Top 5 Cell Phone Monitoring Apps


New technology is making it easier than ever before for the average person to monitor a cell phone without having it. Parents monitoring their children find it absolutely necessary to be able to keep constant tabs on their kids. In order to do this they must be able to monitor their cell phone without having it in their possession and without the need to follow them around. These apps can collect text messages, phone calls, GPS location, social media activity and much more without being noticed by anyone.

There are only a few apps available today that can actually do this and are reliable enough for parents to keep their children safe. I have listed them below.

Hi! I’m Pat Stanley and this is DownloadsDock. I have reviewed the best phone spy apps for 2021. I ranked them according to what I feel are the best based on; ease of use, reliability, how much information they gather and overall power. Take a few minutes to read them and choose the one that is best for you.  


#1 Auto Forward Spy

Recommended – Works on all Androids and iPhones

top 5 cell phone spy apps Auto Forward best cell phone spy apps

Auto Forward enables you to monitor the activities of any cell phone without having the phone. It is great for beginners and all those with limited knowledge of cell phones and technical jargon.

Exclusive OTA (over-the-air) link lets you download the app remotely

Auto Forward is the only app that uses its exclusive OTA (over-the-air) link that allows for a simple download and remote connection with the target phone. All you have to do is download the app, activate it, then enter the number of your child’s phone (or company phone if you are an employer monitoring an employee) . It’s very easy to use and perfect for anyone looking to do a bit of surveillance. If you can use a cell phone, you can use Auto Forward. Boasting more than a half-a-million downloads in their eight years on the market, Auto Forward is certainly considered a market leader and a pioneer in the cell phone monitoring industry. They continually introduce new features keeping their app ahead of the competition. Auto Forward has everything a person would need in a cell phone spy app. Auto Forward Spy works with all iPhones and all Android phones and tablets.  

How it Works

Auto Forward works by establishing a remote connection over the internet with the target phone (the phone that is being spied on).

Three Easy Steps:

    1. Download – Use the OTA (over-the-air) link to download the app.
    2. Activate – Enter the license you get from Auto Forward to activate.
    3. Monitor – From your cell phone, tablet or computer view texts, calls, GPS and all available information from the target



    • OTA Link: The OTA (over-the-air) link allows remote access to the monitored phone after download.
    • Undetectable: Activity on the phone is captured and uploaded silently.
    • Social media: Auto Forward tracks and records activity on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.
    • Text messages: See an exact copy of every text sent and received from the monitored phone. This includes instant messaging apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, and Kik.
    • Keylogger: Captures all keystrokes on device including, messages, searches, notes and more.
    • GPS tracking: Tracks the GPS location of the device to within a few feet of its actual location.
    • Calls: All incoming and outgoing calls on the monitored device.
    • Internet usage: See every website your child visited.
    • Restrictions: Set which pages and content you do not want your child viewing.
    • Content alerts: Receive alerts when certain words are used in messaging that you predefine.
    • Price: Only $29.99 and there’s no monthly subscription.
    • Works with: All Android’s and iPhone’s

Auto Forward allows you to monitor a phone without having their phone in your possession. Many cell phone monitoring apps require that you plug the monitored phone into a computer to download information that has been accumulated during a period of time. A major benefit to using Auto Forward is that data is uploaded periodically to your secure online account eliminating the requirement to have the phone in your possession. You can login to see uploaded data from your phone, tablet or computer. You can get Auto Forward setup and sending activity from the target phone in less than 45 seconds! Packed with every feature you will need, plus a one-time fee of only $29.99 and no monthly subscription, it’s not a stretch to say that Auto Forward deserves the #1 spot on our list of the best phone spy apps of 2021. To buy Auto Forward CLICK HERE Read Our Review  

#2 Highster Mobile

Recommended for spying on an iPhone. No possession needed.

top 5 cell phone spy apps Highster Mobile best cell phone spy apps

Highster Mobile has been on the market since 2007. It maintains a high standard of excellence and reputation as being a great app to gather information from any iPhone or Android phone. While Highster Mobile works very well for spying on Android’s it is much better and is my recommendation for spying on any iPhone.  

Spy On An iPhone Without Having Possession

Highster Mobile is the only monitoring app and system that gives you the choice of using the iCloud account of the iPhone to gather information (which can be very unreliable), or using a remote access app. The remote access app is by far more reliable and more accurate. It is also much faster at accessing and displaying data from the monitored phone. When using the iCloud account, it can take up to 24 hours, if not longer for data to appear. When using the remote access app, data is available almost immediately. You will also have access to more information form the phone. Highster Mobile comes with both options so you can choose which one will work best for you. Neither choice requires access to the phone.  

How it works

The app secretly establishes a connection between the target phone and the Highster Mobile servers. Data begins to upload immediately following the connection and is uploaded every few minutes.

