9 Best Mobile Phone Spy Apps for Android & iPhone 2021

9 Best Mobile Phone Spy Apps for Android & iPhone 2021

smartphone spying app comparison

*** This post was updated on: February 2, 2021 ***

Welcome to my comparison of the best phone spy apps for Android and iPhones.

My first experience with a phone spy app cost me over $100, several hours of my time, and it NEVER worked.

If you’ve spent any time researching phone spy apps you know how confusing all the choices are.

But by the time you finish reading this guide you’ll know exactly which of these top rated phone spy apps is the best solution for you.

I’ve spent over 100 hours testing different phone spying apps and found 7 that offer great value, advanced features, and reasonable refund policies.

In this comparison you'll learn:

  • How to pick EXACTLY the right app for you so you get the information you need today, WITHOUT getting caught

  • My experience installing and using these apps so you can avoid technical headaches.

  • Which companies to AVOID so you don’t get scammed by shady refund policies (like I did)

I don’t care why you need to spy on someone’s phone. I’ve been there and I get it.

A day of not knowing what someone is doing behind your back on their phone can feel like an eternity.

But the fact is, some of the companies in this business are scammy as hell. This guide will help you avoid the mistakes I made when you buy a phone spying app.

Here is my list of 8 best spy phone apps on the market…plus one to AVOID.

My Top 3

Product Why I Like It Price

SpyIC logo#1 Android

  • User friendly – most features WITHOUT rooting phone

  • Access everything – Facebook, Text, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat messages & more

  • Totally hidden & simple installation

  • Solid Tech Support & Transparent refund policy

Click for Best Price

umobix logo#1 iPhone


  • Access the Most Social Chat Apps on iPhone

  • Excellent tech support

Click for Price

mSpy Logo#1 for Parents

  • No Root or Jailbreak required

  • Android Keylogger shows you EVERYTHING they type

  • Access to the most apps so you see EVERYTHING

  • Family Plan is excellent for Parents

Click for Best Price

Below are my detailed reviews of the 8 best phone spy apps for iPhones and Androids. These monitoring solutions are completely hidden and undetectable.

#1. SpyIC – Best Android Spy App – No Root

spyic logo

SPYIC is my current pick for the best Android spy app on the market. In fact it’s also one of my favorite iPhone spying apps.

If you need to monitor text messages, a GPS tracker, web browser history, phone call logs, and contact list, SPYIC has you covered.

It also has some advanced features you won’t find with any other app.


SPYIC gives you access to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more, WITHOUT rooting the phone. It also includes a powerful keylogger that records everything typed on the device.

It’s also much less expensive than apps that offer similar features. mSpy (my #2 pick) requires a more expensive “family plan” to unlock these powerful features.

Click for Best Price


SpyIC's Control panel

All the best spy apps designed for Androids require you to have physical access to the target phone.

SPYIC is no exception. But you don’t have to root the phone to get access to advanced spying capabilities.

Most smartphone surveillance apps use a keylogger to capture social media chat messages, but this only lets you see half the conversation.

SpyIC’s Android spyware does have a keylogger, but it also allows you to monitor all of these apps natively, so you can see both sides of the conversation. In fact, no other spy application that I’ve tested gives you access to Snapchat without rooting the phone.


Not having to root the device means:

  • simple app installation that DOES NOT void the phone’s warranty

  • more stable operation, so the app won’t have to be reinstalled if the device is rebooted

  • and less time you need physical access to the phone

In terms of stability it’s the best of the group. During testing I experienced no crashes and no lag in data. Some apps will stop working after the target phone is rebooted or after a software update. SPYIC had no such issues.

Most importantly, they offer strong customer service and a transparent, hassle-free refund policy.

