Best Spy Apps for ALL Smartphones: 2022 Buyer’s Guide

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*** This post was updated on: August 2, 2022 ***

In this buyer’s guide you’ll learn everything there is to know about cell phone spy apps.

In 2022 there are more than 60 different smartphone spyware apps on the market! Many of these apps offer VERY similar spying features, but a few ARE better than the rest.

All the apps in this guide offer either a free trial or money back guarantee so you can try them out risk-free.

If you’re just starting your search, you will find all the information you need to make an informed decision. Below is a list of everything covered in this guide:

  • best hidden spy apps for Android and iOS devices
  • spyware apps for monitoring a child’s, employee’s, or spouse’s phone
  • spy apps for monitoring social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram
  • buying and installing
  • refund policies to be aware of

Keep reading to learn which are the best phone spy apps for your specific device and monitoring needs.

My Top Pick Overall

Product Why I Like It Price
  • Simple install – no root & or jailbreak required
  • Powerful – access the most social media apps
  • Live phone tech support
  • Best refund policy in the industry
  • Compatibility with ALL major phone brands
Click for Best Price

What Are Phone Spy Apps?

A spy app is phone surveillance software. Spy apps are designed to track and monitor activity on iOS and Android-based phones.

Common Features of Phone Spy Apps

Here are the most common features of phone spying apps:

  • GPS location tracking
  • social media account monitoring
  • sms messages (text messages) monitoring
  • see website browsing history
  • see photos and videos
  • see incoming and outgoing phone calls
  • see chat and dating apps

Why Do People Use Phone Spy Apps?

Below are the three main reasons to use a phone spyware app.

  1. parents use cell phone spyware to monitor the online activities of their children
  2. employers use spying apps to to track their employee’s phone usage and GPS location
  3. people in relationships who want to snoop on their partner’s cell phone and computer activity

The first two are legal. The third is only legal if you get the consent of the person being monitored.

List of the Best Phone Spy Apps

Below is a list of the best spy apps for any phone or app.

Best Phone Spy App Overall: uMobix

umobix home page

The uMobix cell phone spy app monitors both iPhones and Android smartphones.

uMobix offers more monitoring features than any other phone spying app. It can monitor all cell phone activity including: track GPS location, monitor web browsing history, call logs, SMS text messages, social media activities, and many other things.

uMobix functions as a parental control app for parents who needs to monitor a child (or children). It can also be used as a smartphone tracking system for businesses that need to track their employees (Or by a spouse who suspects their partner of cheating).

uMobix offers LIVE phone customer support. Most spy app companies don’t offer this level of support to their customers.

The uMobix annual subscription plan is the best value. It costs $11.66 per month. All of their plans include a 14 day money back guarantee.

uMobix is the best phone spy app on the market. And at this price, which is the lowest price they’ve ever offered, you’ll save a ton of money vs their competitors. Just be sure to click the link below to get the new price.

Click Here for Best Price

Check out my full uMobix review for more information.

Top Spy App for Androids: uMobix

umobix Android tracker web page

PROS

  • Simple and quick installation
  • Most social media monitoring capabilities
  • Stealth mode so it’s completely hidden
  • powerful keylogger feature
  • LIVE Support
  • Great for business owner or parent
  • Real-time GPS tracking feature

CONS

  • Requires access to target Android device (all Android spyware requires this)

The uMobix Android spy app logs keystrokes, monitors social media accounts like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, LINE, Viber, Tinder, TikTok, Kik, WeChat, Skype, Signal, Telegram, Reddit, and more. uMobix is completely hidden and undetectable once installed.

uMobix is compatible with all versions of the Android operating system. This includes the Google Pixel, which has some of the best security of any Android cell phone.

uMobix requires access to the target cell phone for a few minutes to complete the installation. The app is not available in the Google Play Store. You must download the app from the company website. It does NOT require rooting the device.

uMobix offers LIVE, US-based customer service and support. The uMobix Android monitoring solution costs $11.66 per month.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Click Here for Best Price

More Android Spy App Information

Android spyware apps are designed to monitor cell phone activity on smartphones using the Android operating system. This includes Samsung, Motorola, Google, and Nokia. Most apps require a minimum of Android 4.0.

For more information about Android spy apps including their features, compatibility requirements, and installation requirements see my list of the best spy apps for Android.

