How Does Spy App Work?

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Maxym Chekalov
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Updated · Aug 04, 2023

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Spy apps allow you to monitor a device remotely. Developers design these types of apps to monitor data and activities from a specific device. These apps can be essential to employers and parents to monitor their employees and children remotely

Some companies turned to spy apps to see what their employees were doing during work hours, especially during the pandemic. 

According to WFH Research, the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant reason people started working remotely. Almost 30% of work remains remote today. 

Spy Apps may also help ensure the safety of kids on the internet because parents can check what their children see online. It is important to remember that spy apps and spyware are different from each other. 

In this article, discover how spy apps work, their types, and their legalities. 

Legal and Ethical Note: This piece is mostly written from the parents' perspective. We are also worried parents who want to ensure their children are always safe. In some countries, it might be against the law to look at other peoples' text messages or other details. We do not encourage anyone to do anything that is against the law. So, before you use any of the apps or websites on this page, ensure it's legal for you to do so in your country. 

How Spy Apps Work

Spy apps take target device data and store it on a server the user can access remotely. Some apps require phone installation, but others work via cloud-based solutions.

Cloud-based spy apps usually just track:

  • Location
  • Texts
  • Calls
  • Contacts

Spy applications that require phone installation offer the most spying possibilities. These programs can collect keystrokes, screenshots, phone calls, and social media activities. These features can be great for parents to monitor their childrens' phones

They are also deeply integrated into the operating system, making them hard to detect and allowing near-total access to the target phone without user notification.

Because many people want to stay private online and protect their anonymity, the use of spy apps to spy on an adult's phone is generally illegal. 

Spy apps are simple to install, frequently in minutes. After installation, the user can use the app’s features and access the other device. 

Features of Spy Apps 

The features of spy apps may differ from one to another. Each developer designs their apps to be better than the ones before it, offering users a better experience when using them. 

General features of spy apps include: 

  • Reading text messages
  • Listening to live phone calls 
  • Tracking phone location
  • Accessing call history
  • See browsing history 
  • Take screen captures
  • Track the duration and frequency of device usage

Just like how data needs to be encrypted, spy software can also help you keep the personal information of your children safe. The apps can also help you protect your kids from the dangers of the internet. Some apps may have similar features but differ in the user interface and other aspects of design. There are also many types of spy apps that users can choose from. 

Types of Spy Apps 

There are many valid reasons to utilize a spy app. These programs can trace your stolen or lost phone, monitor your child's cell phone usage, and track SMS and phone calls. Thus, selecting the best phone spy applications can be difficult.

The following are three common types of spy apps:

1. Employee Monitoring Apps 

Also known as "Tracking Software," these types of apps may help companies protect their businesses. Businesses use this to track aspects of the workforce like:

  • Duration of work
  • Device Activities
  • Accessed Websites
  • Location
  • Productivity

A survey on workers' productivity monitoring explains that monitoring apps allow them to be more productive at work. In 2020, 77% of employees in the USA were working from home, and among them, 90% were open to transparency in productivity.

2. Parental Control Apps

These types of spy apps allow parents to protect their children when using the internet. They can also help parents limit their children’s screen time. 

Parental control apps have recently gained fame for a reason. In a global survey by Sapio Research commissioned by Kaspersky, 50% of parents use parental control applications. 

Modern kids have hands-on experience from an earlier age. Using parental control apps may give parents peace of mind about their kids' digital well-being. Monitoring apps help to ease children into online usage and build safe habits.

3. Phone Location Tracker Apps

These types of spy apps are GPS location trackers. They can help you trace the whereabouts of your children, friends, partners, and or employees at any given time. 

If you use this type of spy app, it will notify you of the other device’s location.

With spy apps, you can keep an eye on your child's online activity, including their social media use, call logs, internet searches, and messages, all in complete privacy. If needed, you can also track a lost device. However, it’s important to be vigilant because there are a lot of bad (and fake) spy apps out there.

We've reviewed 3 of the best spy apps on the market to help you find one that gives you the most value for your money. Find out what these tools can do for you by reading on.


uMobix is a mobile tracking app that works with both iOS and Android. It keeps track of almost everything the target phone does, including phone calls, text messages, GPS locations, web records, messengers, social media, etc. It gives people real-time access to the target devices and lets them take screenshots on the target phone.

uMobix has features such as: 

  • A sophisticated GPS device
  • Browser history monitoring
  • Monitoring text messages
  • Telephone message monitoring
  • Access to the phone’s gallery

This spy app also offers 24/7 customer support and a 14-day Money Back Guarantee. 


eyeZy is one of the finest parental control apps for phone monitoring. It lets you view photos, videos, and apps without the phone owner's knowledge. It is straightforward to discover what your children are saying on social media.

eyeZy’s features include 

  • Social media monitoring
  • Access to calendar
  • Blocking websites

Similar to uMobix, eyeZy also offers 24/7 customer support and 14-day Money Back Guarantee. 


mSpy is a software that allows you to remotely and easily monitor your child's activity. It allows you to observe all messages without difficulty. This tool also allows you to determine the device's GPS coordinates. This app can work on both Android and iOs devices. 

Features of mSpy include 

  • Access to text communications.
  • Provides activity updates.
  • Runs in the background.
  • Encrypts and safeguards your data.
  • Supports multiple languages.

mSpy also offers other monitoring tools such as Keylogger, Screen recorder, Application Blocking, and access to calendar activities. 

While there may be a lot of different spy apps out there, these three apps have been proven to be some of the best for their purpose. 

Before installing spy apps on your child’s phone or computer, ensure that you do your research and choose the one that meets your requirements best. Before purchasing or installing a surveillance app, you must also consider the legal ramifications. 

Bottom Line

Spy apps have different features and types to accommodate your diverse needs. Popular spy apps may bring convenience in tracking the devices of your kids or employees.

Check the reviews, features, and read the terms and conditions when buying a spy app to ensure that you use a legitimate app.

Besides its many differences from spyware, spy apps are generally not malicious. However, it would be helpful to you to do your research and/or consult an expert before using spy apps. 


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