Best Free Trial Phone Spying and Tracking Apps for Android September 14, 2021
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Best Free Trial Phone Spying and Tracking Apps for Android

Spying on an Android phone is a sensitive issue and may raise ethical and moral questions. Nonetheless, for parents like me who want nothing but to protect their kids, I don’t see any problem.
A spying app will let me monitor and track my children’s online activities and their location and can only take action when I think it's necessary.

Short on time? Here are the best free trial phone spying and tracking apps for Android:

     1. Mspy– Records all calls, incoming, outgoing, or deleted text messages, live GPS tracking, supports all Apple (IOS) and Android devices.

     2. Bark – Monitors 30+ different social platforms, text messages, YouTube, emails and more.

     3. Qustodio – User Friendly, limits screen time, games, social media activities, blocks inappropriate content.

I have heard horror stories about cyberbullying and sexual harassment, among other terrible things that can happen online. Being proactive, I am one step ahead, which is why I considered using a parental monitoring app. With the latter, I know who my kids are talking to and I can intervene when needed. I can also see where they are all the times.

The options are overwhelming, but this is not an excuse to decide in haste. After spending hours of online research and trying different apps, my favorite is Mspy.
It has a great user-friendly dashboard with many different spying features, there is a long list of reasons why it stands out over many others.

If you are looking for the best free phone spying and tracking apps for Android, read on. We’ll walk you through some of the best options with the most powerful features.

Top Picks for the Best Free Phone Spying and Tracking Apps for Android

 

1. Mspy

What I Like:
• Installation takes less than ten minutes
• User-friendly dashboard
• Completely undetectable

Mspy parental control software

With its seven-day free trial, I did not think twice about trying Mspy. I have nothing to lose since I can easily opt out if I am unhappy. Fortunately, even after a week of trying the app, I found it impressive. Until now, this is what I am using for monitoring my kids.

Mspy allows both call and text monitoring, so I can see who my children are talking to. Through the parent dashboard, I can view the contact information, as well as the actual message. I also love how I do not need to go through each message individually. There is a feature that sends instant alerts when there are inappropriate messages.

I can also scan the multimedia content they have on their phones. There is a thumbnail of the photos and videos that are sent and received in the device being monitored.

It also has powerful web browsing monitoring. It is easy to keep an eye on the websites that they are visiting. Even better, I can block different keywords and URLs, such as those that are related to violence, drugs, and pornography, among other age-inappropriate content.

I have lost count of how many times I have been frustrated when my kids are not replying, and I have no idea where they are. Mspy does not just allow me to track their real-time location, but I can also set geofences. I can set a safe zone, and when my children are outside the boundaries of such, I receive immediate notification. I will instantly know once they are in a location I do not allow them to be.

For Android phones, physical access to the device is necessary, which makes the installation quite tricky. I have to be discreet when installing the app, so that my kids won’t know. This is unlike its iOS version, which does not require physical access.

Android Device Compatibility: Android 4+

* Grab an additional 20% discount with coupon code: PARENTALCONTROL

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Or read our Mspy review

2.  Bark

What I Like:
• Monitors more than 30 platforms
• Powerful security features
• Winner of various awards

Bark homepage free parental control app

From bullying to self-harm, being online offers a plethora of dangers for my children. Bark aims to prevent such dangers by providing parents with better control. In 2020, the app has analyzed more than two billion messages from different platforms, showing how robust it is.

I have tried different apps in the past, but Bark is one with the most comprehensive options in terms of the platforms that it can monitor. Some of these include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Discord, Facebook, Instagram, House Party, Kik, Skype, Reddit, Steam, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Firefox, and Chrome.

Bark’s dashboard is one of its best assets. Like most parents, I am busy. I do not have the time to check my children’s phones every now and then and go through all the messages and files. Bark does this for me. If it senses that something isn’t right, I am notified in a jiffy.

Another good reason to pick Bark is its powerful security features. It uses SSL encryption to protect the data that it monitors, making sure that my children’s information does not end up in the wrong hands.

While it is a spying app, I also love how Bark does not monitor everything. It is intelligent enough to track only the things that matter. This way, my kids can still have privacy while I have peace of mind.

Not yet convinced to try this Android parental control app? Your mind might change after knowing that it has multiple awards. It has been recognized by the National Parenting Product Awards and Mom’s Choice Awards, among others.

Android Device Compatibility: Android 5.0+

Try Bark For Free!