Top Spy App for iPhones: uMobix

PROS

  • Simple installation process
  • More social media tracking than any other app
  • works with 2-factor authentication
  • Real-time GPS tracking feature
  • minimizes phone data usage

CONS

  • no call intercept or live call listening
  • No access to Snapchat
  • requires users iCloud email and password

The uMobix iPhone cell phone spy software offers the most monitoring features for the Apple iPhone or iPad. It works with every version of Apple’s iOS operating system, and does NOT require jailbreaking the device.

This phone tracker app is not available in Apple’s App Store. Installation requires the target user’s iCloud account information. GPS location and Internet browsing history require a couple minutes of access to the device.

Here are the specific iOS spying features you can only get with uMobix:

  • see Facebook Messenger and files
  • see their Facebook account as though it were your own
  • see their Instagram account and messages
  • see Skype messages
  • view entire conversations in WhatsApp

Once you make your purchase you will have FULL ACCESS to all these real-time features in just minutes. So you can start monitoring today with just the user’s iCloud login details.

uMobix is the best iPhone spy app on the market. And at this price, which is the lowest price they’ve ever offered, you’ll save a ton of money vs competitive products. Just be sure to click the link below to get the new price.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Click Here for Best Price

More iPhone Spy App Information

iPhone spy apps are designed to operate on Apple iPhones and iPads running the iOS operating system. Most iPhone spying apps will work with any version of iOS.

For more information about iPhone spy apps including their features, compatibility requirements, and installation requirements see my list of the best spy apps for iPhones.

Snapchat Spyware for iPhones: EyeZy

PROS

  • view outgoing Snapchat messages

CONS

  • limited functionality
  • requires jailbreak

The EyeZy cell phone tracking app allows you to monitor outgoing Snapchat messages using a keylogging feature. Unfortunately you cannot monitor any other Snapchat activity.

This is primarily due to how Snapchat stores their data. In fact, there are no Snapchat spy solutions for iPhones that give you any more access.

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Snapchat Spy App for Android: uMobix

umobix snapchat monitoring web page

PROS

  • No root required for Snapchat monitoring on Android
  • See Snaps, conversations, and post interactions
  • See Snapchat friend names

CONS

  • no screenshots from Snapchat
  • no screen-time restrictions

Monitoring Snapchat on an Android device with uMobix is simple and straightforward. The uMobix Snapchat spy feature is built into their standard tracking app.

With this app you’ll be able to see Snapchat conversations, Snaps, media, user interactions, and even deleted messages.

This app is ideal for anyone who needs to monitor someone’s Snapchat usage.

mSpy offers features like GPS tracking, phone call logs, contact list, multimedia files and more.

The installation of mSpy requires a few minutes of access to the target phone. Once is is installed this hidden spy app allows you to see Snapchat conversations, images, and videos.

Click for Best iPhone Price

Read More: Snapchat Spy Apps Buyer’s Guide

Spy App with Call Recording: FlexiSPY Extreme

PROS

  • Listen LIVE or Record Calls
  • screen recorder feature
  • Ambient listening of device surroundings
  • Remotely control camera and apps
  • See phone call records, text messages, location & more.

CONS

  • iOS installation requires jailbreak
  • Rooting required on Android
  • Higher cost than other options

FlexiSPY is the best spy software for recording cell phone calls. FlexiSPY monitoring software works on both Android and iOS smartphones.

The FlexiSPY Extreme package offers more advanced features than any cell phone monitoring app on the market. These advanced features include:

  • intercept and monitor phone calls
  • monitor video calls
  • sms commands

To record phone calls on Android requires rooting the phone. Recording iPhone conversations requires jailbreaking the phone

Their technology allows you to listen to live phone calls in real-time. You can also monitor FaceTime calls.

The easiest way to install FlexiSPY is to buy the phone from them with the app pre-installed. This is a great solution for business owners as it makes employee monitoring very easy.

FlexiSPY does NOT offer live phone support. One software license is needed for each phone.

Read more about it in my full FlexiSPY review.

Click Here for Best Price

Facebook Messenger Spy App – uMobix

how to log into someones facebook without them getting a notification

PROS

  • See their entire Facebook account
  • See all Messenger messages
  • No jailbreak on iPhone
  • No root on Android

CONS

  • Access to Android device required for installation

The uMobix mobile spy app gives you full access to someone’s Facebook account and Facebook Messenger chats. You’ll see posts, pictures, videos, comments and more.

The uMobix Facebook & Messenger spy app features work on both iOS (iPhone) and Android devices. It does NOT require you to root or jailbreak the device.

For Androids you will need a couple minutes of access to the device to install the app.

iPhones only require that you know the user’s iCloud username and password. If they have 2-factor authentication enabled, you will need to get the code that is sent to the device.

