Smartphone monitoring apps are among programs that have developed a dark reputation. This is because the media and popular culture present them in a negative light. However, many forget that inappropriate use of such apps is typically illegal in most parts of the world. Smartphone monitoring apps are primarily designed for use by parents on employers. They can help parents monitor their child’s digital activities and aid employers in boosting workplace productivity. As such, they cannot be installed and used without the consent of the other party. Always check local laws before you purchase a smartphone monitoring app. With that said, we will review one of the top monitoring apps called xnspy.com. We will identify the pricing options, evaluate the features, and detail on how to install and use the app.
What is XNSPY?
XNSPY is a sophisticated smartphone monitoring app that offers an advanced range of features to meet the needs of both employers and parents. The app has been a player in the industry for a long time and has developed a loyal following over the years.
How much does it cost?
Smartphone monitoring apps typically work on a subscription basis and XNSPY is no exception to this. You can opt for the basic version of the app that costs USD 4.99 per month for the year-long subscription. However, this version does not offer all the features. For that, you have to select the premium version that costs USD 7.49 per month for the same period. We have reviewed many monitoring apps and none of them is as affordable as XNSPY. As a result, we highly suggest you opt for the premium version because it is significantly more affordable than basic versions of other apps.
Is it compatible with my phone?
XNSPY supports all devices using Android versions above 4.0. On the other hand, the app is compatible with all devices running on iOS above 6.0.
With these aspects out of the picture, let’s go through the features available with the service.
XNSPY can monitor telecommunication information such as calls and messages. All call data is available in a call log that lists the date, time, and call duration as well. Additionally, you can record calls and download the recordings too. XNSPY does not provide a call-interception function. As a result, you can only listen to the conversation after the call has ended. Similarly, all sent and received SMS and MMS are saved. You can view all of them in the XNSPY control panel.
- IM & Social media
You can use the service to monitor all messages and multimedia exchanged via instant messaging and social media apps. The list is quite broad but includes popular platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Tinder, LINE, Kik, and others. This feature is useful for parents because most teenagers and children nowadays use IM and social media apps for communication.
- Multimedia and online activity
XNSPY keeps track of all multimedia files saved on the smartphone. These include all audio, video, and image files. Entries logged in the calendar are also under the microscope. Similarly, you can view online activities such as web browsing history, bookmarked pages, and emails exchanged via different platforms. However, this function may prove to have little use for parents because XNSPY lacks a content filtering system that automatically blocks inappropriate content.
- Location tracking
XNSPY can track the location of the phone in real-time and provide GPS history too. It is very easy to identify the location because this feature is integrated with Google Maps. There is a geofencing sub-function available as well. You can mark any location on the map, and the app will alert you whenever the fence is violated. Entry or exit from the marked location is considered a violation. This is a useful function for safety reasons.
- Device remote control
You can use this feature to remotely control the device from the comfort of your home. Turn on the microphone to record surroundings, or take screenshots to monitor phone activity. You may have to toggle off these functions because they can be quite intrusive. Useful remote control features include app view/blocking, screen lock, phone restart, and data deletion. These features are particularly useful for parents who want to control screen-time and encourage healthier device use.
- Watch list alerts
This is a unique feature only available with the XNSPY smartphone monitoring app. Just go to the watch list alerts option in the control panel menu and enter any word, phrase, location, or a contact number. XNSPY will track this information and alert you if there is any related activity on the device. For example, suppose you add a word related to violence. The app will send out an instant alert the moment that word is mentioned in a text message, app, or a search engine. This is a sophisticated and useful function because it cuts down on the time required to go through all the data.
- Other features
XNSPY offers additional functions such as keylogging, Wi-Fi logging, access to contacts, and a detailed device-use report. This report contains key stats such as most-visited websites, top callers, and top calls with the largest duration.
It is easy to focus only on the list of features available with a service. However, ease of installation and use are important factors to consider as well. Let’s take a look at how you can install and use XNSPY.
Installing & using XNSPY
Step 1: Go to the app’s official website and select a subscription package from the “Buy Now” option at the top.
Step 2: Make the payment and check your email inbox for a mail that contains your XNSPY username/password, and installation instructions.
Step 3: Make sure that the iCloud backup feature on the iPhone is toggled on. You can do so via the phone’s settings menu.
Step 4: You must have access to the Apple ID credentials of the iPhone you want to monitor.
Step 5: Log in to your XNSPY account, select “iPhone” from the “My Devices” menu, and enter Apple ID details.
Step 6: Wait for verification.
Step 7: Go through all data and phone control options through the menu bar on the left side of the control panel.
Step 1: Visit the XNSPY website and make a payment on your chosen subscription package.
Step 2: Check your email inbox for an email that contains a URL for downloading the app, your XNSPY log in credentials, and installation instructions.
Step 3: You need to physically access the Android phone to install XNSPY. Open the URL on the phone you want to monitor, and download the app. The installation process won’t take long. The app is completely hidden after installation and no further physical access is required.
Step 4: Wait for a day so the app can transfer all phone data to another server.
Step 5: Log in to your XNPSY account, select “Android” in the “My Devices” menu.
Step 6: Browse through all data options from the control menu options on the left side of the control panel.
Step 7: You can log in to your XNSPY account anytime, from any web browser.
We cannot complete our review of XNSPY without identifying the most important advantages and disadvantages.
What’s good about XNSPY?
- We have reviewed many smartphone monitoring apps but all of them are many times more expensive than XNSPY. In other words, XNSPY is the most affordable option on the block.
- XNSPY provides the flexibility required to turn certain features on or off depending on the circumstances. This is more useful than it sounds like because situations change every day.
- The watch list alert feature is unique and is not available with other monitoring apps. XNSPY provides the right information exactly when it is needed.
What’s bad about XNSPY?
- You may have to root/jailbreak the phone to use some designated functions. The list isn’t long, but make sure you check the app’s website to see if you need those features.
- The app does not provide a content filtering system so parents have to purchase a separate app to prevent access to inappropriate content online.
- Remote control features such as surround recording or screenshots can be quite intrusive. You may have to turn them off or assure the other party that you won’t use them.
What’s our verdict?
We used XNSPY for a while to check how it performs under different circumstances. We were quite impressed with the watch list alerts function and it worked like a charm the moment we entered our keywords. Other functions work as claimed, though we felt that there were some limitations too. For example, there is no option for website blocking, and this can be difficult for parents. In other words, parents need to spend an extra buck for an additional app. The only issue with the price was that there is very little difference between the basic and premium versions. Given the prices of other monitoring apps, there is no point in opting for the basic version at all. Overall though; XNSPY offers an effective combination of affordability, features, and ease of use. These factors make it one of the top-performing smartphone monitoring apps on the block.
Check out a summary of our review:
|Price||USD 4.99/ month for basic version & USD 7.49/ month for premium.|
|Compatibility||All Android versions 4.0 and above.|
|IM & Social media||Yes. Check out the detailed review to view the list of apps or visit the website.|
|Phone data deletion||Available|
|Instant alerts||Available for all messages, locations, contacts, keylogger, and web searches.|
|Rooting||Required for some pre-designated features. Check out the app’s website for more info.|