Monitoring apps are not one of those apps that you experiment with a lot. This is because there are very few such apps and they are typically expensive. They also require the consent of the monitored party. However, this means that finding the right app can be a challenge. App developers use marketing gimmicks and advertise features that do not function well in practice. This is where we come in. We review the features and functionality of these apps so you can make the right choice. In this article, we are reviewing the XNSPY smartphone monitoring app.
We chose to review it because the service is among the most affordable options out there. We will first provide the pricing and compatibility options for the app and then review the features in detail. We will also provide a step by step guide on how to install and use XNSPY before we consider some pros and cons. Let’s get started, shall we?
XNSPY is an advanced smartphone monitoring app that is available for both Android and iOS platforms. The app has been in the industry for longer than many other apps and has improved considerably over the years owing to customer responses.
Let’s take a look at the pricing and compatibility options for the app.
XNSPY Compatibility & Pricing
The app is compatible with all iOS devices running on versions above 6.0. On the other hand, XNSPY supports all Android devices running on OS versions above 4.0. This is a pretty broad range, so compatibility should not be a cause for concern.
XNSPY is used on a subscription basis, like many other monitoring apps. Two subscription packages are valid for both Android and iOS devices. The premium version of the app costs USD 7.49 per month and offers a complete suite of features. The basic version comes in a little cheaper at USD 4.99 a month but does not offer all the available features. We tried the premium version and recommend you opt for it too as the price difference between the two is marginal.
Let’s take a detailed look at the features available with the app.
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1. Call Monitoring
No monitoring app is complete without call monitoring. XNSPY can track all calls made to and from the device. This data is included in a detailed call log that lists all incoming, outgoing, and missed calls. The list is marked with the date, time, and duration of the call as well. You can also access saved contacts so you will know who they spoke to, when, and for how long.
If you see an unknown number and it is not saved in contacts, you can use free-lookup.net. This free app will give you precise information about the person who made the calls to this phone.
Additionally, XNSPY has a call recording feature too. You can record calls and download the recordings to listen to conversations. However, XNSPY does not offer a call-interception function. You will have to wait for the call to end before you can access the conversation.
2. SMS & IM monitoring
The SMS & Instant messaging monitoring feature is particularly suited for parents. This is because children and teenagers use IM apps to communicate and socialize. XNSPY can track all sent and received messages exchanged on apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Viber, Skype, Tinder, LINE, Kik, and others.
All messages are marked with the time and date as well. You can also access photos exchanged via some of the aforementioned apps. This is a useful feature given the dangers to youngsters of cyberbullying and inappropriate communications.
3. GPS Tracking
You can use the app to monitor the location of the device in real-time. Location history is also available with details such as time and date. This way, you can also track where they were, and when. The geofencing sub-function is also interesting.
You can use it to mark specific locations on Google Maps and direct XNSPY to pay close attention. The app will send out alerts if the geofence is violated. Parents can use this feature to mark safe or unsafe zones for their children. Similarly, employers in the shipping or service delivery industry can remotely track their employees in real-time.
4. Social media & Web Activity Tracking
XNSPY can track social media apps such as Facebook. You can view all sent and received messages on Facebook Messenger too. Similarly, the app can monitor all online activities such as bookmarked pages, exchanged emails, and complete web browsing history. This is a useful feature for employers seeking to boost productivity in the office.
However, parents will find the function to be of limited use. This is because XNSPY does not offer content filtering or website blocking. As a result, parents will have to purchase a separate app to block inappropriate content.
5. Multimedia Access
You can use the app to monitor all multimedia files stored on the phone. This includes all photos, videos, and audio files. The app can also monitor calendar entries. Videos or photos exchanged via IM or social media apps are available here too.
6. Phone Remote Control
You can use XNSPY to remotely control the phone. You can take screenshots or turn on the microphone for surround recording. However, XNSPY does not offer a remote camera control function. At any rate, these features can be quite intrusive. On the other hand, some remote control features are quite useful.
For example, you can view all installed apps and block those you feel are unsuitable or are being used inappropriately. You can also lock the phone, restart it, or delete all data to protect privacy in case of theft. These are useful features for parents seeking to enforce screen-time limits or prevent the use of inappropriate apps.