Click Here for Best Price

Read More: Our Facebook Messenger Spy App Buyer’s Guide

Instagram Spy App for Androids – Glassagram

Glassagram home page

PROS

  • See all their direct messages
  • See interactions with others
  • No root on Android

CONS

  • not compatible with iOS devices

The Glassagram spy software is the best solution for monitoring Instagram on Android devices. It tracks all of the following Instagram activities:

  • view stories anonymously
  • view videos anonymously
  • view post interactions
  • read direct messages (DMs)
  • track location data

No other spy tool on the market allows you to anonymously monitor Instagram accounts.

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Read More: Instagram Spy App Buyer’s Guide

Instagram Tracker for iPhone – uMobix

uMobix Instagram tracker web page

The uMobix Instagram tracker for iPhones allows you to view the target person’s Instagram account as though it were your own. The app allows you to do all of the following:

  • See Instagram DMs (direct messages)
  • see post engagement
  • view contacts
  • scroll their news feed
  • view stories
  • restrict content
  • block users
  • post & delete comments

No other Instagram spying app allows you so much access to the target person’s account.

Click Here for Best Price

Best Spy App for Parents with Teens – Kidsguard

Kidsguard parental monitoring web page

The KidsGuard parental monitoring app is the best way to keep track of your child’s smartphone usage. It includes several features designed specifically for parents.

Key Features:

  • block apps, games and websites
  • track app usage
  • capture screenshots
  • lock the phone
  • GPS location tracking feature with geofencing
  • detailed activity reports

If you need parental control features like app blocking and geofencing, KidsGuard is the best solution on the market.

Click for Best Price

Read More: My Favorite Parental Control Apps

Best App to Catch a Cheater – FlexiSPY Extreme

spying apps to catch your spouse cheating

PROS

  • See nearly everything on target phone
  • Listen to live calls & record calls
  • See ALL chat apps
  • 24/7 GPS location tracking

CONS

  • Android version requires root
  • iPhone version requires jailbreak

Do you suspect your significant other or partner is cheating? If you need to see EVERYTHING that someone is doing on their phone, the FlexiSPY Extreme Package is the best solution.

It gives you access to nearly everything on the mobile phone including a few spy features that are not offered by any other app.

This includes intercepting and listening to live calls, recording phone calls, eavesdropping on conversations with the microphone, screen recording, and live GPS location tracking.

The only downside is that the installation is a bit more complex. For iPhones you will be required to jailbreak the device and Androids require rooting to get this level of access.

FlexiSPY offers support to help you through this process. Or you can buy a phone with FlexiSPY Extreme app pre-installed.

Make sure you understand your country’s laws before spying on your partner. In some cases it is illegal to spy on someone’s phone without their permission or consent.

Click Here for Best Price

Read More: Buyer’s Guide for Apps to Catch a Cheating Spouse

Whatsapp Spy App – uMobix

whatsapp logo

PROS

  • See all their direct messages
  • See interactions with others
  • No jailbreak on iPhone
  • No root on Android

CONS

  • Requires access to target device to install on Android

Whatsapp is one of the most popular communication platforms in the world. It allows you to send encrypted messages to your friends and family.

The uMobix spy app allows you to access all WhatsApp messages. You can also view links, images, and videos.

Android devices do not need to be rooted for this functionality. And you can view all their messages on iPhones without having to jailbreak them. All you’ll need is their iCloud login information.

Click Here for Best Price

Read More: Whatsapp Spyware Buyer’s Guide

Tinder Spy App – SpyBubble

tinder logo

PROS

  • See all chats
  • See pictures posted in chats
  • capture screenshots
  • No root on Android

CONS

  • Android requires physical access for installation
  • iPhone installation requires jailbreak

SpyBubble is the best solution for monitoring someone’s Tinder account.

Many mobile spy apps can monitor Tinder, but only SpyBubble has the ability monitor on both the Android and iOS operating systems.

The iOS version of the app does NOT require jailbreak. And the Android version does NOT require rooting.

The app shows you all their chats, pictures, and more.

Click Here for Best Price

Read More: Best Tinder Spy Tools Buyer’s Guide

Best Free Spy App – iKeyMonitor

ikeymonitor logo

PROS

  • Basic but powerful spy app
  • FREE Trial 3 Days
  • Monitor Internet connection, chat messages, & More
  • Monitor chat apps
  • Screenshot capture
  • Limit screen-time

CONS

  • Powerful features require jailbreak or rooting

iKeyMonitor is one of the only free spy apps on the market. That said, the free version is VERY limited.