SpyIC's Current pricing


Click for Best Price


  • Most reliable phone spy app for Android

  • Stealth mode means it’s hidden to the user

  • Call log of all phone number

  • Simple user interface for Android

  • One of the top Android spying solutions

  • Excellent support

  • Camera remote control

  • log phone calls, track GPS location, call data


  • tech support via email only

  • No live call recordings or listening

One of my biggest frustrations with phone spy apps is they are often unstable. But SpyIC was stable through reboots and software updates.

Trust me, the last thing you need when trying to discretely monitor someone’s phone is to have to re-install software or troubleshoot.


  • Android 4.0.4 – 10


No jailbreak required for iOS.  Spyic for Android does not require rooting.


My only frustration with SPYIC was the lack of phone or chat support. All support is handled through email, and it can take a couple hours to get a response.

My Rating



Overall Spyic is my favorite solution. This powerful cell phone spy app allows you to see just about everything that happens on the target device (Android and iOS). It’s a great option for monitoring employees, your kids, or whoever.

If you need to monitor an Android device, I wouldn’t look anywhere else. It’s priced competitively, stable, has the best Android keylogger, and has a no-nonsense refund policy.

Click Here for Best Price


#2. uMobix – Best iPhone Spy App – No Jailbreak

umobix logo

uMobix is relatively new to the market but has quickly become one of the best iPhone (and Android) spy apps out there and is also one of the best for any iOS device.

With a focus on innovative features backed by strong customer support and the most transparent, hassle-free refund policy in the industry, this spy app is a solid choice and their user base continues to grow.

It has all the monitoring features of the other hidden spy apps listed below, plus a few incredibly powerful features not offered by any other cell phone spy apps out there.

Click for Best Price

For iPhones

Most iPhone spyware requires you to jailbreak the device to see things like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp chats.

uMobix’s smartphone surveillance software does NOT require jailbreak.

For Android Devices

While SPYIC (see my #1 pick above) is my top pick for Android spy apps, uMobix does offer a powerful keylogger feature.

This keylogger works on Androids with no need to root the device. This allows you to track EVERYTHING typed on the phone, no matter what app they’re using.

This keylogging feature captures every keystroke entered into the phone. You can see all of this in your web based control panel.

On top of that, the app itself is VERY stable, and their support is responsive and efficient. Check out my full uMobix Review here.


  • Solid iPhone & Android spying solution

  • Reliable – so no troubleshooting

  • Android keylogger feature let’s you see everything they type

  • Stealth mode so it’s completely hidden on the target phone

  • Phone number call log

  • Easy to install

  • Excellent support

  • Camera remote control


  • keylogger to view social chat apps on Android only allows you to see one side of conversations

  • no call intercept or live call listening

  • Android phone requires physical access (all spy apps require this)

Because it was programmed from the ground up with a focus on stability, uMobix was the most reliable app I tested. On top of that their keylogger allows you to see EVERYTHING that is typed in ANY app.

Trust me, the last thing you need when trying to discretely monitor someone’s phone is to have to re-install software or troubleshoot.


  • Basic Plan = $29.99 a month

  • Full Plan = $14.99 a month for 12 months, $33.33 a month for 3 months, or $59.99 a month for 1 month


  • Android 4.0.4 – 10


No jailbreak required on all iOS versions.  uMobix for Android does not require rooting.


Solid technical support, detailed installation instructions, and ongoing updates.

Our Rating



If you’re looking for a product that is stable and reliable, uMobix is a great solution.  This powerful cell phone monitoring software will allow you to keep an eye on just about everything that happens on the target phone remotely.

The annual “Full” package is the best value. And their refund policy is the easiest and most transparent in the industry.

uMobix will work on a wide variety of devices including Android devices and iOS tablets.  To date it is the most reliable app I’ve tested.


Click Here for Best Price


#3. mSpy – Best for Parents

mspy logo

mSpy has been in the phone spying app business for a long time and at one time were my #1 pick.

Their screenlogger feature (requires the Family package), puts mSpy once again solidly in the top couple spots for Androids.

