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Spying on an Android device is surprisingly easier than one might initially think. There’s no magic involved, there is no mystery, just simply adding an app to the Android phone you want to spy on. And, quite frankly, it has its uses that aren’t steeped in malicious intent.

If you were hoping to find out how to be a covert spy, hacking into a victim’s phone from the other side of the planet, well, you won’t find that here. Strictly speaking, you’ll only find help if you plan on monitor your child’s phone.

And, as a bonus, you’ll also discover a way to remove any spy app you might have on your Android phone. You’ll also learn how to spot the hints that crop up when one has a spy app installed on their phone without permission.

Are Spy Apps Legal?

Yes, they are absolutely legal because of its prime use. You have to understand when spy apps get abused, it isn’t the apps fault, but rather, it’s the person who used it in such a way that was malicious. For example, if you knew your loved one’s PIN or password for their phone and installed a spy app on it, that is entirely on the fault of the person installing the app.

Let’s not forget the use of GPS apps, either. A GPS app could be labeled as a “spy app” since it gives you that Android phone’s current location. However, its intended use is entirely up to the person. Generally speaking, GPS apps are great for locating a device that may have been left behind in public. Or, a more morbid use, keeping an eye on your child’s location. It gives parents peace of mind knowing their child is right where they’re supposed to be. And, if the unimagined happens, you’ll have access to your child’s location and they can be immediately saved.

So, yes, “spy” apps are legal. When they are used for malicious and illegal reasons, then the cuffs get slapped on wrists and off to prison they go or slapped with a heavy fine.

Installing a Spy App

The apps you’re looking for are numbered in the thousands. You have GPS apps and you have apps they can give you monitoring tools, far more information than GPS apps do. The latter apps are great for monitoring your child’s phone usage. However, if you have more trust in your child, consider using a simple GPS app. It’s up to you to decide which one you want that coincides with your parenting style.

Before you install an app, you should understand that some apps need to be installed on two Android phones. For example, if you wish to monitor an Android phone, the app has to be installed onto the Android phone you want to monitor. You should probably do so when the phone is in your possession without the person knowing. If they know you’re doing it, they can simply uninstall it, especially in this day and age when kids, barely in preschool, can use a phone with absolute ease better than many grumpy adults.

As for GPS apps, generally speaking, will only ever need to be installed onto the Android phone you want to track. Rarely is there a “master app” for your phone. Most GPS apps come with a desktop parent application that you can use instead, though some have been known to have applications for viewing the tracked phone.

1. Locate and launch the Google Play Store app. Its icon is a colorful triangle. You can find the Google Play Store app somewhere on one of your home screens. If you can’t find the Google Play Store app there, check inside your App Drawer. All currently installed apps are housed in your App Drawer.

The App Drawer is, generally, represented by an icon containing several rows of dots.

2. In the Google Play Store, tap the search bar at the very top of the screen. Tapping the search bar will launch your virtual keyboard. Go ahead and type in the app you’re looking for and search for it. Doing so will redirect you to its information page. Good candidates to check out are:

  • Trackview
  • Life360
  • Google Find My Device

install life360

3. On the app’s information page, select INSTALL, if it’s free and a good fit for you. Depending on the app, you may have to BUY and then INSTALL. Afterwards, the app will immediately download and install directly to the Android phone.

Hints That Someone is Spying on You

Many would find it hard to imagine their loved one would go as far as to install a tracking app onto their phone without permission. Unfortunately, it happens and you should be prepared by installing an app that can recognize spying apps. It just so happens that there aren’t many hints that someone is spying on your Android phone, except a battery that’s dying faster than normal, but that could be from other sources.

1. Locate and launch the Google Play Store app. Its icon is a colorful triangle. Open it from one of your home screens or from the App Drawer.

2. In the Google Play Store, select the search bar at the very top of the screen. When your virtual keyboard appears, search for an app that can scan your Android phone for any spying apps. Good candidates are:

  • Malwarebytes Security
  • Incognito – Spyware Detector
  • Avast Mobile Security

install malwarebytes

3. On the app’s information page, select INSTALL if you find its features a good fit for you. If the needs to be bought beforehand, it will say BUY and then you can INSTALL.

4. Run the app like normal and start a scan. If it detects anything, it will remove it or alert you of the problem.

Bottom Line

Spying on an Android phone does get a bad rap. It’s always met with scorn or thought of as malicious when, in actuality, there’s plenty of situations that call for the monitoring of an Android phone. It’s not always evil.