How to Monitor Text Messages on Android?


Is there a way to monitor text messages?

The question of how to monitor text messages is frequently asked by many people these days. Text messaging has overtaken phone calls over the last few years. It is the most common way for people to communicate with each other. 

However not all text messaging is positive. Many people use messages to bully others or to force others into doing something. Or even to spread false personal information about others. These and many other factors have resulted in millions of people wondering if they can monitor someone’s messages?

Is there an app that allows me to read my child’s text messages?

Due to the high demand for phone monitoring apps, many have become easily available now on smartphones. These apps can be used to read children’s text messages. Oftentimes only for a small fee or a monthly subscription.

These apps are designed to help concerned parents keep an eye on their children. This ensures the safety of the child. So that parents don’t have to be constantly worried about their child’s security.

In this article, we will explain the best phone monitoring apps. As well as the easiest ways to monitor text messages.

7 best parental control apps to monitor Android text messages

Bark App

Bark app is an award-winning phone monitoring app and one of the best parental control apps on the marketplace. Its main focus is to help parents ensure their child’s security at all times. It is a task that can seem daunting at first.

Children spend a lot of time on their devices and the internet gives access to all sorts of information. Therefore there are countless risks that children can be exposed to at any moment. These include cyberbullying, stalking, doxing, sexual harassment, etc. 

Combating all of these issues can be very time-consuming for parents. Many of them have jobs and only have a limited time to deal with these problems. Content blockers are helpful but no matter how many websites you manually block there are always more dangerous websites.

Bark understands as they say “no parent can keep an eye on what their child is doing online 24/7.” To ease the pressure on parents, Bark comes with automated systems that block harmful content online. It blocks unwanted sites automatically. It also blocks harmful words and dutifully reports harmful things that it finds on the child’s device by sending push notifications to the parent.

Using this app parents can track what their child is doing online and what they are saying. As well as their location and app usage. It can help limit screen time. Plus harmful content such as bad words can also be automatically filtered out.

Bark can also monitor text messages.

However one of the most unique aspects of this app is the anti-cyberbullying and anti suicidal ideation features. When these things are going on there may only be small signs which can slip through the cracks. Especially if the parent who is keeping tabs on their child is exhausted from work and only has a limited time.

Bark instead takes action against bullying and suicidal ideation itself. It can detect many of these cases and has worked countless times in the past. On the Bark website, impressive stats are boasted such as how 5.9 million children have been protected through this app. Or that 2.3 million severe self-harm cases have been detected and 310 thousand severe cyberbullying cases have been solved.

Bark also has an established reputation. It is available on the App Store and Google Play. It has 2 tiers. Bark Premium is for $15 a month and contains every feature. And the much cheaper Bark Jr which costs $5 a month but has fewer features.

Overall this app is highly dependable, useful, established, and cheap. Which makes it a good offer for many parents around the world.


FamiSafe is a well-respected and highly popular phone monitoring app. It is made to appeal to parents who want to provide a safe and secure online environment for their children. It is available on virtually every major platform including the App Store, Google Play, Windows, Mac, the Amazon Appstore, and the Chrome Store for Chromebooks.

It is widely lauded. It has won several awards such as the National Parenting Centre Seal of Approval, the 2020 National Parenting Awards, and the Mom’s Choice Awards just to name a few.

Since it specializes in keeping kids safe online it offers a list of features that are constantly at the parents’ disposal.

It contains app control which is useful in many cases. Using this feature parents can control what their child is watching on popular apps like YouTube. As well as their activity on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

FamiSafe also keeps track of browser and search history even if the child tries to erase it. Additionally, it can manage and block harmful content such as inappropriate sites. Plus parents will be made aware of any attempts their child makes to access such sites.

There are several controls related to GPS tracking as well. Users of this app have access to the target’s location at all times. There is also a Geofencing feature that can be used to mark which areas are appropriate to be in and which are not. If the target crosses over into undesirable or unsafe areas the parents are immediately notified. Users also have access to location history which they can view at any time.

FamiSafe also offers a safe search feature that can be used to prevent children from looking up harmful things in the first place. As usual, parents will find out whatever their child is searching using this feature and explicit content will be filtered out.

FamiSafe’s availability on most major platforms combined with its relatively low entry cost makes it a very tempting deal for any security-conscious parent. It is also very easy to use and runs in the target device’s background so it is not likely to be noticed.


NEXSPY is another phone monitoring app with a wide range of uses. It is available on the App Store, Google Play, Windows, and macOS. Since its initial release, it has quickly gained a reputation for reliability and usability owing to its outstanding user experience.

In the monitoring app market consumers value ease of use and the overall consumer experience. Things like customer support are a very important factor. NEXSPY excels in that area and maybe that is the main reason that it has quickly risen the ranks. To become one of the most downloaded applications in its category.

NEXSPY is marketed towards employers who want to increase and monitor productivity levels in employees and parents who want to monitor their children or teenagers. It is especially good when used for teen phone monitoring as it can do anything from tracking browser history and location to monitoring iMessage. It comes packed with features that facilitate iPhone monitoring and Android monitoring.

These features include phone call log monitoring on the target device as well as the ability to record phone calls. This opens up a deeper layer of monitoring as users can see who the target is talking to and what they are talking about. Users can access contacts stored on the device as well as all inbound and outbound messages including SMS messages and multimedia messages.

