I often get asked what is the best way to spy on WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger or some of the other instant message services for cell phones. Some cell phone spy software programs can monitor these apps but why is it becoming important? I’ll explain a little about how the different apps work and then look at how some of the monitoring software can help.
The vast majority of people who want to monitor instant messages are concerned parents, looking for some extra ways to add parental controls. Programs such as WhatsApp are a relatively new technology, embraced by kids and often beyond most parents.
There are many different instant message and web chat services available for all kinds of smart phones but most of them work in a similar way. Once installed on a cell phone they allow users to send messages and files as a data transfer on the Internet connection, therefore avoiding any text charges.
They are a bit like a free text messaging service but a little more advanced. Users can send video, photos, music and location information – as well as text. Most also have a group chat facility where several people can engage in a conversation. They are becoming very popular, mostly among teenagers. You can see the appeal, free unlimited texting!
This is probably the most popular one at the moment. It is a cross-platform messenger service available as a free download from the Google Play Store – for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Nokia Smartphones. Cross-platform just means it can send messages from an iPhone to an Android phone if both users have the app enabled.
GTalk – Google’s own product, sometimes called Gchat, similar to WhatsApp and is also cross-platform.
BlackBerry Messenger – similar service but only between BlackBerry users.
iMessage – instant message service between any Apple devices running iOS. Any communication between an iPhone and non-Apple phone will be sent as a regular text message.
So What’s the Problem?
The problem is that parents who are monitoring their children’s cell phones with spy phone software cannot always get access to what is being said in these messaging services. Because they are not regular SMS texts some of the software programs will not pick them up.
Now for many people this will not be an issue as they can find out enough from regular text monitoring and see if they are using these apps from the browser logs. You could always ban your kids from using these chat platforms. But some spy software will be able to monitor what is said – in certain circumstances.
As the technology develops I expect to see better provision for this in the future as these apps become more widely used. At the moment monitoring messenger apps is a little bit hit and miss. There are so many variables for the software to handle, communication online across different platforms and service providers. No one program provides a complete solution – Yet!
I’ll list a few of the programs and what they can do and add to it as more features are rolled out.
Flexispy – They offer the most comprehensive monitoring for social and chat sites, with 13 services monitored including: WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, Line, iMessage, BBMessenger and more – check out my review for full details.
mSpy – again covering quite a list including SnapChat, Viber, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, BB Messenger, iMessage and more.
MobiStealth Spy – you can view all activity on WhatsApp and Facebook, available for the iPhone and Rooted Android phones only. (see my article about Rooting an Android phone if you don’t know what this is). With a Rooted Android you can also view Twitter activity. With Mobile Spy on a BlackBerry you can monitor BlackBerry Messenger, GTalk and Windows Live activity. For the iPhone you can monitor iMessage and the YouTube App allowing you to see what videos have been viewed.
Mobile Spy – No Longer Recommended – monitors WhatsApp only for the iPhone at the moment, again with their full package. Just remember that Mobile Spy is no longer hidden from the user and has greatly reduced monitoring features.
As you can see none offer a straightforward solution to cover all messaging apps. At the moment Mobile Spy has the most options but you need to keep an eye on coming developments. It is not a huge issue at the moment but more people are asking about monitoring WhatsApp and the others. As these apps become more common the spy software programs will be competing to offer the best coverage.
If you really need to monitor a specific messenger service double check the company website information before buying. Don’t just see that they monitor your required app – make sure they can monitor it on your target cell phone – it is definitely not a case of one size fits all. Check back often as things are changing every few months as new updates are released. Hope this helped!
Remember to check my individual Reviews for more details – and read the comments.