices and retails at $49.95/mo.
- Business supports 25 devices and retails at $149.95/mo.
This particular cell phone spyware is compatible with Android 3.1-6.1, macOS X, macOS 10.9-10.11, and Windows 9.2-10.1.
Pros & Cons
- Supports up to 25 devices
- It has a multitude of advanced features like front camera capture, which isn’t available in many other best mobile spy apps
- Stealth mode allows the app to remain invisible to the target phone user while discreetly running in the background
- It doesn’t require rooting
- iPhone doesn’t support Hoverwatch
Spyic – Brand New Cell Phone Monitoring Software
Busy parents now have a foolproof way to keep an eye on their kids’ cell phone activities, without having to look over their shoulders to do it. Besides, who has the time for that, anyway?
The Spyic spy app was explicitly designed with plenty of parental control features that allow you to do just that. It’s no wonder that this newcomer has emerged as one of the top cell phone monitoring apps for protective parents.
- The app allows you to monitor all visited websites on the target mobile device
- Provides a complete history of incoming and outgoing phone calls via the web-based control panel
- It is probably one of the best spy apps for GPS route and location tracking
- The mobile spy app allows parents to view all sent and received Facebook and Instagram messages
- Allows you to view all files on the target device
Spyic has two subscription plans available for Android and iOS operating systems.
- Basic costs $39.99/mo.
- Premium costs $9.99/mo.
- Family costs $69.99/mo
- Family costs $99.99/mo.
- Premium costs $10.83/mo.
- Business $399.99/mo
This mobile spy software is compatible with smartphones running on Android 4 or later, as well as all versions of iOS. No jailbreak is required for an iPhone installation process.
Pros & Cons
- It has an easy-to-use interface
- It comes with lots of advanced tracking and monitoring features, compared to other best mobile spy apps in the market
- You don’t require physical access to the target phone for installation
- The customer support team is very responsive to queries
- It doesn’t support app and website blocking options which is synonymous with several other parental control mobile spy apps
KidsGuard – Best Spy & Tracking App for Parents
Clevguard is well-known in the industry for its comprehensive range of phone monitoring software solutions that cater to protective parents and vigilant employers. The company’s most notable product is undoubtedly the KidsGuard spy app, which comes with more than 30 tracking features.
Once installed, you can confidently monitor your child’s call logs, record calls they receive, track their activity on their social media apps, and pinpoint their exact location at any point in time. So, if you have a mischievous minor on your hands, KidsGuard’s got you covered.
- You can use it to monitor all social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and many others
- It supports remote camera activation to capture photos or video footage of the surroundings discreetly
- It allows you to capture screenshots on the target device
- You can use it to view any text message sent from or received on the device in question
- It supports geofencing and keeps a comprehensive log of your child’s location history
KidGuard is available in three subscription plans for Android, iOS, and iCloud. Each plan retails for $29.95/mo., $39.95/mo., and $29.95/mo. respectively.
KidsGuard Pro is a top choice of cell phone spy apps, mainly because of the large number of mobile devices it supports. It is compatible with all major smartphones and tablets running on Android 4.0 and later, for both rooted and non-rooted devices.
On the iOS front, it is compatible with devices powered by iOS 9.0-13.x for both jailbroken and non-jailbroken devices.
Pros & Cons
- It has loads of advanced monitoring features that are specially designed to protect kids
- Unlike several other spy apps, KidsGuard supports real-time data syncing
- It is highly affordable, quick to install, and its UI makes for easy navigation
- No jailbreak or rooting is required for installation
- It doesn’t have a contact, app, or website blocking feature
FamiSafe – Phone Monitoring & Parental Control in One
The FamiSafe spy app is a one-stop-shop for cell phone spyware solutions, making it a top contender among parents looking to get a handle on their kids’ mobile phone use. Unlike other mobile spy software you’ll come across, FamiSafe has cornered in the market in providing a three-in-one solution, designed to not only track the physical whereabouts of your child but also allow you to detect and track target phone activities.
This means that you can remotely set a limit on their screen time, get alerts every time inappropriate content is detected on their iOS or Android devices, and even block unwanted or inappropriate websites.
- It allows you to block internet access on your kids’ Android or iOS devices based on the predetermined time limits
- It has a YouTube monitor to enable you to detect inappropriate content and even block specific channels or videos
- It lets you view the web history and activate the website blocker for inappropriate websites
- You can see the application list in the target devices and block apps whose screen time you want to limit
FamiSafe has, no doubt, the most affordable subscription packages yet, at a measly $9.99/mo. for five devices. Alternatively, you could opt for the 3-month plan that costs $19.99 and supports up to 10 devices.
Like many spy apps, FamiSafe is compatible with smart devices running on Android 4.4-10, and Apple devices running on iOS version 9 and later. No jailbreak or rooting is required in both instances.
