Keeping your family safe sometimes entails spying on their phone without them knowing. This requires the use of spy apps, free or not, on their iPhone or Android devices. Some examples of spy apps you can use are mSpy, Qustodio, uMobix, Hoverwatch, Flexispy, and XNSPY.
Because of the pandemic and the widespread stay-home orders, going digital has become a necessity. Our schools, entertainment, even socialization depend a lot on our phones, laptops, tablets, and the internet.
However, despite its convenience, the internet can also be a dangerous place. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, so we have to keep our loved ones from harm with parental control apps.
In this article, I’ll teach you how to spy on someone’s phone without them knowing!
How To Spy On Someone’s Phone Without Them Knowing – 6 Great Apps
There are multiple ways to spy on people’s cell phones without them knowing using different kinds of spy apps — some of them can be availed for free, while some need subscriptions to work.
In this section, I’m going to give an overview of the best spy apps and highlight their best features for spying on someone’s cell phone without them knowing.
A necessary disclaimer: only use these apps if you’re planning to spy on your minor children or on your consenting employees. Also, make sure to check your local laws before using such apps.
mSpy is one of the most popular parental control apps around. Coming in as a complete package, it features monitoring, tracking, and even device management tools that can be controlled remotely. It’s also completely invisible, which makes monitoring easier.
With mSpy’s varied monitoring features, you can see essential information like call logs, messages, contact lists, browsing history, bookmarks, calendars, and more. You can even monitor all keystrokes with the keylogger.
You can also track your children’s actions on a wide variety of popular social media and instant messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, and even on dating apps, like Tinder.
You can also track the target device’s location with mSpy’s comprehensive GPS tracking feature. With this on, you can track where your child is as long as their phone is connected to the internet. You can even set up a geofence around a zone and then be alerted whenever the target phone leaves the area.
One of this app’s best features is its remote phone management feature. With it, you can control certain aspects of the target device straight from your mSpy dashboard, such as app blocking, contact number blocking, and website blocking. You can also lock the phone and wipe it remotely.
mSpy is compatible with mobile devices, such as on an iOS or Android phone. Their plans start at $48.99 for the 1-month plan, $83.97 for the 3-month plan, and $139.92 for the 12-month plan.
mSpy’s Best Spying Features
- Remote phone control. With mSpy, you can better manage your kid’s digital life by controlling aspects of their device from a distance. You can block certain apps, block phone numbers from texting or calling, block browser access to certain websites, or even lock or wipe the device. All this from the comfort of your mSpy dashboard.
- Comprehensive monitoring. With mSpy, you’ll always know what’s up with your children without them knowing. mSpy can show it all: contact information, SMS messages, call logs, and event calendar. It can also show all apps on the phone, browser history, bookmarks, and even monitor about 11 of the most-used instant messaging or social media apps including WhatsApp. Plus, it can also record every keystroke entered.
- Reliable alert notifications. You have the option to be alerted every time the app recognizes a red-listed keyword or website. You can also track locations and set geofencing rules so that you can track the target device in real life. This feature assures you that you’ll be instantly updated whenever a potential danger presents itself.
- Invisibility. Invisibility is an absolute must for people who want to spy on someone’s phone without the other person knowing. Luckily, you have the option to hide mSpy upon installation. If you go to your Apps list in the Settings, you can still see it, but it will be hidden under a different name, like “System Update” or “Update Service.”
Another popular name in the spy apps industry, Qustodio is popular for its versatility and compatibility. It runs on mobile and desktop operating systems, such as iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, and offers a wide variety of features that center around phone management.
You can spy on someone’s phone using Qustodio through its robust monitoring features. It can track call logs and SMS messages, installed applications, browser data, such as bookmarks and history, and some social media (Facebook and YouTube only).
This app also offers real-time location tracking with the target device’s GPS. You can pinpoint wherever they are on the map at any time and even set geofencing around specific locations.
Qustodio’s primary offering, however, is its robust set of phone usage management tools. With this parental control app, you have complete control over restrictions and time limits. You’ll know whether or not your children are keeping up with their online classes or simply procrastinating on the web.
For example, you can select which apps are allowed and which are not. You can also set automatic time limits for each app to force your children to stop using them for the time being.