Or read our Bark review

3. Qustodio

What I Like:
• Excellent location tracking
• Blocks online content from 29 categories
• Has a panic button

Qustodio homepage

When it comes to top-notch spying apps for Android, Qustodio is another unrivaled name. It does more than just spying. It makes it easy for me to filter web content that my kids can access. By default, it blocks sites that belong to 29 categories, which include violence, weapons, profanity, drugs, pornography, and alcohol, among others.

With the location tracking feature, I can quickly see the last known location of the device that I am monitoring. I can set the refresh rate to as short as five minutes. There is an Activity timeline where I can see a comprehensive location history. One thing that is noticeably missing, however, is geofencing.

I can also spy on my children’s social media activities through Qustodio. While I appreciate this feature, it is quite frustrating that it only monitors Facebook. Kids nowadays have a plethora of social media platforms, so I wish that Qustodio can monitor more.

One of the distinct features of this spying app is the panic button. When my kids are in danger, they can simply press the panic button and I will receive an instant alert.

Nonetheless, one of the significant drawbacks of this app is that it is quite easy to circumvent. I tried using a VPN and the web filters did not work.

Android Device Compatibility: Android 5.0+

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Try Qustodio For Free!

Or read our Qustodio review

4. Mobicip

What I Like:
• Accurate and real-time location tracking
• Effortless set-up
• Request instant access

Similar to the options I have listed above, it isn’t technically free, but it comes with a free trial for seven days. After which, I have to choose from three of the paid plans available, which cover five to 20 devices, depending on the price.

Tracking my children’s whereabouts is easy with Mobicip. All it takes is one tap and I can instantly see where my kids are. I can check if they are at school on time or if they are at home safe. This feature also came in handy when my kid lost his phone once.

With Mobicip, I can also spy on their browsing history. I can set up daily and weekly reports, which will provide me with a snapshot of the contents they are accessing. Whenever I see something that they should not be visiting, I sit down with my kids to explain why they should not be seeing such content.

Installing this app is effortless. There is only one app for parents and children. I start by installing the parent app on my phone. After which, I received a QR code and scan it on my kid’s device. Within seconds, the installation is complete.

The flexibility of the app is also a plus. Even if I blocked certain content, my kids can request access. If they can give me a good reason, then I can immediately approve their override request.

Android Device Compatibility: Android 4.4+

Visit Mobicip

Or read our Mobicip review

5. Norton Family

What I Like:
• Free for 30 days
• No limit on the number of devices
• Comprehensive location map and timeline

I have tried many of Norton’s online security products, so I am happy when I learned that they also have a spying app for Android. I used it for free for 30 days but decided to not continue with a paid subscription, as I opted for Mspy instead.

Many of the spying and tracking apps I have tried in the past often have limits on the number of devices I can monitor. If I want to monitor more devices, then I have to pay more. Such isn’t the case with Norton Family. Even the free version monitors unlimited devices, which is perfect for big families or kids with several devices.

The compact web interface is also a good thing. I hate dealing with clutter, so it is refreshing to find a seamless dashboard that is effortless to navigate. Whether I want to set rules or view activity reports, it is a snap to use Norton Family.

It has 40 content categories, making it easy for me to instantly block contents that I believe are age-inappropriate. Some of these categories include pornography, gambling, suicide, abortion, and tobacco.

The dashboard has an Activities tab. This is the most useful feature for monitoring what they are doing online. It lists all websites that they have visited. Thankfully, I can limit the result to questionable activities.

The Activities tab also has an option for tracking location. When I click on Location, I can see a map with pins to the exact location my children have been. There is also a timeline, so I can see when exactly they have been in a specific place. A major drawback, however, is that I cannot set up a geofence.

Android Device Compatibility: Android 6.0+

Visit Norton

Or read our Norton review

6. FamilyTime

The world’s most powerful parental control app – this is how FamilyTime positions itself. It sounds too good to be true, especially because I have tried other spying apps with more robust features.

With Family Locator, I always know where my children are, even if I am busy. I do not have to text or call them to know their whereabouts. All I have to do is open the app and it shows a map that pins their location. Even better, it has a geo-fence feature. This way, I can add different addresses where I do not want my kids to be. Whenever they visit these addresses, I receive a push notification instantly.

Aside from spying on their location, I can also check their app usage. It lets me know how long they are using specific apps, providing me with insights into their online behaviors. I can regulate the use of certain apps to prevent addiction and minimize the risks that can confront them.

One of the unique features of this Android spying and tracking app is Teen Safe Drive. It allows me to define a speed limit. When they go beyond such, I am alerted. This is a good way to promote safer behavior on the road.