Many of the best phone spy apps for the Android platform require you to root the phone to see chats from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. mSpy now has this built in.

uMobix and SpyIC come close, but both require the installation of a keylogger that only lets you see what is typed on the target phone. You won’t be able to see the messages they receive in these chat apps.

Child Monitoring

mSpy’s offers many common features like GPS tracking, phone logs, contact list, multimedia files and more.

But they also offer screen recording and screen time limits so you closely monitor your child’s phone usage. Most software in this category won’t allow you limit your kids screen time.

They also offer very responsive tech support. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re not tech savvy, a good tech support team can be a lifesaver.

For more detailed information, including a look at the user interface, you can read more in my mSpy review.

Click Here for Best Price


  • Monitor employees or a child

  • No root required to see social media apps

  • App icon is Undetectable (stealth mode)

  • Activity Tracker to Monitor “Screen Time”

  • Geo-Fencing Features & Track Location

  • View media files

  • monitor multiple users

  • log incoming and outgoing calls, data usage

  • single account to monitor multiple device


  • Higher Price point

  • No phone call recording feature

  • No live listening to calls

  • Lacks FlexiSPY’s advanced capabilities

Their basic monitoring solutions do not require jailbreaking and is great for those who struggle with technology.

It offers the ability to monitor Whatsapp, but no other social media accounts. The full version of mSpy gives you significantly more features including the location of the phone phone.  It is also undetectable once installed.



  • Android: 4+


The Android phone version is available in root and non-root versions.  Their new screen logging feature allows for social media tracking without having to root the device


mSpy’s chat support answered all of my questions quickly and efficiently.

Our Rating



mSpy is my #2 phone spying app for Android devices.

The only reason I would recommend SpyIC or uMobix is if you need to monitor Facebook messenger. Otherwise you’ll be able to see all texts, iMessages, and Whatsapp messages.

It doesn’t offer some of the advanced tools (like call intercept or call recording) of FlexiSPY, but this cell phone spyware app still offers good value overall. And FlexiSPY (my #5 pick) requires rooting for these advanced features.

Click Here for Best Price


#4. Cocospy

cocospy logo

Cocospy is a relatively new addition to my list of monitoring solutions. They offer a VERY similar feature set to SPYIC.

It’s a great app for monitoring a child, loved ones, or anyone else. Their features include everything you would get with SPYIC.

The control panel has an easy to use menu that allows you to quickly see all the phones information.


  • App is hidden and undetectable

  • Powerful keylogging feature

  • Simple user interface

  • Excellent support

  • Easy installation, no root or jailbreak needed.

  • log phone calls, GPS location, call data


  • tech support via email only

  • Doesn’t offer more advanced capabilities like live call listening

One of my biggest frustrations with spyware is that the apps are often unstable. Cocospy was stable through reboots and software updates.

Trust me, the last thing you need when trying to discretely monitor someone’s phone is to have to re-install software or troubleshoot.


  • Basic plan = $29.99 a month

  • Full plan = $14.99 a month for 12 months, $33.33 a month for 3 months, or $59.99 a month for 1 month


  • Android 4.0.4 – 10


No jailbreak required for iOS.  Cocospy for Android can be used without rooting the phone.


My only frustration with Cocospy was the lack of phone or chat support. All support is handled through email, and it can take a couple hours to get a response.

Our Rating



Cocospy is a solid app that offers very similar features to SPYIC. It’s great for monitoring kids, employees, or loved ones.

Click for Best Price


#5. FlexiSPY – Best Mobile Spy Software with Call Recording

Flexispy for Android

FlexiSPY is hands down the most powerful monitoring software on the market. This is why it’s one of my favorite spy apps for Android.

It has all the real time monitoring features of the other products I’ve listed, plus a few incredibly powerful advanced features not offered by any other mobile phone monitoring app out there.

This powerful app actually allows you to record and listen to calls as well as listen live to phone calls in real time. No other app offers this functionality.

