Mspy no longer has call or ambient recording – is it a scam?

Is Mspy a scam?  Technically not as the software does work but recently they made a very important change that has left a lot of customers angry enough to now consider Mspy a scam.

Read on to find out what they did.

Mspy have relaunched their Android software with a few changes to the visibility of their software as well as removing key features to help make sure that Mspy is used in a legal and legitimate manner to monitor children and employees – does this mean Mspy are scamming you?

The changes to the application start during the installation process on the device itself.   Mspy now asks you to choose the reason why Mspy is being installed and then the option to show or hide the icon changes accord to what you have selected.

MspyNewInstallerImage

For both the Employees monitoring and Underage children monitoring options you can choose to show or hide the icon on the phone app screen or not. You can still use Mspy for illegitimate monitoring by choosing the Other monitoring option.

When you choose this option the icon is made permanently visible, you can’t choose to make it hidden as you can see in the screenshot below.

Mspy New Installer

For whichever option you choose, clicking Apply then brings up Mspy’s legal disclaimer which you have to agree to in order to proceed on with installation.

Mspy New Installer

Clicking I accept continues on with the installation process it did before with the software installing itself as a Device Administrator and attempting to get root access. After installation is complete, depending on the option chosen, the Mspy icon will be visible or hidden.

Mspy icon shown on Android

What is also interesting is that Mspy’s keylogger also has its own icon that appears briefly (as shown in the picture above). This is because the keylogger installs itself as an extra Android keyboard layout that the customer has to change to from the default device keyboard for the feature to work.

Once the icon had disappeared the main Mspy icon was visible as that is what we wanted to install it as.

What is also interesting is that Mspy’s keylogger also has its own icon that appears briefly (as shown in the picture above). This is because the keylogger installs itself as an extra Android keyboard layout that the customer has to change to from the default device keyboard for the feature to work.

Once the icon had disappeared the main Mspy icon was visible as that is what we wanted to install it as.

In other areas of installation Mspy is still pretty much the same as it was. The Device administrator that Mspy installs itself must be disabled on the device before Mspy can be fully uninstalled using the Application Manager menu. Because Mspy installs itself as a Device administrator known as Update Service it will appear in the Application Manager menu, even on a rooted device.

Mspy shown as Device Administrator

Inside the Application Manager menu Mspy installs itself as two visible entries. android.sys.process is the Mspy program itself whilst com.android.keyboardhelper is Mspy’s keylogger feature.

Mspy visible as an installed application, even when rooted.

Once you have installed and activated Mspy on the device the online dashboard has changed slightly as well. First and foremost call recording and ambient recording are no longer offered. Below you can see the dashboard for Mspy Premium for Android, compared side-by-side, before the update and how it looks now.

You can see that the old dashboard shows Call Recordings and Recordings for the call recording and ambient recording features respectively.  Yet these features are now removed on the new dashboard on the right.

Mspy's old dashboard showing the removed features.     Mspy's new dashboard with features removed.

There are also some new options on the main page of the dashboard. These allow you to remotely hide or unhide the Mspy icon.

There is also a new option on the main page of the dashboard titled Show/Hide Mspy Icon. This allow you to remotely hide or unhide the Mspy icon.  The installation instructions of Mspy now gives a new download URL as you can see below.  This URL is rather complex and we would not be surprised if many customers struggled with it, especially if they are installing the software against a time limit.

Mspy has a new download link.

We found that the new download link did not always work and said that the page cannot be found.  Instead, to install, we used the old download link from the screenshots (thd.cc) and that automatically redirected to the new download link and started the download process.  Again, this is something that many customers may have problems with.

Furthermore the Mspy online dashboard now shows you, at a glance, the status of the software icon so you can easily see if it is visible or invisible. If you click the Disable option (if you previous had it installed with the icon visible) then once again the legal disclaimer appears.

Mspy legal disclaimer

Making sure the checkbox is checked and then clicking Ok then remotely tells Mspy to hide the software icon. It took around five minutes of clicking the option to hide the icon and agree to Mspy’s terms for the icon to be hidden but the online dashboard never actually updated itself and still said that the icon was visible even when it wasn’t.

Mspy's option to remotely hide or unhide the icon does not always work.

This is very dangerous.

For example you can install the software as a visible icon, hide it from inside the online account but, because there is an issue with the online account failing to update the visibility status of the Mspy icon, you cannot get the icon to be shown again should you need it and this could lead you in very hot water if the country you are in does not permit the use of software such as Mspy.

So Mspy have taken giant steps in making sure their software is now visible and only used for legitimate purposes. However they have also taken steps back by removing popular features such as call recording and ambient recording that may Android customers may have solely purchased the software for.

Whilst Mspy is trying to make itself less surreptitious it is still evident that Mspy is still hoping to cash in on those who want to use Mspy in an illegal manner otherwise the Other Monitoring option that appears during installation would not be needed if Mspy were 100% committed to making their software legal. Mspy lists itself as being discreet as one of its main features. It cannot escape its main audience and source of income no matter how many features are removed or how many legal disclaimers it hides behind.

And whilst Mspy is not technically a scam the removal of two key features without informing its customers first and not giving a genuine reason for doing so is going to leave a lot of customers upset as will the icon now being visible.

In contrast to this FlexiSPY has never been surreptitious nor will it remove any features from its product without informing its customers and without good reason. FlexiSPY has always offered customers the option of a visible or hidden icon, way before Mspy made these new changes, as well as offering both call recording and ambient recording which makes FlexiSPY the better choice.

Author: Marc Harris

Share This Post On