Do you use the internet often? Are your kids or employees always on their gadgets?
Whether we like it or not, the internet is a big part of our lives. No matter who we are and what we do, chances are we need the internet every day in order to fulfill some sort of task. Our lives rely on, and often even revolve around, our use of this world-spanning tool.
But although the internet certainly adds value to our lives, it can become harmful when used too much, just like anything else. There are at least two kinds of people who don’t want this for people under their care: parents and employers.
Regardless of which one you are, you’re most likely here because you need to monitor, track, and perhaps even control someone’s internet activity.
Hoverwatch claims to do just that. In one of the most detailed Hoverwatch reviews you can read on the internet, I’ll find out whether or not this parental control app measures up to its claims.
- 1 Hoverwatch Product Benefits
- 2 Hoverwatch Review
- 3 What I Liked
- 4 What I Didn’t Like
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Hoverwatch Reviews: Is It Worth It?
- 7 Hoverwatch
- 8 Pros
- 9 Cons
Hoverwatch Product Benefits
There’s a lot of reasons why you might want to monitor and control someone’s online activities. You might be a parent who is concerned about your child, or an employer who is worried about how the company devices are being used during work hours.
Whatever your reasons might be, Hoverwatch is ready to help. Hoverwatch is a spy app that allows you to monitor a wide range of information on Android devices. Although it can be considered a relative newcomer to the industry, it does have a solid set of features that can rival even those of bigger brands.
With Hoverwatch, you can monitor basic information on an Android device, such as its sim card, network, SMS messages, and calls. Whether you’re a concerned parent or a responsible employer, you can find out everything you need to know with Hoverwatch installed on the target device.
It can also give you the target phone’s physical location by using its built-in GPS tracker. With this feature, you can make sure that your children are where they’re supposed to be or that the company device is not being used for unnecessary outings.
One thing that makes Hoverwatch stand out is its claim that it doesn’t need root access to work.
Unlike other leading products in the market, such as Qustodio, uMobix, mSpy, and XNSpy, Hoverwatch says it doesn’t need you to undergo technical, time-consuming, and risky steps for installation just to get the full benefits of a spy app.
Howerwatch has various plans available for your different needs. Also, its relatively affordable price means it won’t burn a hole in your pocket in case you want to try it out.
Interested? Get Hoverwatch now!
If you need more convincing, or if you’d just like to learn more about how to use Hoverwatch, you can read my in-depth Hoverwatch review below.
In this section, I’ll discuss the main features of Hoverwatch, as well as how to use it to your full advantage.
Full disclaimer: my device is unrooted, which, according to Hoverwatch, shouldn’t be a problem.
The Hoverwatch dashboard is the first thing you’ll see upon successfully logging into the app with your email address and password. From here, you can see all the reports and access all the features that Hoverwatch offers.
You can see the device being monitored on the left side of the dashboard. If you wish to add more phones, you can also add them here, though the total number allowed depends on your subscription. You’ll also see your subscription details and the Help button.
On the main interface, you can see tabs for all of Hoverwatch’s significant features. You will see charges for Reports, Locations, Calendar, Contacts, and Settings. It will also display the last sync time.
Chronological Order Of Entries
The Reports tab contains the most recent basic information about the target device. It’s also where most of the information about the target device will appear.
As soon as you log in with your credentials, you’ll see the dashboard with a typical phone Screenshot, current SIM card, and unlock selfie, as seen in the example above.
However, one of the drawbacks of this app is that it does not have any tabs for its specific features. Unlike other apps that have specific tabs you can navigate to if you only want information on a certain feature, Hoverwatch displays all of the features that it monitors as a list in the order that they happened.
For instance, if you use the GPS tracker and then the SMS monitoring features, you’ll see these two at the top of the list. Once you use a different feature, that new feature will show up on the top instead.
If you only want to see specific logs from specific dates, you can click the Filter button at the top of the tab, right below the Reports button.
From here, you can choose what type of logs you want to have access to.
