PROS / The live control panel shows a wide variety of cell phone activity in real time so you stay up to date on how your kids use their devices.
CONS / It does not let you limit your children's phone usage time.
VERDICT / Mobile Spy is one of the best cell phone parental control software in our review. It has powerful live reporting for all kinds of smartphone activity and gives you control over your child's online safety.
Mobile Spy is one of the most powerful cell phone parental control software available. It has the most thorough tracking and reporting tools and even shows deleted content and keystrokes. You can set custom alerts and restrictions, which let you go beyond monitoring your kids to ensure they don't access dangerous or inappropriate content. Because of its outstanding performance, device compatibility and helpful customer service, this software earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Tracking & Reporting
You can view your child's basic communication activity, such as phone calls and text messages, and the software shows you contact information, time stamps and what the messages say. It lets you see the device's browser history, including specific browser names, time stamps and URLs, even for YouTube videos your child viewed. From the monitoring website, you can see the device's current location and location history. It also shows you existing contacts, photos, stored calendar events and installed applications.
In our testing, we were impressed to see that the software can log deleted content. It shows you deleted texts, photos, and browser searches and history, including those your child viewed in incognito mode, which otherwise cannot be tracked. It also tracks keystrokes, revealing the text your child types in any app or online.
If you root the device, the software can also track all your child's emails and conversations from popular chat apps, including WhatsApp, Skype, Hangouts, Viber, Kik and Line. It can also reveal their social media activity on popular websites like Twitter and Facebook.
Alerts & Restrictions
While apps are a great way to have fun or learn, they also provide opportunities to come in contact with inappropriate content such as pornography, drugs or gambling. Mobile Spy lets you monitor what your kids do on their cell phones as well as restrict the kinds of apps they can access. However, you can't use this program to restrict the time your child spends on their phone; some other software in our review allow you to set up specific time blocks during which they may not use their phone.
Mobile Spy also lets you create keyword alerts, which notify you if your child uses inappropriate language in text messages or searches for offensive topics online. Another alert tells you if your child tries to tamper with the software. The program also has geofencing technology, which alerts you if your child enters or leaves a specific geographical area that you determine. This lets you know exactly where your child is for their safety or where their phone is if they lose it.
It is extremely easy to install this software on the target device and to log in on the monitoring website, so you can start your surveillance almost instantly. The website is visually appealing with an intuitive interface that makes monitoring easy. It's divided into two sections: logged information and alerts. Both are found on the vertical navigation bar on the left side of the screen, and the administrative controls are located on the horizontal bar atop the screen. From here, you can choose what tracked activity you want to view or which settings you want to adjust.
One of Mobile Spy’s most impressive and powerful features is its live control panel, which lets you view most activity as it happens so you aren't left waiting for updates. The software also has a few remote functions, which give you some control over the device itself wherever you are. For instance, you can remotely lock your child's phone if you want them to stop using it but are not with them.
Help & Support
Mobile Spy's developer, Retina-X Studios, has several resources for you to use if you have a question about the software or want to learn more about how it works. You can check out the live demo, user guide and knowledgebase on the website, or for direct service, you can contact the company via live chat or email. We found that its customer service representatives responded quickly over live chat and were helpful. Mobile Spy is compatible with Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices.
Mobile Spy is great parental control software. It's powerful, thorough, and lets you create alerts and set restrictions on your child's cell phone activity. Since it's compatible with a variety of devices and carriers, your child can most likely keep using their current device, and you can choose a plan length that fits your needs. The software is backed by amazing customer service, and it can help you keep an eye on your kids in this modern, technological age as well as help them develop safe online habits.