In researching cell phone monitoring software for our teenage daughter we spent quite a bit of time testing out the different options available. Hoverwatch was one of the options we tested early on with little success. That said, they have updated their software and have made some significant improvements.
And while Hoverwatch still isn't as solid as our favorite spyware package, it is a decent solution for those looking to remotely monitor someone else's phone.
Considerations Before Buying Spy Software
Cell phone spyware can help you to monitor children and employees. Although each cell phone spyware program contains unique features, most spyware apps possess standard features that allow you to read email, messages, address book, calendar and internet browsing history. As a rule, this type of software also provides various types of location tracking and allows you to configure alerts based on location or contact.
The use of cell phone spyware may provide an efficient way to protect your child or your business from the effects of negative influences. Using the standard features mentioned earlier, cell phone spyware makes it possible for you to:
- inconspicuously track use of the target device and log the information so that you can review it and take necessary precautions;
- monitor phone use, access to internet sites and use of most social media apps;
- detect SIM card changes and receive alerts about privacy concerns.
In spite of its potential benefits, installing cell phone spyware may not be right for you if:
- you have concerns about monitoring a target device without the owner's knowledge;
- you do not have physical access to the device you need to monitor;
- the device you will be monitoring uses a non-supported operating system.
Our Hoverwatch Review
Hoverwatch is a full-featured cell phone spyware program that was created by Refog. The first iteration of the software was released in 2002 and subsequent releases have added functionality and removed bugs.
The latest version of Hoverwatch for Windows added the ability to track device location and the most recent Mac version added bug fixes. Hoverwatch for Android 6.3.257 added TikTok logs for screenshots and updated the server connection.
Regardless of the type of target device the software is used on, the potential benefits of using Hoverwatch include:
- Compatibility with most mobile devices and platforms, including Android, Windows and Mac systems, which makes it possible for you to monitor many of the devices that are currently in use;
- Simultaneous tracking on multiple devices lets you access all relevant data regardless of the device that is being used;
- Easy online sign up and account creation allows you to download and begin using the software almost immediately.
Even with all these amazing features, Hoverwatch does not perform equally well on all devices. These are the potential disadvantages of Hoverwatch.
- You will nearly always need to have physical access to the target device in order to install the software;
- Remote installation is possible but will result in limited functionality;
- There is currently no iOS version available so this program cannot be installed on iPhones.
Features of Hoverwatch
Hoverwatch is compatible with most versions of Android, Windows and Mac systems that were released after 2003 but its functionality may vary across platforms. Hoverwatch runs in stealth mode, making it possible for you to monitor the target device without being detected.
The features described in this Hoverwatch review comprise a comprehensive set of tools that together provide a solid platform for remote monitoring of many types of devices.
Phone call monitoring
Hoverwatch offers call tracking, call recording and phone call history logging and stores information about the date, time, call duration, contact name and type of call. Phone call monitoring and recording may reveal patterns pertaining to times of calls, callers or call duration, which may help you to determine whether contacts need to be intercepted or blocked.
Social media chat app tracking
You can track date and time inform,ation for text messages and media files that are shared on social media sites, including Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Viber. By studying patterns that appeared in stored messages and photographs, I was able to help my fifth grade student to identify which of her classmates were most responsible for harassing her so that appropriate follow-up actions could be taken.
Text Message monitoring
Hoverwatch can view and monitor email, text and multi-media messages and also views images that were sent in texts. This tracking feature is essential in determining the appropriateness of content that is exchanged in conversations, letting you help your child or employee to set acceptable boundaries in their interactions.
Internet use monitoring
Hoverwatch monitors internet browsing history and creates a log of websites visited. This feature lets you block specific websites, disallow internet use or block specific apps. Monitoring use of the internet may be useful if you wish to prevent your child from accessing adult content or want to prevent an employee from accessing content that is not work related.
The keystroke logger registers all key presses and messages typed on a Mac or Windows keyboard. The key logger records all keystrokes and saves the information even if the original message is no longer available, giving you a permanent record of all messages typed on the device.