You can choose to display calls, SMS & MMS, social media chats, and more. Clicking an option will show its contents under the Reports tab.
Although this might be good if you just want a glance at the latest information about the target device, I personally think that it defeats the purpose of a dashboard.
A dashboard should be where you can see a quick overview of the target device through conveniently designed tabs and analytics. Unfortunately, Hoverwatch makes this process unnecessarily complicated.
Phone Status Monitoring
Hoverwatch allows you to see the status of the target device. Primarily, it will update you on whether or not the phone’s SIM card has been changed. This is essential information, especially if you suspect that the phone user is trying to get around surveillance by changing the SIM card of the device.
Additionally, you will also have access to essential information about the phone, such as the Device Name, the Hoverwatch PIN on the target device, the app version, and the phone’s OS version.
You can find this additional basic information under the Settings tab on the dashboard.
Remote Settings Control
One unique feature of the Hoverwatch dashboard is the ability to control the features remotely from the dashboard’s Settings tab.
Other spy apps require you to have physical access to the target device to change the permissions if there are features you want to turn on or off.
From here, you can remotely control more or less 20 different features that influence what you will see on your dashboard. Clicking the checkmark beside the features will turn the function on or off. You can also stop device monitoring remotely from here, though be careful, because you’ll need physical access to resume monitoring.
Having the ability to monitor calls that happen on the target device can be very useful.
If you are an employer monitoring company devices during work hours, you’ll be updated about business transactions and the specifics of conversations – say, between your employee and an important client.
If you’re a parent concerned for your children’s well-being, call monitoring allows you to assess the level of appropriateness of the conversations that happen on your child’s device.
Hoverwatch grants the ability to monitor whenever the target device makes or receives a call.
You can find the call instances under the Reports tab on the dashboard, but they will most likely be buried under other entries. To screen for calls only, navigate to the Filter button underneath Reports and choose Calls on the list.
The interface will then show the call entries on the target phone, both inbound and outbound.
The entries will display the contact name, number, the duration of the call, and the time and date when the target device made the call. More than that, you will also be able to play the audio file and download it for later.
As for the sound quality of the recorded calls, I find it adequate. It’s certainly not the best, but you can still hear the voices talking on the phone. This should be enough for most purposes.
Although this feature isn’t perfect, it’s still a valuable tool, especially considering that most spy apps don’t allow you to record calls, let alone download them.
Despite how popular social media and instant messaging apps are today, SMS is still one of the most widely used means of communication. So if you need to monitor a mobile device, SMS messaging is one of the aspects that you should focus on.
Hoverwatch allows you to monitor both inbound and outbound messages on the device.
As mentioned previously, the SMS tracking function doesn’t have a specific tab. You can display SMS by clicking on the Filter button, which can be located in the Dashboard under reports.
In addition to this, the SMS tracking feature includes information like the date when the message was created, the number, category, and actual content. The messages are not displayed in conversation thread form and instead appear as individual messages.
The app will also not scan the phone for existing or deleted conversations. It will only start detecting and monitoring SMS conversations after the app is already installed on the target device. This means that if you want to track a discussion that you believe has been happening for a while now, then you need to look at other alternatives, like mSpy.
Address Book Monitoring
Like other parental control apps, Hoverwatch allows you to monitor the contacts on the target phone.
If you’re a parent, this helps keep tabs on who your child is associating with on their phone. And as an employer, you can use this function to ensure that the company device is only used for company affairs.
This feature is a separate tab at the top of the interface, right between the Calendar and Settings tabs.
Hoverwatch will then show you a list of the contacts in the target device on this interface.
However, during my trial, Hoverwatch did not display any of the contact information on the target device for me.
The internet is an open world where your children can do practically anything they want. Although this is a good thing under ideal conditions, it makes it easier for impressionable children to access inappropriate content.
Therefore, if you’re a concerned parent, you might want to ensure that your children are accessing only age-appropriate information.
If you’re an employer, internet monitoring is vital to ensure that your employees aren’t accessing anything inappropriate during work hours.
