Best Mobile SMS Spy Apps to Spy on Text Messages

Best Mobile SMS Spy Apps

Modern mobile spy apps, almost without exception, offer tracking text messages and calls logs. What is more, most of them will allow you to test these features for free as they will always be included in the basic or standard package. The choice should not be a difficult one in this situation, or should it?

Your child may start behaving differently, and you may start wondering if anyone is bullying him or her or if they have befriended bad guys. If your better half has become strange, you may also feel an urge to learn more and help them. And it also goes without saying that if you are a  business person, you want to protect your business from spies from within. Whatever worries you most at the moment, you will find great help and feel a step ahead if you can read the text messages of your target.

In fact, such a wide selection can make things complicated and take you too much of your time before you come to the final decision. That is why we compiled this mobile SMS spy app rating for your convenience. Use it to your advantage and know what app will serve your needs best even before spending any time or money.

mSpy

mspy logo

mSpy is one of the most popular spyware applications, which includes SMS tracking as one of the basic default features. It is widely marketed as a solution for cautious parents as well as the best app for checking on employees on corporate mobiles. 

The software allows you to view all the incoming and outgoing messages, while also capturing those deleted within five minutes after their arrival on the target phone. You can also use it to view the target’s call list, browsing history, media files, and GPS location. mSpy will even let you monitor the person’s social media activity and access chats from messengers such as WhatsApp, Viber, Snapchat, etc.

The app is compatible with a number of operating systems; you can check its compatibility with your phone on the software’s official website!

mSpy Features

  • Text messages. From the moment of installation, the app captures the texts the target owner receives. If the target is an Android device, you will also be able to view all the texts deleted within 5 minutes after their arrival on the phone.
  • Timestamps. You can adjust the time zone in your Control Panel to correspond to the target’s local time if they are abroad.
  • Contacts. With mSpy, you receive full access to the contacts list as well as the ability to block contacts from calling the person you are spying on.
  • Media files. You will view the photos and videos added to the target device storage after the installation.
  • Deleted messages. All the deleted messages will be marked in red in your logs.
  • Watch list words to get alerts. Create the list of words you would like to be notified of and receive an email alert on every keyboard entry.
  • Geofencing. Be alert every time the target leaves or enters a selected location.
  • Wi-Fi Networks. You can easily prevent your kids, employees, or partners from connecting to the networks you would rather them not to use.

There are a lot more features mSpy has to offer to allow your comprehensive control over the situation.

Pros:

  • The remote assistant can install the app if the customer has the targeted device in their possession.
  • You can use it to restrict calls from specific numbers, block sites, and apps.
  • 24/7 support in a live chat.
  • It works on phones and tablets.

Cons:

  • You need to update the app manually or have it reinstalled remotely by the virtual assistant when the new updates roll out.

Price

  1. Basic plan:
  • 1 month – $29.99
  • 3 months – $59.99
  • 12 months – $99.99

2. Premium plan:

  • 1 month – $69.99
  • 3 months – $119.99
  • 12 months – $199.99

Developer

mSpy was created in 2010 by a London-based tech company as a corporate app serving the business need to control the way employees use their working hours. However, its entry of the parental control spyware market followed quickly.

Requirements

  • iPhone users will only need the target’s credentials.
  • Android users will need physical access to the target phone to install the app.

Hoverwatch

hoverwatch logo

Hoverwatch Phone Tracker is a software you can use for tracking your own or someone else’s phone or computer. With it, you can follow all incoming and outgoing text messages to be aware of who your target is chatting with. It is often used by employers when they want to make sure their workers are using their time at work wisely, and not surfing the web or watching YouTube videos.

Hoverwatch offers a number of features, such as GPS location tracking, call recording, and SIM card change detection. The software also allows you to access chats from popular messengers and social media platforms, such as Viber, Facebook, and WhatsApp. There is even a limited amount of features you can use without rooting the target phone, which is a dangerous practice that can break or damage the phone.

Hoverwatch can come in handy at home too. If you’re sharing a computer with your family members, you can see how much time they spend on it and which websites they visit. With Hoverwatch, nobody will ever use your computer again without asking!