You can also spoof sms messages, or send them on behalf of the phone’s owner.

On top of that, the app itself is VERY stable, and their support is responsive and efficient.

Click for Best Price


  • Most powerful spy app available

  • Most advanced features: listen in on LIVE calls, call recording feature, view call logs

  • Stealth mode means it’s hidden and invisible to the target Android phone

  • Ambient listening of phone surroundings, remote control of camera

  • Easy to install and use

  • Sim card change notification, sms commands

  • log phone call records, text messages, location, call data


  • iOS installation requires jailbreak

  • Full functionality requires rooting

  • Higher cost than other options

Where this product REALLY shines is when you order a device with FlexiSPY preinstalled on the target Android phone. This gives you full access from DAY 1!

FlexiSPY has set the bar for other spying applications by offering the most advanced features. Most notably it allows you to make call recordings, listen live to calls, Facetime calls, and listen to the ambient surroundings anytime.


  • Extreme = $29.08 a month for 12 months or $66.66 a month for 3 months

  • Premium = $12 a month for 12 months, $33 a month for 3 months, or $68 a month for 1 month

  • Lite = $29.95 a month for 1 month


  • Android 4.0.4 – 10


FlexiSPY for Android can be used without rooting the phone.


Solid technical support with jailbreaking assistance.  You can also order devices pre-loaded with their software.

Our Rating



If you’re comfortable with technology and are willing to spend a bit more, FlexiSPY is the most powerful spy apps on the market.

While it has high price tag, the FlexiSPY Extreme package has unmatched spy capabilities, allowing you to record calls and listen to live calls.

Where FlexiSPY really shines is in its advanced set of features. You can read more about it in my full FlexiSPY review.

Click for Best Price

#6. iKeyMonitor

ikeymonitor logo

iKeyMonitor is an easy and user-friendly spy app that has many of the cell phone spying features of other apps we’ve covered.  It also includes an online dashboard for reviewing data on target devices.

You will be required to root or jailbreak (iPhone) the phone to get the full services iKeyMonitor.  So if you’re uncomfortable with that process, you might be better off looking at our top review.  The keylogger functionality is quite powerful but requires either rooting or jailbreaking the target device.

Click Here for Best Price


  • Basic but powerful spy app

  • FREE Trial 3 Days

  • Monitor Internet connection, Whatsapp messages, Facebook & More

  • Powerful keylogger to monitor chat apps

  • Screenshot capture

  • Limit screen-time

  • data usage


  • Powerful features require jailbreak or rooting

  • Higher cost than other options

iKeyMonitor is among the best apps for spying on an Android. 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.


  • iKeyMonitor Full – $59.99 per month or $29.16 per month for 12 months


  • Support iOS 9.x ~ 12.4.x

  • Support Android 2.3 and Above


All advanced features, including keylogger, require jailbreaking.


Customer support was responsive via chat. They were able to answer questions quickly.

Our Rating



The iKeyMonitor package is pretty solid.  Setting up the app was a bit more technically involved than other spy apps we tested, but it seemed very stable. All the spying functionality works as advertised, and the app is hidden from the end user, making it completely undetectable.

You’ll be paying an additional $6 per month compared to our first choice, and getting basically the same functionality, so it came in number 5 in our comparison.

For more information on this mobile spying app, go to https://ikeymonitor.com/

Click Here for Best Price

#7. Spyera

Spyera is another great solution Androids.

Spyera has many of the same features as other monitoring apps.  Because Spyera is easy to use, install and configure, it is a good choice for those who aren’t as technically savvy.


  • Stable and reliable

  • Good Feature Set

  • Works with Android or iOS

  • Easy to use, simple app installation Process

  • Monitor WhatsApp and text messages

  • The App Is Undetectable

  • View browsing history, instant messengers, texts & more


  • Mediocre customer support

  • Lacks a few more advanced spying features

The interface and online dashboard capabilities are very similar to the other cell phone monitoring software we’re covering, but this app doesn’t have some of their advanced capabilities.  You can read more about this Android spy app in our Spyera review article.