Hoverwatch claims to give you the ability to monitor the online activities of the target device by tracking their website browsing history.
Just like the previous features, this one doesn’t have its own tab. Instead, you can access it through the Filter button under the Reports tab of the Dashboard. Click Websites to show all the internet browsing history.
Hoverwatch will then show you a complete list of all the internet activities of the target device on the interface below.
However, once again, I found that Hoverwatch does not deliver on its promises. Prior browsing history was not displayed on the interface upon activation of the app, and even web searches made after activation did not get listed.
Social Media Tracking
Social media is one of the most popular means of communication among young people today.
As valuable and entertaining as it is, social media can also be a source of inappropriate content and sometimes cyberbullying. So if you want to make sure that your children are enjoying a healthy social life, you should take steps to monitor their social media accounts and ensure that they’re safe on the internet at all times.
As an employer, you can use this feature to ensure that your employees aren’t using social media for leisure during company hours.
To access Hoverwatch’s social media tracking feature, go to the Filter button under the Reports tab, and pick Chats.
The app should record all social media messages done through the target device. However, as you can see, Hoverwatch couldn’t display social media logs, both before the app activation and the ones made after.
Hoverwatch doesn’t just track the target device’s online activity, it can also help you monitor the physical location of the target device.
Whether you’re a parent or an employer, there are undoubtedly times when you want to know exactly where someone is. With this feature, you won’t have to ask.
You can find the location tracking in a different tab, right beside the Reports button. Clicking it will direct you to a Google Map-powered tab where you will see the exact location of the target device as it appears on the GPS.
You can also change the accuracy of the map. You can do this through the Settings tab or the buttons on the top-right corner of the interface.
The Accuracy button will let you decide which signal Hoverwatch will track, whether it’s GPS, network, or the phone’s IP address.
According to Hoverwatch, the app can track the phone network and IP address, even if the GPS is off.
On the Settings tab, you can also change the Update Interval and the Map Accuracy. The interval dictates how often the location is demanded from the device, so the shorter the interval is, the greater the battery demands of the app. The map accuracy determines how accurate the GPS tracker will be.
However, during the trial process, Hoverwatch wasn’t able to bring up the device’s location data through any of the means that they advertised.
With scheduled screenshots, you won’t ever have to wonder what your child or your employee is up to. This feature allows you to take screenshots of the target phone regularly so that you’re constantly updated with whatever they are doing at any specific time.
This way, you will be alerted of any inappropriate or unproductive behavior that occurs on the device – useful if you have a wily teenager or a procrastinating employee.
The scheduled screenshot feature is automatically enabled when you install the app. You can find entries under the same tab as the rest: on the first drop-down menu, under the Filter button located right below Reports.
Hoverwatch will then show you all of the screenshot entries of the target device taken starting from the most recent.
Each entry contains the app, the date and time the screenshot was created, and the image itself. You can also mark it Favorite or delete it with the buttons on the bottom-right corner of the entry.
On the Settings tab, you can control several aspects of the scheduled screenshots function.
First, navigate to the Settings tab, beside Contacts. And then, scroll down to the very bottom of the options to see the Scheduled Screenshots feature. You can remotely enable or disable it or change the capture interval through the drop-down menu. There are 14 choices in total, from 1-minute to 1-day intervals.
You’re never quite sure who’s accessing your phone at any given time. If you feel like somebody is trying to tamper with your company’s, your children’s, or even your own device, then you can use this feature to figure out who the culprit is before any actual harm is done.
Unblock selfie is a unique feature by Hoverwatch that automatically triggers the front camera of the target device to take a selfie whenever a phone is unlocked. This is done without the target phone’s knowledge.
This is one of the features that you turn on upon installation, but in case you miss it, you can go anytime to the Settings tab and scroll down to the bottom to disable or enable the feature remotely. It sits right between Calendar Events and Scheduled Screenshots.
You can find the Unlock Selfie entries under the Reports dashboard, under the Filter button’s drop-down menu.