Pros:

  • It is compatible with Windows, Android, and Mac operating systems.
  • You can use the software to take pictures of the surroundings when the target phone is in use.

Cons:

  • You need to gain physical access to the target device to install the software.
  • The service is not available for iPhones.

Price

  1. Personal €24.95 per month/device
  • 1 month – €24.95
  • 3 months – €59.95
  • 12 months – €99.95

2. Professional from €9.99 per month/device

5 Devices

  • 1 month – €49.95
  • 3 months – €99.95
  • 12 months – €199.95

3. Business from €6.00 per month/device

25 Devices

  • 1 month – €149.95
  • 3 months – €299.95
  • 12 months – €499.95

Developer

The developer company is Hoverwatch, founded in 2002. They built their app for parental and corporate control and have been extremely successful in their task, their product being installed on more than 12 million computers over the last six years.

Requirements

You need to gain access to the target phone or computer to install the app.

FreePhoneSpy

freephonespy logo

FreePhoneSpy soon to be merged with TheTruthSpy is one of the few apps that are completely free of charge. All you need to do is download the app, and you can get to work! The installation process requires physical access to the target device, so make sure you can get some time alone with the person’s phone.

The software provides a good tool to view your loved ones’ text messages. It also offers a standard selection of features, such as call and ambient recording, GPS location tracking, multimedia files, and text message monitoring. You can also use FreePhoneSpy to view the browser history and contact list stored on the device. In addition to that, the app lets you in on the person’s social media activity. Some social media platforms and messengers you can view are Instagram, Viber, Telegram, and Snapchat.

Pros:

  • At the moment, the app can be installed and tested free of charge.
  • The app offers call recording, which may be required by the customers for many different purposes.

Cons:

  • The call recording is illegal in most countries, and the person who used the feature will be held accountable.
  • The official website doesn’t have any definite information regarding the requirements or data security.

Price

  1. Standard
  • 1 month – $21.99 
  • 3 months – $55.99
  • 6 months – $88.99
  • 12 months – $130.99

2. Premium

  • 1 month – $25.99 
  • 3 months – $66.99
  • 6 months – $105.99
  • 12 months – $158.99

3. Gold

  • 1 month – $30.99 
  • 3 months – $77.99
  • 6 months – $122.99
  • 12 months – $184.99

Developer

WeySyS is a Vietnamese company that developed the app for parental and employee control several years ago.

Requirements

Physical access is necessary, and the device in question should be Android only.

LetMeSpy

letmespy banner

LetMeSpy is another application that allows you to view the messages, calls, and GPS location of the target phone. The app is very light and can go completely undetected. Once you’ve installed the application, you can access the information any time through the LetMeSpy website.

LetMeSpy is mostly advertised as software for parental or employee control. You can also install the software on your personal phone and use it to keep track of your device all the time. This way, you can ensure nobody, but you, uses the phone, and if it gets lost or stolen, you can easily find its location.

Pros:

  • There is a free version with the basic features and a paid version with the more advanced features.

Cons:

  • The range of features is limited to several basic ones in all types of subscriptions.

Price

  • Free – $0 per month
  • Standard – $6 per month
  • Pro – $12 per month

Developer

Several individual developers launched the application in the early 2010s for employee control and soon found that it can help parents just as much.

Requirements

Your target’s device should run on Android OS.

Mobile Tracker Free

Mobile Tracker Free logo

Mobile Tracker Free is another spyware application for Android phones whose primary focus is on texts, calls, and contact lists. Besides the standard features such as tracking text messages, calls, GPS location, and social networks, the app can also take photos of the surroundings for you and record the ambient sounds. On top of that, it allows you to track all the photos sent and received from the target phone, including the deleted ones.

Pros:

  • There is a free package of Basic services.

Cons:

  • The app is only available for Android users.

Price

  • Free – €0 per month
  • Basic – €6 per month
  • Premium – €15 per month

Developer

The app launched by the team of individual enthusiasts first entered the market in 2012 as a parental control app.

Requirements

There is only one special requirement specified on the website: you need to have an Android phone.