You can also set time limits on the entire phone, which means that you can lock the device at specific times of the day or on specific days of the week. This makes it easier for you to completely control the target device owner’s digital exposure.
Unlike many spy apps, Qustodio offers a limited version for free. It’s only good for one device, and not all features work, but it does have basic web filtering capabilities.
If you’re ready to purchase the full version, there are three annual payment plans: Small ($54.95 for 5 devices), Medium ($96.95 for 10 devices), and Large ($137.95) for 15 devices.
Qustodio’s Best Spying Features
- Screentime limits: Qustodio lets you limit the screentime on the target device. Once it reaches the limit, either the device will be locked completely or certain apps will become inaccessible. Of course, you will be notified whenever the target device has reached the usage limit for the day, and the owner won’t even know.
- Remote app control. You can use Qustodio to manage the apps present on the target device from your Qustodio dashboard. This feature lets parents fine-tune the restrictions for their children without having to go through the hassle of physically getting their kids’ phones.
- Invisibility: Like mSpy, Qustodio also gives the option to hide the app icon upon installation. The app will then become invisible from the home screen and system tray so that the owner won’t notice that their device is being tracked and controlled.
Although not as well-known as the big names in the spy app industry, uMobix has a lot of useful tools to help you keep your loved ones safe.
uMobix is equipped with an SMS and call monitoring feature that lets you see records of how your kid behaves in calls and text. With this feature, you can see exactly what they’re talking about with their friends, and you can keep them away from associating with potentially harmful people.
uMobix can also monitor most social media accounts, so you can keep an eye on what they do on their socials. It also has GPS tracking, keylogging, and more.
One of this parental control app’s stand-out features is its convenient installation process. Parents who don’t want to fiddle with too many options on the target device will love uMobix’s auto-permissions function, which cuts the things you need to do by about half.
The iPhone version of the software even allows you to monitor the target device using only the owner’s iCloud credentials and without installing software.
Also, unlike other apps, such as mSpy, some really useful features work even without rooting or jailbreaking the device, including monitoring SMS, call logs, and email.
uMobix is priced differently for Android and iOS. For Android, the Basic package is $29.99 for a 1-month plan. You can upgrade to the Full package by subscribing to a 1-month plan ($49.99), a 3-month plan ($79.99), or a 12-month plan ($149.99).
iOS costs the same price for the Basic package, but the Full package costs $59.99 for the 1-month plan, $99.99 for the 3-month plan, and $179.88 for the 12-month plan.
uMobix’s Best Spying Features
- Customizable sync frequency. Unlike other spy apps in the market, uMobix allows you to customize the time interval between updates. The standard time is 10 minutes every sync, but you can bring it down to 5 minutes to spy on someone’s phone closer to real-time. However, keep in mind that the shorter the time interval, the more strain there will be on the target device’s battery.
- Social media monitoring. uMobix can monitor a long list of social media and instant messaging apps, letting parents become aware of most of their children’s online activities. However, there are differences in the available monitoring features between rooted and unrooted devices, so keep that in mind.
- Spyware Scanner. As the name implies, this feature scans the target device to look for other spyware. It’s very handy because you should be the only one to have access to your children’s data. Otherwise, other people can also spy on their phones without them knowing and potentially expose them to danger.
Hoverwatch offers solid tools and features to help you keep an eye on a target device. Compared to other bigger brands on this list, Hoverwatch is still rather new in the monitoring and spying industry. However, if you want to spy on someone’s phone without them knowing, this app is certainly nothing to scoff at.
It works smoothly in the background, without alerting the target device that it’s collecting necessary information like SMS messages, call history, and other basic information. The best part is that there’s no noticeable heat or battery drain on the device with Hoverwatch installed, unlike other spy apps on the market.
With Hoverwatch, you can control several settings on the target device from the comfort of your laptop or PC. This lets you access around 20 Hoverwatch functions and implement them without having to get close to the target device again.
Hoverwatch offers three price tiers based on the number of devices, with three different subscription plans.
The Personal plan covers one device and has three price plans: $24.95 for one month, $59.95 for three months, and $99.95 for a year. The Professional plan covers five devices: $49.95 for one month, $99.95 for three months, and $199.95 for a year.
Lastly, the Business plan covers 25 devices: $149.95 for one month, $299.95 for three months, and $499.95 for a year.