The entries include the time and date of creation and the image. You can also mark each entry as a Favorite or delete it.
Hoverwatch also allows you to monitor the calendar of the target phone. This is particularly useful if you’re an employer and you want to track your employees’ schedules through their company devices.
If you’re a parent, this feature is still helpful if you need to keep track of the events happening in your children’s life. You can simply ask them to make an entry in their calendar and you can see those entries on your Hoverwatch dashboard.
The Calendar is located right between the Locations and Contacts tabs.
On the Calendar window, you’ll see the target device’s calendar, along with any entries that might have been made on any of those days. You can also arrange the calendar view in Monthly, Weekly, Daily, or List format.
In addition to this, Hoverwatch also allows you to see calendar event entries on the Reports tab of the device. To see them, choose Calendar Events under the Filter button.
You will then see a comprehensive list of the calendar entries made on the device’s calendar app. These entries will include information such as the date and time created, event title, and the set dates.
Remain Completely Invisible
Sometimes, you need to hide the fact that you’re monitoring a device. It might be because you’re trying to see who’s snooping on your phone, or it might be because you want to see how your children or employees typically act when you’re not around to see them.
Hoverwatch stays completely hidden after installation so that the user doesn’t even know it’s there at all. The icon is hidden from the home screen, and it is carefully disguised on the Storage or Apps settings so that it won’t be noticed and uninstalled.
One great thing about Hoverwatch is it barely causes any phone lag at all. This is good since spy apps have a notorious reputation for slowing down the performance of the target device noticeably.
But since Hoverwatch works smoothly in the background, it means there are no hints of its existence whatsoever. This is certainly excellent if you want to keep the target device from knowing you’re monitoring them.
Spy apps also have a reputation for being big power drainers. In my experience, I’ve tried spy apps that drained the target device battery so fast that I saw the battery percentage tick down in real-time. Such apps also tend to cause the phone to heat up.
I didn’t observe any of these issues after installing Hoverwatch. The battery consumption remains the same, and there is no extra heat during use.
These characteristics make Hoverwarch a good tool if you want something light that won’t impede or alert the phone user in any way.
No Root Needed Claims
Most spy apps require root access to the mobile device to function correctly. Although root access grants you powerful capabilities, it’s outside most regular person’s expertise and is a hassle to do – not to mention risky.
This is why no-root spying solutions are preferable. Such apps remove perhaps the most bothersome aspect of spy app installation and eliminate the risk of accidentally damaging your phone.
Hoverwatch claims that its product works without rooting. You can see that on their blog post here.
They claim that they can track the following data: calls, SMS, browser history, social media, instant messaging apps, location, and more.
However, upon trial, I noticed that there were only a handful of features that it could track. The only ones that worked are phone status, calls, SMS, scheduled screenshots, unlock selfies, and calendar. The other features weren’t able to display any results.
Moreover, the features that did work didn’t display any of the already-existing information on the phone. For example, their features page claimed that Hoverwatch would show all user contacts saved on the Android phone.
But in my experience, this feature could not display any of the contact information available on the trial device. Upon looking at the community forums, responsive Hoverwatch support mentioned that rooting the target device might help solve some non-functional features.
If this is true, then this should have been clearly stated on their website. The specific features that work and don’t work without rooting should also be clearly stated so that customers won’t pay for an app that doesn’t have their desired features.
Sync Intervals And Permissions
Hoverwatch claims that it has a data upload interval of 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, Hoverwatch failed again in this aspect. In the image below, you can see that Hoverwatch claimed it synced the data 3 minutes ago, but the most recent entry was already 38 minutes ago. This means that their sync intervals aren’t accurate.
In addition to this, the app installed on the target phone frequently resets the battery optimization permission. Even though this special permission was already granted during installation, the app somehow resets it to default after several minutes, so you have to permit it again. I can’t say for sure, but this may be the cause of the syncing problems.
To sync with the device, you have to manually press the Update button located on the top-right corner of the interface.