Logger.mobi

easylogger logo

Logger.mobi, otherwise known as Easy Logger, has many useful features, but first and foremost, for quality tracking of text messages and calls. Besides showing you the target phone’s call log, application usage log, text messages, and current location, it can also show you the physical locations the person has visited and the amount of time they spent at each location. The location history only deletes after 90 days, so you can revisit the log up to 3 months later.

Some people use Easy Logger to spy on their family members, but not in the traditional sense. The app can actually show you how much the target phone is being used, the duration of the calls, and so on. Finally, you can figure out who is bankrupting the family plan! Find out exactly how much money they use on international calls and texts.

The app has a couple of unique features that can sometimes come in handy. Fall tracker alert, as the name suggests, sends you notifications if the target phone has fallen. It also has an inactivity tracker, which alerts you if the target phone hasn’t been active for a long time. Figure out a specific location; if the target device enters that location, you will get an alert.

Pros:

  • You can track an unlimited number of devices for free.

Cons:

  • The application only works on Android phones.
  • The phone tracker alert notifies you every time the owner drops the target device.

Price

  • Free – $0 per phone/month
  • Pro – $4.50 per phone/month

Developer

Eclipse Helios developed the app several years ago for parental and employee control and has been improving it ever since.

Requirements

You need to have an Android 4.0 phone or higher.

SMS Tracker

smstracker logo

The name of the app speaks for itself. You can use SMS Tracker to view the person’s text messages and much more. You will also be able to get your hands on their multimedia messages (MMS), browser history, call logs, and location.

This app is marketed mostly as the software used by parents for child protection. To use the software, you have to download it on the target phone. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about your children finding out you’re spying on them; the app is disguised as another app named “System Health.” If you can convince your child, it’s just another “Settings” tab; they never have to find out. Of course, this probably wouldn’t work with adults. If you are an employer and want to monitor your employee’s work phone, you can be transparent. Perhaps it will motivate them to stay off social media during work hours!

Pros:

  • You can search through text messages using keywords.
  • There is a free version available.

Cons:

  • This app is only available to Android users.
  • It would only really work with kids, as an adult would quickly notice a new app icon on their phone.
  • Browsing history is only available to you if your target is Android 5.0 and newer versions.

Price

  1. Premium
  • 1 month – $15.96
  • 3 months – $31.92
  • 12 months – $95.76

Developer

Gizmoquip, LLC is based in Dallas, TX. The company initially devoted its attention to building an app that could track texts and aiding parents in their daily challenges.

Requirements

You need to have Android 2.1 or higher.

SpyHuman

SpyHuman logo

Like the other apps, this one is meant for careful parents and strict employers who want to be aware of who is messaging their kids and employees. The app also has certain features that allow you to control the target device and restrict its use, and it gives you access to call logs, browser history, and contact book and allows call recording. You can also follow the device’s GPS location and view the multimedia gallery, block certain websites, applications, or even the camera app.

On top of all of that, you can use it on your phone too. SpyHuman has an anti-theft feature. It detects it when the SIM card has been removed, and it alerts you right away. This way, you can stay on top of your phone at all times.

Pros:

  • There is a 7-day free trial.
  • The anti-theft feature makes it useful for those who want to maintain better control of their device.

Cons:

  • The app is only available to Android users.
  • It only has the most basic features, so it’s not for advanced users.

Price

  • From $14.99 per device/month

Developer

The Developer is based in Gujarat, India. It is not only the leader of India’s spyware market; it has also developed a reputation for providing kids and employee tracking services among international clients.

Requirements

You need to have an Android 3.0 or higher.

Spyic

spyic logo

Spyic is the software that allows you to monitor text messages and social media conversations led on the target phone. You can also gain access to the phone’s browser history, photo and video gallery, calendar, and contacts as well as tracking the location of the target device at all times. You can even access the user’s logins and passwords stored on the target phone.

If you’re a cautious parent, you can even view the apps your child has installed on the phone. Do that to make sure no content on the phone can be harmful or frightening.

Pros:

  • The software takes up very little space and doesn’t drain the target phone’s battery.
  • It is compatible with Android OS and iOS.

Cons:

  • There is a limited number of features available to iOS users.

