iPhone spy apps are used by parents to track their kids and by employers to monitor employees, and I've personally used them for more than 6 years. 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 2024 buyer's guide to the best spy apps for iPhone will help you choose the right one for your spying needs.
Top 6 iPhone Spy Apps
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 app for iPhone in this list can also activate the phone's camera and microphone.
uMobix is what I have been using to spy on my son's iPhone. 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.
The uMobix app has capabilities that exceed most other iPhone spy apps, 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 for iPhone, 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 for iPhone on the market, such as Facebook, Tinder, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, Instagram, Skype, TikTok, Reddit, and Zoom.
Interestingly, this app also has a feature to alert you to other spying applications which are already installed. When 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.
- Streams live video
- Remote microphone activation
- Real-time GPS location tracker
- Access all social media
- Simple installation
- Great customer support
mSpy is the spy app I previously used to spy on an iPhone. I was satisfied with it and can't say I had any problems, but it lacks the more advanced features of uMobix so I took the opportunity to switch when he upgraded his iPhone. While I'm glad I did, mSpy is still a very capable and useful iPhone spy app that is also a little bit cheaper.
It can monitor a wide variety of activities, such as SMS messages, chats, social media activity, emails, phone calls, and other data from the cell phone.
The features I use most regularly are location tracking and geofencing, so I able to keep an eye on 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 on platforms like 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 at private things to not invade their privacy, but it's nice to know you could.
- Proven track record
- Totally hidden
- Easy installation
- GPS tracking
- Great tech support
- Can not activate the cameras or microphone.
EyeZy is a new and powerful spyware app 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 data, information for contacts, e-mail, photos, and videos.
If it is possible to gain physical 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:
- 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 or someplace 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 iPhone 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 iOS.
- Easiest to use
- Stealth mode
- 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 the app is not as user-friendly as other phone spy apps. 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 iOS
It does require you to jailbreak the mobile device before installing, but this is a requirement of all 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
- Location tracker
- Microphone activation
- Call recording
- Older interface
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 rarely found in spyware, with 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 live stream video from the smartphone's camera or even monitor Skype and Facebook messenger. I find it somewhat puzzling that it can succeed in having some highly advanced features but then fail at delivering simple ones.
It's a solid solution for monitoring iPhones but you should absolutely make sure it offers all of the features you are likely to need before buying it.
Cocospy is one of those spy apps 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 its very low price and an easy-to-use control panel.
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 you can not ignore.
Cocospy has 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 a year of the software is being offered 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. Since you would be depending on this app for surveillance, that's a reason to be very concerned.
Are spy apps for iPhones detectable by the user?
Every iPhone spy app we have reviewed here allows you to remain completely undetectable. This means the user cannot detect it and view or delete any activity logs. However, a highly technical user might be able to discover its presence if they became suspicious.
Can I use these apps to listen to phone calls?
Yes, some of the iPhone apps we have listed here have this feature, including XNSPY. It will allow you to record both ends of a phone call so you can listen later.
Are there any free apps for spying on iPhones?
Unfortunately, no. All of the best and most reliable iPhone spy software require a paid service plan. While some companies offer free trial periods, in the end you will need to pay for continued usage. Therefore, thoroughly researching a product before making the purchase is always recommended.
Do I need to jailbreak the target phone in order to use a spy app?
No. Every app we have reviewed in this buyer's guide can be used without jailbreaking the device. However, some features may not be available if the target phone is not jailbroken, so it is best to check with each company prior to making your purchase.
How much does iPhone spy software cost?
The cost of spying apps depends on the duration of the service plan and which features you require. Generally, it will range from $30 to $120 per month, with longer subscription plans being most economical.
Can I monitor multiple devices with one app?
Yes, some of these apps offer packages where you can monitor up to 5-10 different devices at once. This is especially useful if you are a parent and need to keep track of your children's activities across multiple phones.
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 using a spyware app without consulting a lawyer first. Some laws are written in such a way 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 and don't engage in potentially risky behavior.
For anyone looking for a spy app for iPhone, there are some great options to allow you to track texts, location information, call logs, and other data from anywhere in the world. These apps remain completely hidden on the device, are virtually undetectable by an end user, and some even allow users to listen to both sides of phone calls.