HelloSPY (Android 4) 6.0 Review

Monitor, record, and access your Android device data with this Web-based service.

If you provide cell phones to your kids, employees, or anyone else you're responsible for, you can understand that it's in your best interest to have a reliable, accessible record of when, where, and how they're used, and, at times, even recordings of calls. Even if you're the only one responsible for your cell phone, you'd probably like a complete accounting and backup of everything on it, in case it's lost, stolen, dropped on concrete, eaten by the dog, or accidentally hurled at the TV screen. HelloSPY can handle that. HelloSPY hides in your cellphone (or someone else's) and reports back to a secure, password-protected Dashboard that lets you view and access your recorded and backed-up data from any Web browser. HelloSPY's service isn't cheap, though it has a variety of service plans for individuals or multiple users. But you can try HelloSPY free for 48 hours. We tried the Android 4 download.

HelloSPY is a bit harder to install than the latest Angry Birds release since you must extract the correct download for your Android version (2+ or 4+) or iPhone, and the easiest way to do that is simply to open your smartphone's browser and click the appropriate link (a good tutorial and more instructions are available at the app's main site). Once installed, we entered the provided code to call HelloSPY and log in to our account with our newly created password. After we'd logged in, a message on our phone advised us to reboot it to hide HelloSPY's icon on the Main Menu. HelloSPY's browser-based My Dashboard is plain, but efficient and extremely clear: The Explore Device menu accesses data ranging from GPS, SMS, and URL history to Contacts and Calls, while the Extracted Info list displays counters for each data category. Our counters displayed zeroes, so we clicked Settings and selected Sync Settings to sync up our account. Almost immediately the dashboard data counters filled. To access saved or recorded data, we merely had to click the appropriate field in Explore Device. You can remove HelloSPY remotely, too.

HelloSPY proved easier to use than install, though clearly it's worth the effort for those users who need its special services.

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