7. Watch List Alerts
This is a unique feature available with XNSPY. Many other apps that we have reviewed claim to offer a function like this but they fall short of expectations in practice. You can use the XNSPY watch list function by adding words, phrases, contacts, or locations to a dedicated list. The app will then pay attention to the list and monitor all data to identify any related activity.
For example, if you add a word related to bullying or pornography, the app will immediately send out alerts if the word is mentioned in any text messaged or typed on the phone. In short, this function can save up a lot of time because it provides the right information at the right time.
8. Additional Functions
Other features available with XNSPY include a keylogger that records all keystrokes, a WiFi logger that lists all connected networks, and a detailed report that list important device-use statistics. Barring a few limitations, this is a pretty impressive list of features. Let’s see how to install and use XNSPY.
How to Install XNSPY on Android and iOS
The process is different for Android and iOS devices so we will tackle them separately.
How to Install XNSPY on Android
Step 1: Visit the XNSPY official website and select the “Buy now” option at the top.
Step 2: Enter your email address and make a payment on a suitable subscription package.
Step 3: Check your email inbox for your XNSPY log-in credentials, installation instructions, and a URL to download the app.
Step 4: You need physical access to the Android phone to successfully install XNSPY. Open the URL on the phone you want to monitor and download the app. Then run the installation wizard. This will not take more than a couple of minutes. You no longer need physical access to the phone and the app is completely hidden.
Step 5: Wait for 24–48 hours and log in to your XNSPY account. The waiting period is used by the app to transfer data from the phone to a remote server.
Step 6: You will be directed to the XNSPY control panel after you log in. Select the “My Devices” option from the top right corner and then choose “Android.”
Step 7: You can now access all data and remote control options through the menu tab on the left. Furthermore, you can also access the XNSPY control panel from any web browser.
How to Install XNSPY on iOS
Step 1: You do not need to physically access the iPhone to install XNSPY. However, you need to know the Apple ID details of the phone you want to monitor. Moreover, make sure that the “iCloud” backup feature is toggled on for the device. You can do via the iPhone’s settings menu.
Step 2: Visit the XNSPY website, make a payment on your selected subscription option, and check your email inbox.
Step 3: The email will contain your XNSPY account details and installation instructions.
Step 4: Use the account details to log in to XNSPY’s control panel.
Step 5: Click on “My Devices” on the top right corner and then select “iPhone.”
Step 6: Enter the Apple ID credentials and wait for verification.
Step 7: You can now access all iPhone data through the menu bar on the left.
We were a bit confused about the installation process at first, so we reached out to XNSPY’s live customer support for guidance. Ultimately, the process is not so confusing after all.
No app is perfect and each program has its limitations and drawbacks. As promised, we will now identify the most important pros and cons of XNSPY.
XNSPY Pros & Cons
- A sophisticated and unique watch list alerts.
- A comprehensive and broad range of features.
- XNSPY is the most affordable smartphone monitoring app.
- Broad range of functions.
- Unique watch list alerts feature.
- Very affordable.
- You may have to root or jailbreak the phone to use some specific features. Check the app’s website for more details.
- XNSPY does not offer content filtering or website blocking.
- Some features like screenshots or surround recording are quite intrusive.
- May require rooting/jailbreak.
- No content filtering.
- Some features are quite intrusive.
Here’s a Summary of Our Review
|Price||USD 4.99 for basic version & USD 7.49 for the premium version.|
|Compatibility||+4.0 for Android and +6.0 for iOS.|
|SMS & IM||Yes. Please visit the website for more details on which apps are monitored.|
|Social media||Yes. Please visit the website for more details.|
|Web browsing history||Yes|
|Camera remote control||No|
|Watch list alerts||Yes. Available for messages, calls, contacts, web browsing, content, location, and keylogging.|
|Rooting||Required for some features. Please visit the website for more details.|
|Jailbreak||Required for some features. Please visit the website for more details.|
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Smartphone monitoring apps face tough competition from their peers. This is because they offer features that meet a specialized demand in the market, particularly by parents and employers. We have reviewed many monitoring apps to date. In our experience, marketing gimmicks and unsubstantiated claims can mislead many people. You do not have to worry about this with XNSPY as it mentions the features it offers and there are plenty of reviews vouching for their efficacy.
That being said, there are some limitations with the app, such as rooting/jailbreak requirements for some features and a lack of content filtering service. Still, XNSPY is the most affordable smartphone monitoring app and offers a sophisticated range of functions. It is the best bang for your buck and the app you need to try this year.