Spyera PRICE

  • $69.99 One-Time Purchase


  • Works on all Android Versions

  • Works on iOS Versions


Facebook Messenger and Instagram monitoring require a jailbreak or rooting on Android.


Any issues that come up before or after installation require you to submit an email for support. The response time varies but can be up to 24 hours. There is no phone support.

Our Rating



Spyera is one of the better budget spy phone apps on the market.  This spying software lacks some of the more advanced capabilities.

Spyera offers a ONE-TIME annual payment.  Yes, it is missing some features like recording calls, ambient recording, and turning on the camera, but it is still a robust package to spy on someone’s online activities.

Click Here for Best Price


XNSPY is another of the more innovative spy apps on the market. 

It shows you call logs, allows social media account monitoring of apps (Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp), photos and videos, GPS location tracking features, and has some impressive extras.

You can read XNSPY reviews here.

xnspy logo


  • Live control panel

  • GPS locations tracking features

  • Solid Keylogger

  • Easy install and setup

  • Easily track multiple devices

  • Designed for Android


  • Powerful features require jailbreak or rooting on Android

  • Expensive compared to Spyfone or mSpy

This software is specifically designed for parents and employers to track everything happening on the target device.  The dashboard will let you monitor multiple devices and allow you to switch from one to the other quickly.


  • XNSPY Price – Basic Edition: $29.99/mo or $59.99/year

  • XNSPY Premium Edition Price: $35.99/mo or $89.99/year


  • Works on Android OS Versions 4.x, 5.x, 6.x, 7.x, 8.x & 9.x


Advanced features such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram monitoring require rooting on Android.


Customer support was less knowledgeable than with the other mobile spy apps tested. Response times were somewhat slow.

Our Rating



The Live Control Panel is a nice add-on, but where it really excels is when you need to monitor multiple devices.

XNSPY’s free customer support isn’t all that great.  But you can find answers to just about any question on their website.

#9. Highster Mobile – AVOID!!!

Highster Mobile is a complete waste of time and money and should be avoided at all costs. They lack advanced spying features, their tech support is non-existent and their refund polices are shady AF.

I was first drawn to Highster Mobile because they offer a one-time payment option. It sounds great, but I was never able to get the product working. And, of course, no one responded to my request for a refund.

You get what you pay for and Highster Mobile isn’t worth it.

How I Chose the Best

I want to make sure your buying decision is as easy as possible.  So in this section, I’m highlighting the MUST HAVE features in any cell phone spy app.

I’m also covering:

  • the best spying app for Android

  • Whether rooting the device is required

  • Current location tracking & message reading functionality

  • Technical Support Rating

  • Price Comparison along with basic spying features

  • Monitor social media accounts

To make my list of the best mobile spy apps for Android each product needed to offer monitoring of Facebook, text messages, location tracking, phone call logs, and social media messages.

The most powerful cell phone spy apps will even allow you to record calls or listen to the ambient surroundings of the device.

And of course a good phone tracker app MUST have a simple setup process and be undetectable once installed on the target device.

The top app for Android isn’t necessarily best iOS spyware.  Many packages are compatible with either one, but there are differences in the operating systems that limit capabilities and functionality.

Is Rooting the Phone Required?

One of the most common problems that come up when trying to use spyware is that some software requires you to root the phone to get the most advanced spying features. While uMobix, mSpy, and Spyic allow you to track a cell phone’s location without installing any software, this is only available for iOS devices.

Android cell phones are more difficult. Since the user’s phone data isn’t stored in the cloud you will need to install phone spy apps directly onto the device. This requires you to have physical access to the phone.

Key Features of Spying Apps

Regardless of what you’re trying to track, most features offered among cell phone monitoring apps are essentially the same.