Pros & Cons
- It has affordable pricing plans making it the best budget option there is
- It comes loaded with advanced suspicious-content-detection, safety, and blocking features
- It supports excellent screen time management
- It doesn’t require rooting or jailbreaking devices running on Android or iOS
- It doesn’t have some essential phone call monitoring features like tracking incoming and outgoing call logs, call intercept or viewing phone numbers in the address book
FlexiSPY Extreme – Professional Phone Monitoring Solution
There’s a reason why this is number one on our list. This mobile spy app goes beyond just being the best spyware for Android phones and iOS devices. It brings something a little extra to the table to add pizzazz.
FlexiSPY Extreme is designed as monitoring software for both mobile phone and computer tracking. Moreover, the spy app allows you to record conversations discreetly. Not many iOS and Android spy apps support this handy function.
- Supports real-time GPS tracking
- The spy phone app has an iOS and Android keylogger that records every keystroke made on the device
- The Spycall feature allows you to listen in on phone calls live
- Has remote photo and screenshot capture
- Ideal for PC and Mac monitoring
The spying app is available in three different packages on a subscription-based plan.
- Lite costs $29.95/mo.
- Premium costs $68/mo.
- Extreme costs $199 for the 3-month subscription plan
- Lite costs $29.95/mo.
- Premium costs $68/mo.
- Extreme costs $19.99/wk.
The developer recommends the Premium plan for iPad, Mac, and PC users.
This particular spy software is compatible with devices running on Android 8 and later. The older the device is, the fewer the number of supported features it will accommodate. Nonetheless, advanced features may not be available without rooting the device first.
The FlexiSPY spy app is available for iOS-powered devices running on version 6.0-13.x. Most iPhones, however, can only run in tethered mode, and you will need to jailbreak the device.
Pros & Cons
- It continues to monitor the target phone even without an internet connection. Once it establishes a connection, the activities log will instantly upload to the remote control panel
- It also supports PC and Mac monitoring, something many other apps don’t
- It is feature-rich compared to other spy apps in the market
- CDMA devices don’t support the call interception function
Highster Mobile – Most Affordable Monitoring Software
Touted as one of the best spy apps for parents, employers, and individual users alike, Highster Mobile certainly ranks up-top when it comes to delivering on performance and reliability. This legitimate cell phone spyware provides the ultimate way to keep an eye on errant employees and troublesome teens using its advanced monitoring features.
Unlike most of the other mobile phone spy apps, you’re likely to come across on the hunt for the best one, the Highster spy app has a stealth camera function that allows you to capture photos and videos of the surroundings. Now that’s next level phone spy software.
- Has a real-time GPS phone tracker
- Keeps social media activity logs for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other messengers
- The live control panel provides dynamic access to all facets of the target user’s phone
- Keeps a comprehensive log of all incoming and outgoing calls
Highster spy app adopts a one-off payment model for lifetime access to the mobile spy features. You can choose from any of the two available packages.
- Basic costs $29.99/mo.
- Pro costs $69.99/mo.
This cell phone spy software is compatible with all Android devices, including Samsung, HTC, Huawei, and several others, provided that they run on version 3 and up of the operating system. The spyware is compatible with all flavors of iOS, including version 13.
Install the no-jailbreak version if you don’t have physical access to the phone, and the jailbreak version for jailbroken phones. The latter method, however, requires access.
Pros & Cons
- Only requires a one-time payment for lifetime access
- No additional cost for upgrades
- The customer support team is highly responsive
- Has a stealth camera feature for capturing photos and taking video footage of the target phone’s surroundings
- It does not support call recording
- The Android spy software may not be compatible with specific makes of smartphones
- Legally, you are required to seek permission from your employees before you install mobile spy apps on their devices
Spyera – Rewarding Monitoring Experience
Unlike several other best mobile spy apps that you’ll come across, Spyera injects a new spin to an old classic. Not only is it a cell phone spy app, but it can also be installed in tablets as well as Mac and Windows computers, to monitor the activities there as well. The fact that it provides an all-round solution for the different flavors of digital and electronic gadgets that exist is something you don’t often come across.
This spy app allows you to view all instant messaging app activities in real-time, capture keystrokes using the keylogger feature, enable GPS location tracking in real-time, and even activate the camera and microphone on the target mobile device, to listen in on the surroundings. The best part about all this is – it is completely undetectable on the device it is installed on.
- It supports SMS messages and email monitoring
- It provides access to all media files in the device
- You can use the live call listening function for on-going calls
- It keeps a detailed log of phone calls and web history
- It tracks the actual location of the device in real-time
You can choose from either of the two monthly subscription options available.
Under the Premium plan, it will cost you:
- $59/mo. to install the spyware on phones and tablets
- $29/mo. to install it on a computer
The Premium Plus plan costs more but comes with several advanced features. It will cost you:
- $189/mo. to install it on phones and tablets
- $79/mo. to install it on computers
Spyera is compatible with all versions of Android, including version 10 and iOS up to version 13.x. It is also compatible with Windows PCs running on Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10, as well as computers with macOS Sierra, High Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, and Mojave. Jailbreak and rooting are required to enjoy some features.