At worst, you will need physical access to the device to grant the said permissions again.
At least from this experience, I can say that a non-rooted Hoverwatch app makes it quite difficult to acquire real-time updates of the target device, which is a standard requirement for most spy apps.
As of this writing, the Hoverwatch spy app is only available for Android devices, both rooted and unrooted.
First off, there’s the Personal plan. This bundle contains all monitoring functions and can track 1 device. It has three subscription terms, $24.95 for 1 month, $59.95 for 3 months, and $99.95 for 12 months.
Then there’s the Professional plan. Containing all monitoring functions, it can track up to 5 devices. It starts at $49.95 for 1 month, $99.95 for 3 months, and $199.95 for 12 months.
Lastly, there’s the Business plan. It also contains all monitoring functions and can track 25 devices, the maximum number of devices. This starts at $149.95 for 1 month, $299.95 for 3 months, and $499.95 for 12 months.
Hoverwatch has a free trial period, which lets you test all the monitoring capabilities for 5 days.
Ease Of Installation
Although the app requires a paid subscription, there is a Hoverwatch free trial available for 5 days. This means that you can register, download the app, and monitor your target device without having to pay a single cent. To begin, follow the steps below.
- The first thing you have to do is sign up for a free account. You can easily do that on their website. Once you’ve decided on your email and password, click Sign up Free.
- Now that you have an account, you need to disable the Play Protect Feature to install the spy app. Go to your home screen and navigate to the Google Play Store.
- Next, tap your profile on the top-right corner of the interface.
- From the options, tap Play Protect.
- Disable Play Protect. This is necessary because Play Protect will consider this app to be harmful, and Play Protect will block it from being installed if you don’t disable it.
- Once you’ve disabled Play Protect, you can now download the app. Go back to your Hoverwatch profile and click the link on the second step to download.
- If prompted, you need to give download permission to your browser. Go to Settings and scroll down to Additional Settings.
- Navigate to Device and Privacy.
- Tap Unknown Source Installation.
- Tick on whatever browser you’re using to download the APK file.
- Your phone should now let you download the APK without problems. Once the APK is downloaded and installed, open it. This window will greet you. Tap NEXT.
- Tap whichever applies to your situation, and confirm the privacy notice. Tap NEXT.
- The installation wizard will then bring you to the T&C portion of the installation. Tick the checkbox once you’ve examined the information that you want, and then press I ACCEPT.
- The permissions portion comes next. Tap the button next to Accessibility Service to enable it.
- Tap OK on the instructions window that will pop up.
- Follow the instructions and navigate to Sync Service under the Accessibility tab on your phone’s Settings menu.
- Turn on Sync Service by toggling the button on the right.
- Click OK on the warning window that will pop up.
- Repeat for all the other permissions required.
- Once you have successfully given the app all the necessary permissions to monitor the device, tap NEXT.
- The installation wizard will take you to a login page. Enter the email and password that you created back in Step 1 and click ACTIVATE.
- You will then be brought to this window which displays all the monitoring features that Hoverwatch has. Tick all of the features that you want to use on the target device. In my case, I ticked all of them. Click NEXT when you’re done.
- Next, a window for Additional Activities will appear. I personally enabled all of them, but you’re free to pick only the features that you want.
- Similarly, a window for the kinds of screenshots you want to record will show. If you want to screenshot all activities, select All activities.
- A warning sign will then pop up. Tap START NOW.
- Finally, you will then be asked to nominate a PIN. The default PIN is 0000, but you can designate your own in this window. You can also choose to hide the app icon by toggling the button to the right. When you’re done, click NEXT.
- Tap FINISH INSTALLATION to complete the setup. You should then see the phone’s status on your dashboard.
What I Liked
- Free 5-day trial period. One of Hoverwatch’s best features is that it allows you to quickly try out the entire product for free without any commitments. You can quickly sign up on their website and monitor within minutes, and you don’t need to enter any credit card information.
