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Mobile Spy, along with FlexiSPY, were the first spy phone software company to bring spying technology to smartphones. As smartphones have progressed both FlexiSPY and Mobile Spy have added new features in order to provide the best spying experience and one area of smartphone use that has become more important is instant messaging and, more importantly, what IM services are supported and how much of the conversation is captured.
This article looks at the IM capabilities of Mobile Spy and FlexiSPY and whether or not they support capturing of the popular IM service LINE. It will also explain why it is important that the IM rich media and not just the conversation text is captured completely now that more and more people use rich media to convey feelings and emotion when talking on IM as well as explaining what rich media is and the kinds that are supported by LINE IM capture.
To start we will example the IM capture claims of both Mobile Spy and FlexiSPY. On the Mobile Spy website they are currently advertising IM capture for 10 IM services in total which are Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, BBM, Yahoo, AOL, GTalk, Windows Live, iMessage and BB PIN. Because we are testing for Android this list of 10 is actually reduced to 3 in total which are Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter.
FlexiSPY on the other hand advertise IM capture for a total of 13 IM services which is reduced down to 8 IM services on Android. This is more than three times the number of supported IM services on Android than Mobile Spy and this does include support for capturing the LINE IM service.
Mobile Spy advertise no LINE IM capturing on their website although it is possible to get LINE capturing with their latest version although this appears to be in beta and does not function and we discuss more about this in the next section.
Mobile Spy Offer LINE Capturing If You Look For It
In contrast to the main Mobile Spy website on the Mobile Spy blog they advertise a new version, 6.6, which does offer LINE capturing. This piqued our interest so we tested this on Android the same way that we tested FlexiSPY which is outlined later on in this article. Unfortunately LINE capturing failed to work and none of the LINE conversation data was uploaded by the latest version of Mobile Spy.
When we contacted support for assistance on this issue they confirmed that unfortunately all of the new features advertised in the new 6.6 version, not just the addition of LINE IM capturing, were currently not working and that they were in the process of resolving it and that it would take a few weeks for this to happen. So it seems like at this stage LINE capturing for Mobile Spy is still in beta and is still being worked on and that explains why they have not yet updated their website with the new changes.
Mobile Spy Still Captures Old IM Services
Even so we are still very interested as to why Mobile Spy advertise capturing for two IM services which are very old and near enough obsolete so we decided to look more in to this. The two IM services are AOL and Windows Live Messenger.
AOL is now known as ‘AIM’ (AOL Instant Messenger) and is available on all smartphone platforms – including Android. However, if you look at the most popular IM services on Android or any top five list of Android IM services then you will typically see the likes of Facebook, LINE, Whatsapp, Skype and Viber. AIM is no longer one of the most popular IM services available. This is further confirmed in an article on Wikipedia which states that AIM’s market share, compared to other IM services, in 2011 alone, dropped to just 0.73%.
Windows Live Messenger is another old IM service that Mobile Spy advertise as being captured. Windows Live Messenger in fact has been discontinued and, according to Wikipedia, Windows Live Messenger was merged with Skype which Microsoft purchased back in 2013 which means that Windows Live Messenger, as a program and an IM service no longer exists and has been replaced with Skype.
FlexiSPY captures both Skype and LINE conversations – including the text and rich media and this is covered in further articles in this series.
How Important Is IM Capturing For Spy Phone Software?
Capturing just the text of an IM conversation can not only alter the tone of the conversation but it can also mean that you may be missing out on other vital information that can only be expressed using rich media – after all a picture says a thousand words.
This is why capturing the rich media that takes place in an IM conversation is vital if spy phone software is to advertise IM capturing.
But what is rich media and how can you measure how well spyphone software captures it?
First we need to understand what rich media is.
All instant messaging programs use rich media which can be shared between devices to enhance the overall tone or message of a conversation.
Examples of rich media include the following:
- Contact Name
- Contact picture
- Shared location
- Shared video
- Shared audio
- Conversation is shown as seen on the phone
Now that we know what rich media is we need to determine how we will test how effective FlexiSPY and Mobile Spy are if and when they capture it however we have already mentioned that Mobile Spy does not offer LINE capturing in any way.
However you can read below how we performed the IM capture test for FlexiSPY and Mobile Spy that led us to the conclusions outlined at the start of the article.
To perform the test we need two devices so that we can send and receive LINE conversations between both devices and then measure how much text and rich media from each side of the LINE conversation was captured by Mobile Spy and FlexiSPY.
Main Test Outline
Our main device was a Samsung Galaxy Note 1 which was running Android OS 4.1.2 and had Mobile Spy installed as well as LINE version 4.0.1. Our second device was an iPhone 4 which also had LINE installed and we created a LINE conversation between both devices containing text and rich and then logged in to both the FlexiSPY online account and the Mobile Spy online account to see how much of the overall LINE conversation was captured and record the results.
Mobile Spy Offers No LINE IM Capture Currently
For all intents and purposes LINE capturing is not listed on the Mobile Spy website and as said at the start of the article it failed to work when we tested the latest version of Mobile Spy too because even though they latest version is supposed to capture LINE it is still in beta.
FlexiSPY Easily Captures LINE Instant Messages
Using FlexiSPY we sent the same LINE data from the Android TARGET device and the iPhone and back again and then logged in to the FlexiSPY online account to see the results.
FlexiSPY captured both the LINE conversation text as well as the rich media that was sent back and forth between both devices.
If You Want To Spy On LINE Then You Need FlexiSPY
The evidence here speaks for itself.
Mobile Spy does not advertise LINE capturing in any way on their website as they are still working on it as we mentioned at the beginning of this article. FlexiSPY captures both the text and the rich media from both devices it means that you get the entire contents of the conversation compared to if only text was captured which means that FlexiSPY is the best spy phone software if you want to spy on LINE.
The table below gives a complete summary of the IM capturing ability of FlexiSPY versus competitors and the results of these tests will be covered in further articles in this series.