Hoverwatch tracks the location of the target device, even when GPS and WiFi services are turned off. Location tracking is useful in determining whether the user is within a set geographic area can be an important component in setting effective geographic boundaries.
You can use Hoverwatch to access and read the address book, contact list and to-do lists. On a Windows computer you can also access and read the contents of the clipboard. This feature provides vital information that is often stored in the form of notes and contact information, which may not be accessible in emails or social media platforms, and provides an additional set of data should you need to intervene at any time.
Photos and screenshots
Hoverwatch takes periodic screenshots, giving you useful information about which types of activity the target device is used for. The software uses the phone's front camera to take a photograph when the screen is unlocked, providing invaluable user information in the event the target device is lost or stolen.
SIM card change detection
Hoverwatch detects SIM card changes, providing an added layer of security to help you identify if the target device has been tampered with. This feature can be invaluable in the event that the target device is lost or stolen, since you will be notified when the SIM card is changed or altered.
What Customers Are Saying About Hoverwatch
While Hoverwatch offers many of the same features as other cell phone monitoring software on the market, it falls a bit short in terms of performance and technical support. Getting the software installed is relatively straightforward, but if you have any issues it can take quite a while to get a response from their technical support department.
This has been one of my pet peeves when assessing these products. The ones that work right off the bat tend to have hiccups that then cause nothing to work. This is one of the reasons we continue to recommend mSpy's phone monitoring software.
Hoverwatch VS mSpy (our favorite product)
Most cell phone monitoring software offers comparable features but companies differ significantly in the quality of the technical support they provide. We believe that Hoverwatch is a powerful cell phone monitoring program but we continue to prefer mSpy due to its superior customer service.
While mSpy is available for nearly all devices that are currently in use, Hoverwatch is not available for iOS systems. Hoverwatch and mSpy both include SIM card tampering detection but the integration of geo-fencing with Google Maps is unique to mSpy.
The Hoverwatch personal plan offers a full set of features and costs:
- $24.95 per device per month,
- $59.95 per quarter
- $99.95 per year.
The professional plan tracks up to five devices and costs:
- $49.95 per month,
- $99.95 per quarter and
- $199.95 per year
The business plan tracks up to 25 devices and costs:
- $149.95 per month,
- $299.95 per quarter and
- $499.95 per year.
Mspy offers a one-month basic plan at $29.99 per month, which may be a good choice if you anticipate that your monitoring needs will be of short duration. For longer term monitoring, mSpy offers a premium plan at $69.99 per month. The premium plan costs $39.99 per month if purchased quarterly and $16.66 per month if purchased annually.
Where to Buy Hoverwatch
Hoverwatch provides invisible monitoring and can be instrumental in helping you to protect your child or to ensure that your employees are behaving in accordance with company policy. The software tracks email, text and social media activities to provide a full set of data that you can use to determine if intervention is needed. Hoverwatch can be installed on multiple devices, making it a valuable tool when information is contained across different platforms.
To download the software, visit the company's official product website, where you can create an account and configure your dashboard for personal use.
Here some quick answers to a few of the more common questions about Hoverwatch.
Does Hoverwatch work on iPhone?
No. Hoverwatch is available only for MAC computers. They do NOT offer a version for iOS devices.
How do I Uninstall Hoverwatch?
If you have used the iTunes credentials to monitor another phone there is no uninstallation necessary.
If you've installed the app on an Android device you'll need to follow the steps detailed on this page.
For MAC devices follow the instructions at the URL below.
Other Spy App Reviews
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, we've reviewed quite a few different spy apps here at The Tool Report. Here is a quick rundown.
We Review FlexiSPY
Our Review of Teensafe
Read Our Highster Review article.
Our XNSPY Review
Our In-Depth Spyzie Review
Our Copy9 Review
While many of these offer similar features. None of them, with the exception of FlexiSPY, offer anywhere near the level of customer support as mSpy.