Parental Controls vs. Mobile Spying Apps

With so many companies boasting their mobile spying apps, it is easy to get caught in the trend of using such applications to spy on others. Whether you are a parent or a partner, the marketing gimmicks can sway you into buying the software, even if you don’t actually need it.

This is why we provide you with a guide that differentiates mobile spying apps and parental control apps. These two types of application more or less perform the same action but work in different ways. With the former type of application, one can gain access to videos, photos and other information without the user knowing about it, the latter works in a less secretive manner.

Given the number of spying and monitoring applications out there, for parents, it can get confusing as to which is the best one. Here are the pros and cons of each type of application. Read on for more information!

Mobile Spying Apps

But, we’re not saying that these apps are all bad. In fact, these apps are beneficial for rebellious teens and cheating partners – where you want discretion. In fact, one of the things that these mobile spying apps boast is that they can provide you information regarding the target device, without the user being aware of it.

With these apps, you can also gain access to photos, videos, a log of incoming calls and much more. However, mobile spying apps have several drawbacks.

These spying applications often require the phone to be rooted (in case of Android) or jailbroken (in case of an iPhone). These pose a threat to the privacy and protection of the phone. This means that it weakens the security of your device and makes it more prone to malicious attacks.

Apart from this, there is also the issue of privacy. How willing are parents to invade their child’s privacy at the cost of their trust? Parents often misuse such applications and are oblivious to its consequences.

We’re not denying the usefulness of mobile monitoring apps, especially when it comes to parents monitoring their children. However, with spying applications, parents do not realize that they use these applications at the alienating their children.

Parental Control Apps

There are many parental control apps available such as those by iPhone, Amazon, and Google.

Google Family Link is particularly the most popular because of the features. Google Family Link is an application that is installed on the phones of the parent and the child, given that both use Android phones.

You can control the screen time by limiting the hours for which a child can use the phone. Like most monitoring apps you can also track the location of the device. Furthermore, you can block websites that you consider are inappropriate for your child.

These give parents the freedom to choose what their child consumes on the internet. It also allows parents to actively monitor and control everything that their child does. So parents have to no longer worry about what their child’s online activities are.

Which one is better?

Here is a comparison of different factors which make one application better than the other.

Age Restriction

Parental Control Apps such as Google Family Link have age restrictions. However, if your child is over the age of 13, they have the right to access the internet openly without any restrictions.

Most of us can agree, that 13 is too young an age to trust a child with online activity. This is where Mobile Spy Apps hold an advantage because they do not pose any age restrictions.


Google Family Link is free, whereas Mobile Spy Apps are a paid service. Furthermore, parental control features on iPhone and Amazon devices are in-built and so have no cost for the service.

Number of users

You can have several members on the family share the application. However, Mobile Spy Apps often require multiple subscriptions for multiple target devices.


Each app has different features. With parental control apps, such as that by Google, you can control what your child watches and reads online. You can also block certain websites. With Mobile Spying software, you cannot actively control what happens on the target device, but you can gain access to everything that is happening on the target device. So, at least you have knowledge of what happens on the device.


Parental Control App such as that by Google is only compatible with Android devices. Similarly, apps by iPhone are only compatible with iOS devices. On the other hand, most Mobile Spying software is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

There is no single answer as to which application is better. However, depending on your requirements one application may seem better than the other. So, at the end of the day, it is the parent’s judgment regarding what they deem fit for their child’s security and their peace of mind.

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