iPhone spy apps are used by parents to track their kids and by employers to monitor employees. These apps are designed as parental control applications, but are also commonly used by employers and even to catch a cheating spouse, though this use is legally tenuous.
Whatever your needs may be, our 2022 buyer's guide to the best spy apps for iPhone will help you choose the right one for your spying needs.
6 Best Spy Apps For iPhone
The best phone spying apps for iPhone can monitor text messages, social media activity, chat and messaging, emails, phone calls, the target phone's GPS location, and more. The top spy apps in this list can also activate the phone's camera and microphone.
mSpy is what I have been using to spy on my son's iPhone for the last couple of years. I had to "borrow" his phone for a few minutes to set it up initially, but it's been running in the background (completely hidden) ever since.
It can monitor a wide variety of activities, including text messages, social media activity, chat and messaging, emails, phone calls, the target phone's GPS location, and more.
The features I use most regularly are GPS location tracking and geofencing, so I can pull up where he is now, where he has been, and set up boundaries so I can be notified if he goes somewhere he shouldn't be.
I am also able to see all of his social media activity, including Snapchat, Telegram, Kik, Skype, Line, Viber, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. A screen recorder function lets me make sure I don't miss any hidden messaging apps and a keylogger ensures that I have all of his passwords.
While this may seem a little intrusive, and it probably is, it's also exactly what a parent wants in a spy app. You can always choose not to look if you don't want to invade their privacy, but it's nice to know it's available.
I've tested and reviewed a lot of other spy apps, and some claim to offer one or two extra features that sound nice on paper but what I've found is that mSpy has the advantage in that it actually works dependably and successfully stays totally hidden.
Both for providing me with the information I need about my son's activities and for avoiding awkward confrontations about why I'm monitoring his phone, mSpy holds a well-deserved position as the best spy app for iPhone.
- Proven track record
- Totally hidden
- Easy installation
- GPS tracking
- Great tech support if you need it
EyeZy is a new and powerful spyware app for iPhone that doesn't require you to jailbreak or root the target device. Using EyeZy to exploit iCloud syncing will provide the person's real-time GPS location, contacts, e-mail, photos, and videos.
If you can access the target iPhone for 10-15 minutes and install the application on the phone, eyeZy is capable of a much wider range of advanced capabilities including:
- Keystroke capture
- Website browsing history
- Alerts for specific conversations
- Call logs
- Screen recording
- Great tech support
The app has good coverage of Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, Skype, WhatsApp, KiK, and Instagram text messages as well as geofencing capabilities to alert you when your child goes outside of an acceptable area to a location where they may not be safe.
While this iOS spyware app is not quite as advanced as other options it does make up for it by being the easiest to use and having the best tech support of any spy app I have used. The app is also compatible with every iPhone made since 2013, giving it the widest compatibility of any spying app for iPhone.
- Easiest to use
- Totally hidden
- Fast installation
- GPS tracking
- Access to all social media
- Not as powerful as other premium apps for spying
- No live screen recording
FlexiSpy uses the most comprehensive security technology currently available, though it is not as user-friendly as other hidden spy apps for iPhone. It remains totally undetectable in stealth mode and offers a long list of spy capabilities:
- Call Logs
- All Text Messages
- Monitor Social Media Content
- Browser & Search History
- Compatible with all versions of iPhone
It does require you to jailbreak the mobile device before installing, but this is a requirement of most spy apps that provide advanced features so it should be expected.
FlexiSpy and uMobix are the only tools able to take pictures or video, as well as activate the microphone to turn the target iPhone into a listening device. In addition, it can record live phone calls and upload them to the cloud for you to download later.
That last sentence may be worth reading again. It's worth having a slightly less modern interface to have safe and reliable ways of monitoring another iPhone and the surrounding area.
- Extremely powerful
- Live camera streaming
- Pre-loaded phones available
- GPS tracker
- Microphone activation
- Call recording
- Older interface
At one time, I used uMobix to spy on my son's phone. I was initially quite impressed with it as it offers a couple of features that are unique. Things started out good and the installation was easy and, more importantly, fast.
The uMobix app has capabilities that exceed most other spy apps currently available, with specialized abilities like remotely activating the cameras and switching the microphone on at will. These features are claimed by about 8 other spy apps, but I have only ever seen them work well on uMobix and FlexiSpy. What separates the two is that this application manages to be much more user-friendly without sacrificing monitoring capabilities.
In addition to the location tracking and surveillance abilities you would expect, it also provides access to more social media than any other spy app on the market, including Facebook, Tinder, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, Instagram, Skype, TikTok, Reddit, and Zoom.
Interestingly, this app also has spyware detection features to alert you to other spying applications which are already installed. If you are monitoring your child for their safety, it is good to know no one else is watching them.
Tech support is available by phone, which can be a lifesaver if you are trying to install the app in secret and have limited time to get it done.
Unfortunately, once I got a few months in and started to feel like I could trust it, uMobix started to fail me. At first, it was just a couple of little things, and speaking with their rep reassured me. However, my use of uMobix turned into a complete disaster and I don't feel like I could really recommend this spy app to anyone. At the same time, maybe it was just me as I can't believe they would still be selling it if it was like that for everyone.
- Streams live video
- Remote microphone activation
- Real-time GPS location tracker
- Access all social media apps
- Simple installation
- Great customer support
- Serious reliability concerns
- Data retention limited to 30 days
XNSPY is a dominant player in the parental control and cell phone spyware niche. They do advertise heavily but also deliver a dependable and quality product, with good tech support to back it up.
The app has highly advanced features that are rarely found in spyware for iPhone, including the ability to activate the microphone and record both sides of phone calls so you can listen to the mobile device's surroundings and eavesdrop on conversations.
At the same time, XNSPY cannot to live stream video from the smartphone's camera or even monitor Skype and Facebook messenger. How it can succeed in having some highly advanced features but then fail at delivering more simple ones is somewhat puzzling.
It's a solid solution for monitoring iPhones but it is absolutely necessary to make sure it offers all of the features you are likely to need before buying it.
Cocospy is one of those spy apps for iPhone that is advertised heavily and seems to be fine at first glance, but doesn't quite seem right when you look at the details. I'm only including it on this list because so many people have asked if Cocospy is safe.
The main selling points of the Cocospy software are that it is very cheap and has a control panel that is easy to use.
The features listed on the website do not mention the ability to monitor Tinder and Facebook, but the demo seems to have that ability.
Either the demo is over-stating Cocospy's capabilities or the list of features is outdated. Either one of these is not possible if the company takes its product seriously. Unfortunately, this is one of several warning signs that can not be ignored.
They have the prices listed on their website as $49.99 per month, 3 months for $69.99, or 12 months for $119.99 (which is $9.99 per month) which is almost unbelievable for any app to spy on another iPhone.
This indicates that no one keeps using this app and they have a huge cancellation rate. If they are offering a year for the cost of 2.4 months then you know no one is staying past the second month.
As a user, that's not good. If you're depending on this app for surveillance, that's a reason to be very concerned.
In many places, it is legal to use a spy app on iPhone if you have the consent of the person being monitored or you are their legal guardian. It is usually not legal to monitor your spouse, though the issue can become complicated if you own the device in question.
We strongly recommend against spyware apps for iPhone without consulting a lawyer first. Some laws are written in such a way that you may assume you are legally protected but could be taking on much more risk than you realize.
If you suspect your partner is cheating, it's easy to let your emotions and curiosity take over, but you should consult a lawyer before accessing any electronic device in secret. Ensure you are aware of your legal situation before engaging in potentially risky behavior.