Three Easy Steps:

  1. Download – Use the OTA (over-the-air) link to download the app.
  2. Activate – Enter the license you get to activate.
  3. Monitor – From your cell phone, tablet or computer view texts, calls, GPS and all available information from the target



    • OTA Link: The OTA (over-the-air) link allows remote access to the monitored phone after download.
    • Social media: Captures and records copies of both incoming and outgoing messages for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
    • Text messages: See all texts to and from the phone.
    • Keylogger: All keystrokes performed are logged and uploaded. Captures and logs deleted content and keystrokes.
    • GPS tracking: Enhanced GPS tracking now tracks a phone to within just a few feet of its actual location.
    • Undetectable: The app is undetectable on the target phone. Activity is captured and uploaded silently.
    • Works with: All Android’s and iPhone’s

Highster Mobile’s features and customer support are the reasons why we ranked this product, created by Powerline Group Inc., as one of the best cell phone spy apps of 2021. To buy Highster Mobile CLICK HERE Read Our Review  

#3 PhoneSpector 

(Modern Spy App For Android and iPhone) phonespector review PhoneSpector LLC, the U.S.-based company behind the PhoneSpector mobile monitoring app, boasts more than 500,000 users of their cell phone tracking and spy software and says they’re on track to hit one million users in the next two years. Very impressive! It was easy to see why they’re so confident once we tested the app for iPhone and Android. All you need to do is install the app on your phone, then activate it with the license key given to you at the time of purchase. The whole process took us less than 45 seconds, easily the fastest of any spy app we tested. This app is a great choice for anyone needing to spy on a cell phone. It has a lot of great features plus excellent customer support. PhoneSpector was the only company that has live operators ready to answer calls. It’s an exceptional product backed by excellent customer support, and you can’t go wrong with this mobile monitoring app. Developer: PhoneSpector LLC. To buy PhoneSpector CLICK HERE Read Our Review  

#4 DDI Utilities

(A powerful utility program that can dig up and extract data that other spy apps cannot. Perfect for those tough jobs.) DDI Utilities is part of the emerging new technology of utility programs that enable a person to spy on any cell phone without having it while remaining undetected better and easier than ever before. This revolutionary program has changed cell phone monitoring from what we once knew. Gone and obsolete are the older, traditional spy programs which are being replaced by new, more powerful utility programs. Utility programs are used to dig deep into the file structure of a PC or Mac to extract data and arrange files to optimize performance. Utility programs for cell phone’s and mobile devices operate in the same way, except we can use them for many others things. Like getting data that we want to see from a cell phone! DDI is perfect for extracting data from any mobile device. It will work on all iPhones and all Android devices.

How it works:

DDI is downloaded by texting the file link to the phone you want to monitor. When the link is opened (tapped on) it is activated and ready to go. Within minutes contents and activity from the phone will begin to upload to your online account. Login using the user/pass you get from DDI to view everything there is to see.

Key Features:

  • Text messages – Recover an exact copy of all of the text messages sent and received by the phone
  • Call log – Recover a list of all of the incoming and outgoing calls listed on the phone with the date, time and duration of the call.
  • Emails – Recover the content, sender, receiver, time and date of all emails listed on the phone.
  • GPS – Recover the real-time location of the phone (which is very useful to recover the phone if it has been lost or stolen)
  • Photos & Videos – Recover all media both taken on and received by the phone.
  • Stealth Camera – Take pictures of the phone’s surroundings.
  • Web Browser – Recover all the websites visited and all the terms searched.
  • Social Media – Recover all messages and activity from popular social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.
  • Diagnostics – Recover information such as the battery life, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, etc.

Developer: DDI Data Services To buy DDI Utilities CLICK HERE Read our review  

#5 Easy Spy

(VERY Easy To Use! An Extremely Capable Yet Inexpensive Spy App.) top 5 cell phone spy apps easy spy best cell phone spy apps You can easily monitor the use of a cell phone or tablet with Easy Spy. Easy Spy allows you to view the target cell phone’s text messages, phone calls, Facebook messages, internet browsing history, emails, social media, and other functions. It can also show deleted texts and track the phone’s location using GPS data. All of the phone’s information will be uploaded to the customer’s account online so they can remotely review it without the risk of being detected. Best of all, this cell phone monitoring software features a remote uninstall function that will quickly initiate should the owner of the phone suspect they’re being monitored. This product is not able to record and listen in on phone calls, and tell you the Wi-Fi network the device is connected to. Easy Spy is especially great to use when keeping tabs on children and employees. There are plenty of cell phone spy apps on the market like Easy Spy, but this one has the most functionality at a better price. To get started with Easy Spy, know that there is a one-time fee of $69.99. Also, this software by ILF Mobile Apps Corp. features free lifetime upgrades and is backed by a ten-day money-back warranty. To buy Easy Spy now CLICK HERE Read more about Easy Spy

Which Spy App Is Best For You?

Here are some of the factors to consider when deciding which mobile spy app to purchase and utilize.

  • Features

Make sure the spy app you purchase provides access to the features and information needed.

  • Compatibility

The spy app must work on the target device. Check the spy app compatibility with the device unit/model, operating system, and network carrier.

  • Rooting/Jailbreaking Requirements

Know all installation requirements including jailbreaking (for iPhone) and rooting (for Android). This is to avoid any hassles particularly in terms of physical access to the target device.

  • Price

Ensure the price is within your budget. Don’t merely go for the cheapest spy app but rather for the most reasonably priced.

  • After-Sales Services

Having customer support is a must! Ensure the representatives are live and not automated.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cell Phone Spy Apps

Yes, phone spy apps do work. Once installed, they remotely extract and retrieve the data from the phone being monitored.

The best spy apps on the market today are Auto Forward, Highster Mobile, and PhoneSpector.

It all depends on the type of phone you are looking to monitor. With iPhones, spyware can typically be installed remotely with just the phone owner’s Apple ID and password. For Android devices, spyware typically cannot be installed remotely and access to the physical device fis necessary.

There are spy and monitoring apps that allow you to track a target device with just the phone number but this is often limited to location tracking.

There are telltale signs your phone is being monitored like fast battery drainage, overheating, increased data usage, device malfunction, unusual browser history, and/or background noise during calls.