Price

Android

  1. Basic – 1 device
  • 1 month $39.99
  • 3 months $59.99
  • 12 months $99.99

2. Premium – 1 device

  • 1 month $49.99
  • 3 months $69.99
  • 12 months $119.99

3. Family – 3 devices

  • 1 month $69.99
  • 3 months $99.99
  • 12 months $199.99

iOS

  1. Family – 5 devices
  • 1 month $99.99
  • 3 months $199.99
  • 12 months $399.99

2. Premium – 1 device

  • 1 month $49.99
  • 3 months $79.99
  • 12 months $129.99

3. Business – 25 devices

  • 1 month $399.99
  • 3 months $699.99
  • 12 months $999.99

Developer

The app was created by the team of individual enthusiasts who strive to help parents protect their children.

Requirements

  • The Android version should be 4.0 or higher.
  • For iOS, you will need physical access to the target phone.

TheTruthSpy

thetruthspy logo

TheTruthSpy allows you to track and monitor your child’s or employee’s texts, which is the essential feature you can try in all types of subscriptions. It has all the standard features we’ve seen before. That includes browser history monitoring, access to messengers and social media apps, and GPS location tracking.

You can also use the app to check on your own phone. All the data transfers to the online account daily, so you don’t have to worry about losing all your contacts, conversations, etc. If your phone gets lost or stolen, you can use the GPS tracking feature to find it.

Unlike other similar apps, TheTruthSpy claims to be useful in catching your cheating spouse too!

Pros:

  • The versions of the app for both Android and iOS are available.
  • TheTruthSpy is now promoted as an option to check on the cheating spouse, so you can even monitor another adult.

Cons:

  • The app is often reviewed by the customers as inconvenient and difficult to navigate.
  • If the target is an iPhone, you need to jailbreak.
  • TheTruthSpy reportedly has weak customer service.

Price

  1. Standard
  • 1 month – $21.99 
  • 3 months – $55.99
  • 6 months – $88.99
  • 12 months – $130.99

2. Premium

  • 1 month – $25.99 
  • 3 months $66.99
  • 6 months $105.99
  • 12 months $158.99

3. Gold

  • 1 month – $30.99 
  • 3 Months – $77.99
  • 6 Months – $122.99
  • 12 Months – $184.99

Developer

A group of advanced developers and control and protection enthusiasts created the app several years ago to help parents bring up their children.

Requirements

The app works on all versions of Android and iOS, but the oldest ones may have issues. We would recommend you to check compatibility first.

iKeyMonitor

ikeymonitor logo

iKeyMonitor is an excellent app for parental control that gives you a real-time view of/insight into the target’s texts. As a parent, you can monitor your child’s device using this application, and watch almost everything they do. There are some simple features, such as a GPS location tracker and messenger trackers. The software also gives you access to their browsing history and media files. One of the more advanced features of the app is the ability to limit your child’s screen time and block specific apps.

Pros:

  • Support for the clients is provided round-the-clock.
  • However, there is a free version to try any other features than the very basic ones.
  • You don’t have to jailbreak the target phone to use this application.

Cons:

  • Unfortunately, you do have to root the target phone to spy on social media messengers.
  • The price per month can be quite high if you don’t want to commit to a yearly plan.

Price

  • Free – $0 per device/month
  • Full – $59.99 per device/month

Developer

The app was developed by the team of a London-based company that has been in the parental control app market for a while and has a vast experience in its niche.

Requirements

  • iOS 9x to 12.4.x versions will work smoothly.
  • The Android version has to be 2.3 or higher.
  • macOS version should be 10.7 or higher.
  • Windows 7 – 10 are compatible.

Cocospy

Cocospy logo

Cocospy is a popular spyware app for Apple and Android phones alike when it comes to SMS tracking. Besides the classic features of any spyware app, it has a user-friendly interface, making the app very easy to use. It is especially suitable for beginners. Cocospy allows you to log into email and social accounts of the target phone. The app also has a Geofencing feature that will enable you to mark certain zones on the map, and you get a notification every time the target phone appears in that zone.