So what data CAN you track using these spyware apps?

Whether you’re planning on monitoring a child, employee, loved ones, or anyone else, there are a few key features you should look for before deciding on a spying app. Here’s my list of the most important features.

GPS Phone Tracking

One of the more important pieces of information for a concerned parent, employer, or spouse is the user’s location.

Each cell phone spying app we’ve covered allows location tracking of the target device.  Some apps now take this capability even further by logging the location history over a specific time frame.

Good cell phone location tracker apps allow you to set up zones as well. When the user enters or leaves this location, you’ll be notified.

Monitoring Text Messages

Pretty much everyone sends text messages about their personal life, business, or things they are hiding from someone else. And knowing how to monitor text messages to spy on what’s being said is a must for any tracking app.

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. Even a budget option will include this functionality.

See Web Browser History

Web browser tracking gives you insight into what someone is doing on their phone. Any good spying app will offer features like this. The internet browsing history function is a great feature for employee monitoring.

Spy apps that use a keylogger function will even let you see search engine queries. Google Family link is another good alternative if you’re looking for something that will work on a child’s phone and will track their web history.

SIM Card Notifications

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

Monitor Social Media Platforms

Even if you are using a Facebook Messenger hack, it’s hard to keep track of all the ways the target person might communicate, especially with chatting apps.  Your spouse or child could be using apps like Whatsapp, SnapChat, Tinder, LINE,Viber, Skype, or others.

Spying on conversations on social media platforms and instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp or Tinder is a bit more involved than seeing SMS text messages or a log of calls, but we have covered several Android apps that now offer this capability and even more.

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 Android spy 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 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 user’s knowledge.

GPS Monitoring & Location Tracking

GPS tracker software allows you to see where the phone is currently. Keep tabs on your kid, spouse, or whoever.

Many of these apps will allow you to track a phones location without installing any software. They’ll also show you a GPS tracking history to show you it’s location for the last 24 hours or so.

Camera Activation

As parents, the ability to 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.

Captures Keystrokes

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.


Some programs are designed specifically for an Android phone, while others are platform independent and will work on all types of devices.

Parental Control Apps

While very similar to parental control apps, many of these apps allow you to spy on Android or iOS devices. However don’t necessarily offer the same features you might want for keeping track of your kids. For more information you can read our parental control app reviews.

Mobile Spy App FAQ

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

Do Mobile Spying Apps Really Work?

Mobile spy apps do work and can give parents, business owners, or whoever complete access to most phone’s information including web browsing history and much more.

What phone spy app works without the target phone?

mSpy, uMobix, and SpyIC allow you to spy on a cell phone without installing software on the target phone if it’s an iOS device.  Android devices require spy apps be installed on the phone. So you’ll need to know the user’s passcode to unlock the phone screen.

Can you track GPS location with a cell phone spy app?

Absolutely. All the tracking apps we’ve reviewed allow you to track the physical location of a target smartphone.

How Can You Hack a Cell Phone with a Spy Phone App?

Hacking a phone with a phone tracker is actually quite straightforward. In this article we discuss how to hack a cell phone using software that is installed on the device.

uMobix, mSpy, and FlexiSPY all allow you to track a mobile device, even if it is not connected to the internet by utilizing the GPS location tracking data.

How do phone spy apps work?

After the completion of the app download and installing it you can monitor someone’s smartphone activity remotely. You’ll need to find out if the phone itself is compatible with the spyware.  Most phone spy apps require that you download the app to the device itself.

Is It Illegal to Spy on Someone’s Cell Phone

In many cases it is illegal to spy on someone’s cell phone. But there are cases where it is definitely not legal. The phone spying apps are extremely powerful, and it’s important to understand the legalities of using them.

The post 9 Best Mobile Phone Spy Apps for Android & iPhone 2021 appeared first on The Tool Report.

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