Users will also have access to the files stored on the target device through NEXSPY such as photos and videos. They can also track social media accounts on all the major sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Plus even any call logs on this account.

NEXSPY also gives users the ability to discreetly take a screenshot of the device screen at any time.

One of the many benefits of this app is that it is discrete and secure. It can be installed remotely onto any device without the owner of that device ever realizing it. After which it will continue to secretly run in the background.

Read more: 8 Best Free Hidden Spy Apps for Android in 2021


mSpy originally burst onto the scene back in 2010. It was developed by a London-based tech company. It was originally only available on iOS but it rapidly gained popularity. It wasn’t long before it had been made available first on Windows and Mac in 2012 then on Android in 2016.

Over the years it has remained a mainstay in its field and is regularly used by thousands around the world. It is mostly used to keep children safe or employees productive. To support their ever-growing community mSpy has provided users with fast and responsive customer service and a highly personalized user-friendly experience. It is accessible to everyone including people who aren’t well versed with technology.

Over the past 10+ years since its initial release mSpy has grown rapidly. It now has users in over 180 different countries. The developers of this app have refined its features and added new ones over the years to cater to many concerned parents. 

Its extensive feature list includes monitoring calls and call logs, app monitoring including activity on every app, browser, and search history which cannot be deleted. Plus social media account tracking on the most popular sites and the ability to check messages sent and received through these accounts. It even gives access to the target’s live location at all times. As well as geofencing it sends alerts to the user whenever the device travels somewhere undesirable. It blocks harmful websites and content and gives access to all photos and videos stored on the device.

Their feature list is extensive and covers more or less every need that the average parent has when searching for a phone monitoring app. 

Similar to its competitors it has a high standard of privacy and can be installed remotely on target devices. After which it will seamlessly run in the background.

It is also priced very competitively so interested customers will have a lot of options to weigh when deciding which app is right for them.

Read more: Best iPhone Spy Apps – iPhone Spy App No Jailbreak


Qustodio is another famous and high-quality phone monitoring app. Its main goal is to give parents deeper access to their children’s devices than what the competition provides. However, it is not solely focused on this as Qustodio also has different versions for business and schools.

This app can effectively be used to reduce wasting time on the internet. Especially in its business and educational versions as these versions minimize distractions and block access to certain sites.

Qustodio for Families offers a familiar suite of features that are perhaps deeper and more fleshed out as compared to other apps in the monitoring category.

Its features include content blocking, location tracking, Facebook and YouTube monitoring, time usage limits, web filtering, etc. Geofencing is another feature present in Qustodio for Families. So parents can block certain areas virtually and an alert will be sent to the parents if the child ever wanders into these areas. 

In comparison to its competitors, Qustodio for Families offers a free version too. The other entries on this list are either exclusively paid or offer a short free trial period. But this app has a completely free version. The only drawback is that the free version is fairly rudimentary when compared with the premium version. It has many key features withheld. The free version also only works on one device and keeps activity history for just 7 days.

The premium version compared to other apps in this class is slightly on the pricier side. Pricing is based on the number of devices that can be supported by one plan. With the cheapest going for $55 per year and supporting 5 devices while the priciest going for $138 a year and supporting 15 devices. These versions also store activity history for 30 days and allow access to all the features listed previously.

However, the added price may be an easier pill to swallow when considering the other benefits of Qustodio for Families. The user interface is clean and easy to understand making the app accessible to most parents regardless of technology experience. During installation, there is also a silent install option that hides the app’s presence permanently from the user of the target device.

It also offers a responsive and helpful customer support experience which many have commented on. It is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Read more: 10 Apps for Parents to Monitor Kids’ Phone


FamilyTime is one of the best parental control apps on the market. It is marketed towards parents who want to keep an eye on their children. Specifically on very young children who are very reliant on their devices. It is a good way to monitor a kid’s iPhone.

Due to its specific focus on preteens, this app comes preloaded with more focused features than many of the others on this list. Including the ability to block certain apps and games and a screen on a time limit.

Besides its ability to block games and apps it also has a feature that allows parents to set a bedtime for their child. As well as homework time during which the device cannot be used as normal. This ensures that the child is not distracted by his or her device during times when they have to be working or sleeping. This is helpful because children often spend every free minute they have playing games on these devices.

It also places a strong emphasis on content blocking. Explicit sites are blocked by default and other sites can also be manually blocked. The web filter makes it convenient for parents to block certain types of content as after a specific category is chosen to be blocked the filter does the rest of the work itself. Curse words are also blocked using FamilyTime’s complicated automated systems.

It also provides location tracking services and Geofencing. The location history is stored on the app itself.


XNSPY is a phone monitoring app that is beloved by many due to its plentiful features. It has received praise for these features to the extent that it has received awards from many respected websites. Websites include Entrepreneur, Engadget, and others.

It is available on both the App Store and Google Play. It is cheaper than many of its competitors starting from just $4.99 a month.

This app contains many staple features of similar apps such as call log recording, recording calls themselves, storing text messages sent and received by the device on social media and SMS, geofencing, location tracking, presence of a keylogger, application tracking, access to multimedia files stored on the device, etc. 

One of the biggest advantages of buying a subscription to XNSPY is that all the staple features are provided but at a very low cost. The app is also well supported with responsive customer support and a dedicated online community that constantly helps with commonly faced issues. All of these factors make XNSPY one of the most appealing options available to concerned parents today.

Read more: Top 5 Best Phone Spy Apps for Android and iPhone in 2021