It has a user-friendly online dashboard for viewing data from the target devices.

You will be required to root or jailbreak the device to get the access to the most spying features. If you are uncomfortable with the jailbreaking process you should go with uMobix. 

The keylogging feature is quite powerful but requires either rooting or jailbreaking the target device.

iKeyMonitor is another solid smartphone monitoring app. However, it does require you to root or jailbreak (iOS) the device for maximum access.  Bottom line, it offers many of the same great features as the others, but at a more reasonable price.

For more information on this mobile spying app, go to https://ikeymonitor.com/ or check out my iKeyMonitor article.

Click to Try iKeymonitor

Best Mac & PC Spy Software – WebWatcher

webwatcher websites

WebWatcher is a monitoring app for both Mac & PC computers. It allows you to see emails, instant messages and chats, social media activity, websites visited, search engine searches, screenshots and more.

WebWatcher has to be installed directly on the device you want to monitor. There is no way to remotely install the app. Installation takes just a few minutes. The app is completely safe to use on Mac, Windows-base PCs, iPhones, and Android phones.

The WebWatcher app records activity in real-time, so information is available in your dashboard almost immediately.

WebWatcher will alert you when the user visits certain types of websites or when they type certain keywords. You can also sign up for email notifications that will alert you to all activity on a schedule that you specify.

If you need to monitor multiple devices you will need one license per device.

Read more in my WebWatcher review.

Spy App Features Explained

The best spying apps all offer a handful of important monitoring features.

Monitor Social Networks & Messaging Apps

Everyone uses smartphones to view social media apps these days. If you need to see who someone is talking to online, check out my top pick uMobix. It gives you the most access of any app on the market.

Many spyware apps will require you to root or jailbreak the phone to monitor social media apps. But the best will give you full access without this tedious step.

Track GPS Location

A solid surveillance app should be able to provide you with the current GPS location of the device you’re monitoring. Many phone tracker apps only provide you with this information every few hours. If you need more frequent updates make sure your app offers real-time location tracking.

uMobix is one of the few that allow you to track someone’s phone without installing software.

Geofencing

Geofencing is an advanced GPS tracking feature. It allows you to setup zones on a map and receive notifications when the target phone enters or leaves one of these areas. You can learn about the best geo-fencing apps here.

Monitor Text Messages

People send text messages for all sorts of reasons. Any great app has the ability to hack someone’s text messages. SMS text messages can be monitored on mobile phones without the need to root (Android) or jailbreak (iPhone & iOS devices).

Phone Contacts List

One of the more common features of a spy phone app is the ability to see the contacts list of the target person. This will show you phone numbers, email address, and more for each contact. Even a budget option will include this functionality.

See Web Browser History

Web browser tracking gives you insight into what websites someone is viewing on their phone. Most cell phone monitoring apps offer this feature. The internet browsing history function is a great feature for employee monitoring. Some apps will even let you see history from Incognito mode.

SIM Card Notifications

Some apps stop working if the SIM card of the device is changed. The spyware apps listed above will notify you of any SIM card changes.

Reading Emails

Although e-mail communication isn’t as popular among kids and teens, this is still one of the key features. Email communication is something that should be monitored closely.  Any surveillance app you’re considering should offer the capability to monitor incoming and outgoing emails.

Records Call History

The ability to see a log of incoming and outgoing phone calls (with name) lets you monitor EXACTLY who your kid calls and who calls them. Some of the better apps will even let you record all calls on the phone.

Viewing Call Logs & Recording Phone Calls

All of the top phone spying apps allow you to monitor data such as call duration and numbers. Flexispy is the only one that can record real time live phone calls, and also makes it easy to turn on the phone’s microphone for in-room recording without the device users knowledge.

Camera Activation

As parents, the ability to remotely activate the camera of the device and record or take a photo, without the user knowing, are powerful features. This is a great way to see what your kid is up to.

Keystroke Logging

A keystroke capture feature allows you to spy on anything that is typed on the phone. This includes chats, texts, emails, usernames, and passwords.  Some trackers will even notify you when specific keywords are typed.

The keylogging function will even let you see search engine queries.

Read more: Best Keyloggers for Android Phones

Custom Alerts

Alerts allow you to monitor even when you’re busy. Alerts can be setup to tell you when the phone enters restricted areas, or when certain words are typed.

Installing Phone Spy Apps

The installation process for spying apps is relatively straightforward. It differs depending on the operating system of the phone. Below is a brief explanation of how to install spyware on an Android and iOS device.