- It supports mobile devices and computer monitoring solutions
- It is compatible with a wide range of operating systems
- It is backed by a 10-day money-back guarantee
- The subscription plans are pricier than most
- Some features require that you root and jailbreak the devices
XNSPY – Easy-to-Use Cell Phone Monitoring Application
As far as parental and employee spy apps go, it doesn’t get any better than XNSPY. It is jam-packed with lots of advanced features, which include viewing phone calls made to and from iOS and Android devices, viewing text messages and instant messages like those in WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, and lots more monitoring functions.
One unique feature of XNSPY that you may not often come across in even the best spy apps is its ability to control a mobile phone remotely. So, you can block apps, wipe data, and even lock the target phone without having physical access to it, usually through SMS commands. If that’s the level of control you’re after, then XNSPY can deliver on it.
- Stealth mode
- It allows you to view media files and calendar entries on the device
- Supports call and surroundings recording
- It has email and online activity monitoring
- It grants you access to social media tracking, messenger chats, and multimedia
- It provides remote phone support for calls and text messages monitoring
The XNSPY spy app has two pricing plans available to prospective users.
- Basic Edition retails at $29.99/mo.
- Premium Edition retails at $35.99/mo.
The jailbreak version of XNSPY is compatible with Apple devices that have iOS version 6.0 and later. It also works with smartphones and tablets that have Android 4.0 and later. Rooting may be necessary to activate some features.
Pros & Cons
- It has several advanced tracking features
- Offline tracking allows it to continue monitoring phone activity even with no internet access
- You can view deleted media files, web history, text messages, and call logs
- It will enable you to control a device remotely
- The subscription plans don’t support multiple device monitoring
- Jailbreak and rooting is required to access certain features of the spy app
This section explores the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by people looking to get the best spy app for their employees’ or kids’ iOS or Android devices.
What features to consider before buying a mobile spying app?
Before you settle on a particular best spy app, there are some essential features it needs to have. Anything less, and it’s not worth your time or money. Here are the basic ones to consider.
- Call logs and SMS text messages monitoring with optional call interception function
- Compatibility with several versions of Android and iOS
- Real-time email and social media monitoring through your web portal
- Live GPS Tracker with the optional geofencing capability
- Offline backup to store data when the device isn’t connected to the internet
- Stealth mode for the app to run invisibly in the background of the target device it’s installed on
- Browsing history viewing with the parental control option to block inappropriate websites
How to choose the right company?
Choosing the right software company is equally as important if you hope to get the best experience with exceptional results. Here’s what you need to consider.
1. Customer support
Before settling on a specific service provider, be sure to check how easy it is to reach their customer service team. A great way to do this would be by getting in touch with them through the communication channels provided on the official website. Inquire about their products to see how long it takes to get a response.
2. Online reviews
The vast majority of company searches begin on Google. Look for reviews and comments from real users to get insight into their experiences using the spyware. If you come across a vast number of negative reviews, it’s probably a good idea to go with a different company altogether.
3. Check the website for valuable information
It’s always in your best interest to skim through the terms and conditions of the company, as well as any disclaimer that may not align with what you hope to achieve with the spy app. It also provides an excellent opportunity to review the features of the app and use the live demo to get a feel for it. A company that doesn’t offer this isn’t worth pursuing.
4. Free trial and money-back guarantee
A great company should allow its customers to get a feel for the software with no risk of money-loss if it doesn’t live up to their expectations. Always go for the ones that offer free-trials or, at the very least, money-back guarantees if you’re not satisfied with the product.
Is it legal to use spy apps?
Yes, it is – for the most part. You can only install spy apps on mobile devices and computers that you own.
So, if you’re looking to keep a close eye on what your kids get up to, it is well within your rights to install spyware on a device that you bought for them. There’s no specific law that prohibits you from doing this. Children do have a right to privacy, but only to a certain extent.
As a parent, you must keep them out of harm’s way. And, if you don’t particularly have an open relationship with them, sometimes a spy app is the only way to get to know what’s going on in their lives so that you can keep them safe.
On the flip side, if you’re an employer who wants to keep tabs on their staff members, it is legal to install spyware on the company devices. It is, however, illegal to use the apps to monitor them through phones and computers they own without them consenting to it. The same applies to phone surveillance on your spouse or partner. The keyword here is “consent.” Look up your local surveillance laws and see where they stand with regards to spyware.
Will the person know that I am monitoring their phone?
Unless you disclose the fact that you’ve installed a spy app on their phone, most software is designed to operate invisibly . This means that the target device user will have no way of knowing that their phone activities are being monitored.
The best spy apps come with a stealth mode feature, which, when activated, makes them completely undetectable on the target mobile device. It won’t appear in the application list and is designed to be extremely lightweight. So, it has little to no impact on the target device’s overall performance. mSpy, Highster Mobile, and Cocospy all have this feature.