In a change to the usual way we do scam report articles at Spy Phone Review we are taking a look at Mcloud purely because they claim to offer iPhone call recording. Currently no spyphone software has this feature and, instead of us tell you about the usual scam promises such as working on Windows Phone handsets, the latest BlackBerry phones or being able to remotely install the software on to any phone in the world that we have seem many times we actually wanted to believe that Mcloud can make good on its promise of iPhone call recording.
What follows is a brief report on our findings of the claims set by Mcloud as well as our opinion on the spyphone software itself.
This report will be split in to the following sections:
Investigating the software claims
Seeing if what they advertise on their website is really what the software can do.
Investigating the software you receive after purchase
Looking in to whether or not the scam software actually works and, if it does, if it delivers on any of the features or claims outlined in the first section of this report.
Protecting yourself from scams like this
Explaining how you can use real software such as FlexiSPY if you wish to monitor a device instead of falling for scams such as this – and saving money on your FlexiSPY purchase in the process.
Investigating the software claims
First of all Mcloud is Chinese spyphone software with very minimal English. The entire installation manual is in Chinese which means we had to have some help getting it translated so that we could understand how the software works. Once we had done that we learnt a few interesting things.
Firstly the spyphone software has no online web account and no GUI. Unlike the likes of FlexiSPY, StealthGenie and Mspy which have you logging in to your own online account to view the data uploaded from the TARGET phone Mcloud wants you to set up an email address so that the software can simply email you whenever new information is uploaded.
Unfortunately this is not as great as it sounds.
For one, users who have a Gmail email account and want to use that with Mcloud to receive information uploaded from the TARGET phone must also include the email address password when setting this option inside Mcloud. This raises an interesting question which is why does Mcloud need your Gmail password and why is it for Gmail only? Can you really trust spyphone software that needs your own email account password in order to function?
This is the first thing that we became wary of. Below is an excerpt of the installation manual which details that Gmail email accounts require the password to be sent to Mcloud.
The instruction manual, again, is all in Chinese, but it does seem to at least offer iPhone call recording as you can see below. The remote SMS command to enable call recording is below.
What we found interesting are two things.
- IPhone call recording requires an iPhone 4S minimum.
- The Mcloud product names (Omni, Pro-X) are the same as old names used by FlexiSPY
Now that we have determined that Mcloud at least mentions that it offers iPhone call recording (albeit with limitations) how does the software actually fare and, more importantly, does it really work?
Investigating the software you receive after purchase
We already mentioned that, unlike FlexiSPY, Mspy, StealthGenie and such Mcloud has no login account or software GUI. This means that, as you can see from the manual screenshots above, everything is done using remote SMS commands.
Before we get more in to that installing Mcloud is the same as installing the likes of FlexiSPY and StealthGenie. The TARGET iPhone must be jailbroken first and you use Cydia to download and install Mcloud on to the phone. Once it has been installed you then start using the remote SMS commands of which there are many.
Once Mcloud has been installed through Cydia there are no visible software icons and Mcloud does not appear in the usual menus inside Settings such as the microphone menu or the location menu.
It would appear in both those menus because Mcloud offers both location tracking of the TARGET phone and the ability to record calls and the ambient surroundings of the TARGET iPhone.
Installation simply consists of adding the Mcloud Cydia source in to Cydia on the TARGET iPhone and then installing the Mcloud package. The Mcloud manual actually makes this the easiest part to follow as everything is explained in step by step pictures such as the one shown here.
Once the software has been installed, as with all other spyphone software, it needs to be activated and, as already mentioned, because Mcloud has no GUI of any kind you must set up an email address to use for Mcloud to send captured information from the TARGET phone to so that you can view it.
The chain of installation of Mcloud is as follows:
- Install Mcloud on to the TARGET jailbroken iPhone
- Activate the software via remote SMS commands
- Set up an email address to use to receive captured data via remote SMS commands
- Set up all other options via remote SMS commands
And it is these remote SMS commands that cause the problem.
Firstly the remote SMS commands are rather difficult to type. They use a lot of symbols, you need to enter the software activation code each time and the syntax means that you can easily make a mistake.