- No-root features. Hoverwatch is unique because it has more features that work even without root than usual, such as phone status, calls, SMS, scheduled screenshots, unlock selfies, and calendar. Some of these features are expensive on other spy apps and even unavailable in others.
- Invisibility. Hoverwatch is one of the lightest and stealthiest spy apps that I’ve tried out thus far. It remained completely invisible, didn’t introduce any lag, and didn’t generate additional heat upon usage.
- Scheduled screenshots. The idea behind this is spot on, and during the times that it worked, the app could take and deliver screenshots without being noticed. With a little more development, I believe that scheduled screenshots can become a powerful feature to have in Hoverwatch’s arsenal.
- Unlock Selfies. This feature is uncommon in spy apps and was one of the features of Hoverwatch that worked exceptionally well. Despite its other flaws, I think this one deserves some praise.
What I Didn’t Like
- Only available on Android. Hoverwatch isn’t available on iPhones, which severely limits their user base.
- False advertising. The Hoverwatch website advertised that the app would require no root, yet essential features such as location tracking, social media monitoring, address book, etc., did not work for me. Their website should explicitly state the features that need root access to work so as not to give users false hopes.
- Messy dashboard. The arrangement of their dashboard is sub-par. The entries are arranged in chronological order, making it difficult to take everything in at a glance. It also does not provide any analytics, which is a primary feature that many look for.
- Hassle installation. Although it was simple, the installation process for Hoverwatch took a long time, especially compared to other spy apps in the market.
- Bugs still present. During the experimental run, the battery optimization permission kept getting reset, which we believe is the cause for the messy syncing between the dashboard and target device. Although Hoverwatch claims to sync every 5 minutes, you will need to press the Update button manually for it to actually work.
Is Hoverwatch Free?
Hoverwatch is not free, although there’s a free trial good for 5 days. If you want to subscribe to the full version, you can choose from 3 subscription plans (Personal, Professional, and Business) and 3 subscription terms (1 month, 3 months, and 12 months).
Does Hoverwatch Really Work?
Some features of Hoverwatch do work, but not everything. Based on my trial of this app, the parts that worked were phone status, calls, SMS, scheduled screenshots, unlock selfies and calendar. The other features couldn’t display any results.
Can Hoverwatch Be Detected?
Hoverwatch can work smoothly in the background without being detected. It also doesn’t cause any lag to the device and doesn’t generate any additional heat, so the user won’t be able to tell if a spy app is installed.
How Do I Use Hoverwatch For Free?
You can use Hoverwatch for free by subscribing to the 5-day trial period. All you have to do is create an account on their website, and you can download Hoverwatch on the target phone and experience all of the monitoring tools that Hoverwatch offers for 5 days.
Is Hoverwatch Legal?
Hoverwatch is generally legal under certain conditions: first, you must own the device to an extent (it can be your phone, your children’s, or your employees’), and the device users must know about it. That said, be sure to check local laws first.
Hoverwatch Reviews: Is It Worth It?
As our lives become more entwined with technology, it becomes our responsibility to make sure that we’re using this tool in a healthy, safe way. If you’re a parent or an employer, this responsibility extends to your children or your employee. Thus, we need to have proper tools for device tracking and monitoring to know how they’re using their devices.
I discussed this app’s successes and failures to a much greater extent than other Hoverwatch reviews. Ultimately, I can say that although this spy app did have some good features, I think that, as of this writing, there are more reliable products out there that can do what Hoverwatch does and more.
However, we shouldn’t discard the possibility that the Hoverwatch app might improve in the future and might still be worthwhile to keep in your sights.
Did you enjoy reading this detailed Hoverwatch review? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Ease Of Use9.0/10
Value For Money8.0/10
- Has a 5-day free trial
- Some features work without root
- Doesn’t cause any lag or heat
- Takes scheduled screenshots
- Has an ‘unlock selfie’ feature
- No iPhone version
- False advertising
- Dashboard isn’t convenient to use
- Installation takes a long time
- Bugs still present