Installation Process for Android Devices

Android spy apps must be installed directly on the target device. This requires physical access to the phone and the user’s passcode.

The installation process for Android devices is as follows:

  1. Sign up for an account with a spy app company.
  2. Choose your subscription plan and pay.
  3. Change the necessary security settings on the target phone per the emailed instructions.
  4. Download the spyware software onto the target device.

Installation Process for iOS Devices

iPhone spyware apps are not installed directly on the phone. All data is pulled from the target user’s iCloud account.

The installation process for iOS devices is as follows:

  1. Sign up for an account with a spy app company.
  2. Choose your subscription plan and pay.
  3. Enter the user’s iCloud email address and password in your account dashboard.
  4. Enter the 2 factor authentication code that is sent to the target phone.

Spy App FAQs

Here are the answers to common questions people have about installing and using mobile spy apps.

How Do Phone Cell Phone Spying Apps Work?

Cell phone spying apps work by downloading data to a server for you to view. Some spy apps use phone backups. Other spying apps download directly from the phone itself.

Read More: How Phone Spyware Works

Where Can You Buy Spy Apps?

Spy apps must be purchased directly from the manufacturers websites. Spy apps are not available in the App Store or the Google Play Store because they are classified as spyware or stalkerware.

What Are the Most Common Types of Spy Apps?

The most common types of spy apps are Android and iOS based. They operate in the same basic way by downloading phone data to a server where it can be viewed in an online dashboard.

Is it Safe and Secure to use spying apps?

There have been several high profile cases of spyware companies having their data hacked. Since then, most of the industry has upgraded their security infrastructure. Here is an article addressing safety and security concerns of spy apps.

Are FREE phone spy apps any good?

As with anything FREE, you get what you pay for. iKeyMonitor offers a VERY limited free version of their spy software. You don’t get many features or support, but it is free.

What is the best free undetectable phone spy app?

iKeymonitor is one of the only free hidden spy apps out there. They offer a free Android spy app. Unfortunately the free version only offers a few features compared to the paid version.

In general free spy apps aren’t worth the time it takes to install them. Since they don’t make money there is little motivation to keep them updated.

What is the cheapest paid spy app?

The cheapest spy app is uMobix. A 12 month subscription costs $11.66 per month for an iPhone or Android phone.

Can spy apps monitor someone’s social media activity?

Spy apps are the best way to monitor someone’s social media activity. These apps allow you to see conversations, posts, reactions, and more.

Can someone spy on my phone?

If you suspect your phone is being monitored there are a few things you can do. You can use a few simple codes to see if your phone is tapped. Then you can look for signs that someone installed spyware.

Can you check for Spyware on an Android?

Spyware often impacts the performance of your phone. If you have an Android there are a few things you can quickly check.

This article shows you how to check for spyware on an Android phone.

Can you check for Spyware on an iPhone?

iPhones are susceptible to spy apps too. If you think someone has hacked your iPhone or iOS device, check out this article on finding and removing spy apps from an iPhone.

You can also look for specific apps that are used for spying on an iOS device. The most common is Cydia.

Can Phone Spy Apps Be Installed Remotely?

It is not possible to install spy apps remotely on Android mobile devices. You must have access to the target Android device.

Spyware can be installed on iPhones remotely because all data is accessed through the user’s iCloud account.

Are phone spy apps legal?

Spy phone apps are legal in most countries if used for legitimate purposes. For more information you can check out this article on the legal requirements of phone spying apps.

How Does Spy Software Track a Phone’s Physical Location?

Location tracking is one of the most important features of any spy software. To learn more about how this is done check out my article on how spying apps determine a phone’s location.

Can Spy Apps Work Without Internet Access?

Yes, spy apps can work without Internet access by using the SMS communications channel on a cell phone.

Surveillance software can also be programmed to wait until your cell signal or Wi-Fi connection is restored to send data.

Will Spy Apps Work If the Target Phone is Turned Off?

Some functions of spy apps will work even if the target phone is turned off. iOS-based surveillance software monitors your iCloud backups. Any data uploaded to this cloud account is accessible.

Android surveillance software cannot transmit data while the phone is off. It will transmit once the phone is turned back on.

Conclusion

uMobix is the best hidden spy app for Android and iOS smartphones. It is easy to install, reasonably priced, offers great customer support, and offers a 14 day money back guarantee.

About the Author

Jason has over 25 years in the information and internet security industry. He is passionate about smartphones, gadgets, and technology. He also got a solid background in programming and software.  This includes Python, C++, app development and more.

jason thompson