An example of a typical remote SMS command for Mcloud is given below.
It is rather easy to make a mistake typing the above command, especially if time is of the essence and that is why having an online portal is so much better than just relying on remote SMS commands which can just not work or can be typed incorrectly.
Below you can see a complete list of some of the remote SMS commands we sent to our TARGET iPhone 5 which we had installed Mcloud on to.
After installation and activation everything is configured by sending remote SMS commands to the TARGET iPhone.
As you can see from the chain of commands above we activated the software and then we set up an email address registered with Yahoo and then we tried to initiate and enable call recording.
You can also see we sent the same command several times and each time it was the same and each time Mcloud rejected it.
The command was typed exactly as it was shown in the manual (see screenshot) but the software refused to acknowledge it as being correct.
We also experienced issues simply with activating the software and it was the same thing. We had typed the command correctly but the software refused to acknowledge it and kept returning the message ‘Bad format of command’ even when it is correct. The only we resolved this was to restart the TARGET iPhone which is hardly ideal considering the whole idea of spyphone software is to not physically need the TARGET iPhone after installation.
After we had managed to successfully activate the software we then proceeded to enable call recording (#10) and we also set ambient recording to record the surroundings for 5 minutes (#14 #5) as you can see in the screenshot here.
The software this time acknowledged that both commands were okay.
This now meant that we had done everything we needed to set up the software, activate it and initiate both call recording and ambient recording and all we had to do was wait for the software to upload the data from the TARGET phone to us.
We made several calls from the TARGET iPhone and you can already see that we set ambient recording for 5 minutes in the screenshots given but nothing was ever delivered to the email address we set up for the software. The software did however upload to our email address call log details and IM message details from the TARGET phone but what were were really interested in, and the whole focus on testing this software, iPhone call recording, did not work.
However even though data was emailed to us we noticed severe performance issues on our iPhone 5 (jailbroken running iOS 7.1.2) and that was that after long periods of use, with Mcloud installed, the phone would restart and boot in to Safe Mode.
For those who are not aware Safe Mode happens on an iPhone when something, usually installed through Cydia, causes issues to the functionality and performance of the iPhone so, like a Windows PC for example, the iPhone boots in to Safe Mode to stop the program from running and protect itself.
Restarting the iPhone as it suggests did not solve the problem and the phone permanently remained in Safe Mode.
The only way to regain control of the iPhone 5 so that it ran normally was to completely uninstall Mcloud from our TARGET iPhone 5.
This means that ultimately Mcloud neither gave call recording as mentioned on our iPhone 5 (nor did it upload any ambient recordings) but it was also unstable to activate, the remote SMS commands are hard to work with and it generally just crashes the iPhone 5 after installation.
So this is a new kind of scam. One where the software, on the outside, looks real and legitimate and no unrealistic fake promises are made but, once installed, the software is either too hard to use or causes performance issues on the TARGET phone itself or features simply do not work (it’s always the one feature that piques our interest that never works which is why we know it is a scam).
How you can protect yourself in future from scams like this
We have covered many different types of spyphone scams on Spy Phone Review which you can read about here.
This is, as mentioned, a new kind of scam. One where working software isn’t actually working that well at all. So it would be easy to fall for the claims made by Mcloud, especially when they claim to do something (in this case iPhone call recording) that none of the big spyphone software companies have managed to do yet.
We are not saying Mcloud does not work because it did email data to us from the TARGET phone but we are saying that its claims of call recording are not entirely accurate. That is why, when it comes to spyphone software and what they advertise, and what the software can really do you really need to take all claims with a pinch of salt unless the spyphone software company is legitimate such as FlexiSPY.
Spy Phone Review wants to help and wants to hear from anyone who has been burnt by this scam.
If you have purchased the software above or fallen for any website that advertises its spyphone software in the same manner then get in touch with us today.
We want to buy back your license from these scam vendors and you can then purchase a FlexiSPY license at a discounted rate.
Spy Phone Review is here to help!
Simply head over to FlexiSPY’s buy back page which is located here to get started.