Android Device Compatibility: Android 4.3+

Visit Family Time

Or read our FamilyTime review

7. McAfee Safe Family

McAfee is known for its exceptional internet security products. I did not think twice about trying their Android spying app, especially because it comes with a 30-day free trial. It has a seamless dashboard that displays different profiles, providing an instant snapshot of what my children have been doing online.

Aside from the standard location history with pins on a map, I can also create specific zones where they are not allowed. If they go to these locations, the app sends instant alerts. From notorious bars to shady neighborhoods, I can add a long list of addresses where I do not want my children to be.

Another good spying feature of this app is its ability to detect suspicious photos. Whenever the app detects that the gallery has a suspicious picture, I am instantly alerted. This way, I can prevent my children from sharing or receiving inappropriate photos.

Android Device Compatibility: Android 4.4+

Visit Mcafee

Or read our McAfee review

Things To Look for In A Parental Control App

Thanks to a large number of parental control apps currently available for android devices, choosing the right one can be difficult. But, knowing what factors you should look for can simplify the task. Here are a few things you can look for to identify the best parental control software.

Monitoring Features

While stealth monitoring apps may appear to be the same, each comes equipped with different features. So, before you choose any app, make sure you go through all the features that it offers.

Some of the essential things that the monitoring app should cover include location tracking, browsing history, monitoring app usage, social media, and text messages.

In case you are going for a free version of the app, you should check whether it meets your requirements or not. Some apps only offer some limited features in their free version. To access more features, you need to make a purchase or subscribe to their premium version.

User-friendly Interface

As parents, we have to deal with a busy schedule every day. And figuring out how to use a complicated app is the last thing we want! So while looking at parental control apps, make sure that you find them easy to use.

Without a user-friendly interface, you may have to browse the internet for every little monitoring activity you want to do.

Data Privacy And Security

Going through the privacy and security policies of the parental control app you intend to install is extremely important. Strictly avoid any app that does not clearly state how it uses your data. In addition, the app should come with enough security to ensure that your and your child's information remains safe.

Device Compatibility

Not all apps may be compatible with your device, especially if you have an older model. In addition, different parental control apps may have varying system requirements. For example, the parental control apps for windows may not work on android. So before you choose one, you need to ensure that these match with your current devices.

Usually, most apps are compatible with new device models. However, in case it's not, you always have the option of upgrading your device.

Risks And Benefits Of Using A Monitoring App

Monitoring your child's activity can protect them from possible online threats, as well as prevent them from accessing content that's inappropriate for their age. But the benefits of using such apps don't end here – many of them come with advanced features to protect your child's safety.

For example, you can track their location in real-time to know where they are even if they are not picking up your calls. Additionally, you can control their phone time to ensure that other essential activities (like studying, extracurriculars, etc.) are not neglected. Windows parental apps also enable you to keep an eye on their online activities on the computer.

But, using a monitoring app to track your child's activities comes with a few risks too. The most common of these is the risk of misuse of your sensitive data. But you can easily avoid this by ensuring that the app you choose comes with enough security to ensure data safety.

In addition, with too much monitoring, the child may feel that they have no privacy, leading to the weakening of trust between parent and child.

What to Look for in an Android Spying and Tracking App

For the uninitiated, it seems that all the Android spying apps are the same. Nonetheless, they are different in many ways. Here are some important considerations to help you narrow down the options.

Spying Features

One of the most important is to have the necessary spying features that will keep you on track of your child’s activities. This should include monitoring location, text messages, social media activities, and browsing history, among other things.

Ease of Use

See to it that the spying app has a user-friendly interface. Aside from trying the app, it also helps to read reviews. This way, you can learn from the real-life experiences of other people, using their opinions to help you decide which one is the best.

Compatibility

Check the Android version of the phone that you would like to monitor, and see to it that it matches the system requirements of the spying app. Most will support only the newest versions. Upgrade the phone’s operating system to enjoy the full functionalities of the app.

Conclusion

Mspy wins this battle for the best free phone spying and tracking apps for Android. It allows easy installation in less than ten minutes and comes with a seamless dashboard. It also has up-to-date information, providing fresh updates every five minutes. Plus, it offers superior encryption, so I am confident that data stays safe.

     1. Mspy– Records all calls, incoming, outgoing, or deleted text messages, live GPS tracking, supports all Apple (IOS) and Android devices.

     2. Bark – Monitors 30+ different social platforms, text messages, YouTube, emails and more.

     3. Qustodio – User Friendly, limits screen time, games, social media activities, blocks inappropriate content.

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