A series of reports on mobile monitoring apps, based on real testing to let you decide which is the best spyphone app for your needs.
Mspy is cellphone spy software that is designed and aimed at parents who want to monitor their teenagers. Mspy has 28 features designed for monitoring mobile devices. It also includes exclusive only features, such as application blocking.
Mspy sells mobile monitoring software for Android and iOS devices as well as desktop monitoring software for PC and Mac.
The target market is parents who want to monitor their teen's internet usage.
Mspy has the second best track record for spy phone software. It only has FlexiSPY to beat. It offers a variety of affordable subscription packages and also supports the latest device platforms. With its unique features, it also has several key things that its competitors lack. However, this may not be entirely enough for it to the best cell phone spy software you can buy.
When we installed Mspy on to our device it was automatically detected by antivirus. This is not a good start. Furthermore, Mspy does not automatically hide the download URL for the software or the downloaded APK file.
“If you do not cover your tracks then it is easy to find out that Mspy has been downloaded.”
During the installation process, Mspy installs itself as a device administrator. This is because it is otherwise listed in the Application Manager menu and can be easily removed. This means that the device owner can find and remove Mspy so it is not really the best cell phone spyware available.
However, whilst installing as a Device Administrator adds a tiny level of security to stop the software from being removed, the device owner will get suspicious if they have an application installed that they cannot uninstall.
This can most likely lead to the device getting factory reset and that also means that Mspy will be completely removed and needs to be physically reinstalled again.
Mspy advertises 25 features on their website. So, on paper, it looks like one of the best phone spy apps you can buy.
We found many of these either missing or would not work correctly. Chat programs like Facebook, Skype, Viber and WhatsApp only report the text part of the message.
This is not good when one of the major customer features for cell phone spy software is to capture the entire IM conversation.
Stickers, status messages, pictures and attachments are not captured, and there is no threaded view, making it difficult to follow the conversation.
Mspy has no options to remotely control application settings like on-demand GPS locations or delivery timers. These options are extremely useful when spying on subjects who are very suspicious and aware of their device performance.
Fixed settings invariably mean detection by subjects on pre-paid or limited data plans.
Mspy does provide the ability to choose Wi-Fi or 3G which could address the data problem, but this must be traded against the need to wait for when, or if the target ever connects to Wi Fi.
“The popular LINE and WeChat IM applications are not supported by Mspy.”
“If you do not cover your tracks then it is easy to find Mspy.”
We used "Battery Monitor" and "Data Usage" to monitor battery and data usage, both available from the Android Play store.
We ran a series of usage tests during a set period, which included typical activities most people carry out on a smartphone.
Considering the consistent type of activities, the battery impact was not extreme and probably to be expected.
Mspy's data use created more of an impact. We tracked an additional 215 MB over the original captured amount of only 300 megs. The total data generated from our online activities was roughly 300 megabytes, although data use with Mspy installed accounted for 815 megabytes of total data transferred.
Support is provided by Live Chat or email tickets. Live chat is advertised as 24 hours, although we found that Customer Care was sometimes offline. You need to be able to provide quick and convenient support if you want to be the best spy phone for Android and Mspy just doesn't do that.
“Mspy support just told us to reinstall the software for every problem we had.”
Other times after answering our chat, we waited long periods for each response from the support staff. Trying to ask several questions or hold a normal conversation this way might take an hour or more if you have the patience to wait 5 or 10 minutes for each answer.
Email replies came back generally within 24 hours, although none of our issues were ultimately resolved. When we asked about features not working such as picture and video capturing, Email tracking, Skype and other Instant Messengers, we were always told to reinstall the software.
This requires getting the Target phone back into your hands, as installing can't be done remotely. Although reinstalling did not resolve our issues and no further suggestions were ever offered. Many of the Mspy features failed to work consistently during our review.
If you have any questions or comments about the best phone monitoring app - or if you want to see additional cell phone monitoring software reviews - let us know in the comments below.
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