Interested? Read our in-depth review now!
Hoverwatch’s Best Spying Features
- Extensive remote settings control. With Hoverwatch, you can turn on or off 20 different functions without having to access the target device. This makes it incredibly convenient and safe to use.
- No-root features. Spy apps often require root access to work properly. Although some Hoverwatch features need rooting, some important features (such as SMS, call logs, phone status monitoring, screenshots, and unlock selfies) worked during my trial even without rooting.
- Unlock selfies and screenshot functions. These are two image-based features unique to Hoverwatch that lets you set scheduled screenshots to see what the target device is up to or to take a silent selfie every time someone attempts to open it.
As an industry pioneer, it’s not a stretch to say that FlexiSPY is one of the biggest names in the game. With decades of experience in monitoring, recording, and app control all poured into the creation of its product, FlexiSPY certainly knows its game.
This spy app’s main selling point is its sheer number of features. FlexiSPY has a long list of things that it can do, from the standard to the unique, and then to the extreme.
FlexiSPY can monitor the standard information: SMS, calls, contacts, social media and IM, location, and apps. However, it ups the game by adding a real-time recording function to calls, FaceTime, video chats, and even ambient sounds.
You can also remotely command the phone to handle the app itself, including deactivating, uninstalling, upgrading, or modifying it. You can even restart the device whenever you want with a built-in command.
FlexiSPY is compatible with mobile and desktop operating systems, which gives you better coverage of your children’s online activities. It has two subscription plans, and the price differs depending on what device you want to install it on.
For Android and iPhones, the price starts at a monthly rate of $29.95 for the Lite plan. For the Premium plan, prices go from $68.00 for one month, $99.00 for 3 months, and $149.00 for a year. Lastly, Extreme is offered at $199.00 for 3 months and $349.00 for one year.
On the other hand, both the iPad and the PC version are offered at $68.00 for 1 month, $99.00 for 3 months, and $149.00 for a year.
FlexiSpy’s Best Spying Features
- Extensive recording features. FlexiSPY can record regular calls, video calls, FaceTime, and even the device’s surroundings. It can even discreetly take pictures. All without the target device owner knowing that you’re spying on them.
- Real-time call interception. With this spy app, you won’t have to wait until something potentially bad happens to take action. You can easily monitor (record/take pictures), even while it’s currently happening.
- Remote phone commands. FlexiSPY has a lot of functions that you can control from your platform: uninstall, deactivate, update, and even modify the app.
XNSPY offers unintrusive features that help you monitor the target device’s online activities without the owner’s knowledge. Whether it’s SMS, call logs, emails, and more, you’ll be on top of things with XNSPY.
Unlike other spy apps on the market, even if you don’t have root access to the target device, XNSPY still has useful features for you. For example, you can lock the phone remotely and track the device’s location quite easily, even without root.
One of the best features that XNSPY has is its alert and watchlist features. You can designate particular contact numbers and keywords and XNSPY will send you alerts whenever they’re triggered.
Analytics is also one of XNSPY’s strong suits. The app compiles pretty comprehensive information that summarizes the target device’s activity, such as call logs and screentime.
XNSPY has two subscription tiers (Basic and Premium) and three price plans (Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly) for both iOS and Android.
Basic is offered at $29.99 for one month, $41.99 for 3 months, and $59.99 for one year. Meanwhile, the Premium edition is offered at $35.99 for one month, $59.99 for 3 months, and $89.99 for one year.
XNSPY’s Best Spying Features
- No root is needed. You don’t need to go through the hassle of rooting or jailbreaking to enjoy some of the important features that XNSPY has to offer, such as remote phone locking and location tracking.
- Analytics and reporting. The call time activity presents a comprehensive summary of the important points of the target device’s phone calls, such as time, day, and duration.
- Alerts and watchlisting. You can set up and access important watchlisting and alerts functions straight from your dashboard.
Using The Best Spy Apps To Spy On Someone’s Phone
Protecting the people you love is no easy task. If you want the best results, you have to choose the features that fit your specific needs.
To teach you how to spy on someone’s phone without them knowing, we’ve outlined all the best spy apps on the market and what they have to offer to help you on your way.
Did you like this article? Which app are you thinking of getting to spy on someone without them knowing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!