Cocospy is very easy to install and completely undetectable, as it takes up very little space and doesn’t drain the phone’s battery.

Cocospy can track smartphones, as well as tablets. You can use it to make sure your employees are doing their job, and aren’t sharing discreet information with the third parties.

Pros:

  • The installation process is straightforward.
  • The app has a user-friendly interface.
  • There are frequent sales and massive discounts.
  • Cocospy offers round-the-clock service assistance.
  • You don’t need to install any application on the target device.

Cons:

  • There is no free trial period.
  • The app lacks a screenshot feature.
  • When not discounted, the price of the app is very high. Standard pricing is provided below.

Price

Android

  1. Basic – 1 device
  • 1 month – $49.99
  • 3 months – $149.99
  • 12 months – $599.99

2. Premium – 1 device

  • 1 month – $69.99
  • 3 months – $209.99
  • 12 months – 839.99

3. Family – 3 devices

  • 1 month – $89.99
  • 3 months – $269.99
  • 12 months – $999.99

iOS

  1. Family 5 devices
  • 1 month – $199.99
  • 3 months – $599.99
  • 12 months – $2399.99

2. Premium 1 device

  • 1 month – $79.99
  • 3 months – $239.99
  • 12 months – $959.99

3. Business 25 devices

  • 1 month – $699.99
  • 3 months – $1999.99
  • 12 months – $3999.99

Developer

The app creators are a team of individual developers who launched the app for parental control.

Requirements

  • Your target has to have an Android 4.0 or higher.
  • There are no specific requirements for Apple users.

SpyZee

SpyZee is free software that allows you to track target phone location, read all the text messages, monitor the call list, and even listen in on the calls. You can access the messenger chats and the target’s photos, videos, and calendar. On top of all the basic features, SpyZee shares with other spyware apps; you can listen to the target phone surroundings and hear all the conversations led by the person. You can also remotely control the target phone or tablet and change settings on it.

Pros:

  • The software is entirely free of charge, unlike any other application in our rating.
  • With all the features it offers, you have almost total control over the target device.
  • SpyZee can be installed on Android and Apple products.

Cons:

  • The app doesn’t have many reviews available, so we can assume, despite the fact it is free, it’s not widely used.
  • The company does not take any responsibility for any possible damage to the target device as a result of the spyware app usage.

Price

The app is distributed free of charge.

Developer

SpyZee, USA, launched the product in 2018 for mobile tracking, focusing mostly on the contact list and text tracking.

Requirements

The developers don’t specify any requirements.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you have a lot to choose from. All the apps mentioned above are useful in their unique ways. Some are completely free of charge but offer limited features. Others are on the expensive side but have a long list of features you can use. Many offer free trials, so you can experience the app for one week without having to splurge on a subscription.

mSpy is definitely the winner in our rating for parental control and other use as it captures all the messages from the moment of installation, even those quickly deleted by the phone owner, as well as offering a number of other useful features, round-the-clock support through different channels and help with remote installation and updates for Android.

You should consider the apps that are most compatible with your phone and suit your specific needs first. If you’re planning on using the software for a long time, it pays off to invest in a yearly subscription; those are usually significantly cheaper.

Ultimately, we believe mSpy is the best app of its kind. It offers a wide array of features and has a free trial period to play around with it.

FAQs

What Is the Best App to Spy on Text Messages?

mSpy, for sure: even the deleted messages will not slip away from you with this app.

Do I Need to Jailbreak the Target iPhone to Spy on Messages?

No. Unfortunately, some spyware apps require it, but not all of them do. For example, if you choose mSpy, you can link to an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) simply knowing the iCloud credentials.

Do I Need to Root the Target Android Phone to Spy on Messages?

No. Some apps require you to do that for more comprehensive access to some functions, and others don’t. mSpy does not require rooting an Android phone. You can have all the functions with a Premium subscription.

How Much Time Does It Take to Spy on Text Messages?

Most apps are quick and easy to install, so that shouldn’t take too much time. The update intervals in your dashboard are five minutes and more.

How Do I Know If My Phone Is Compatible with Spying Messages Apps?

Most spyware apps have all the requirements on their websites. 

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