Verifying software compatibility nowadays doesn’t usually require much effort. You’re regularly presented with different versions matching your operating system, and you simply select the right one. On mobile devices, the choice is not even present, since you’re downloading apps directly from the Google Play Store for Android, or the Apple store for iOS. However, as far as cell phone tracking software goes, things get a little bit more complicated, and first time users can quickly get confused with all the tech jargon. In this article, I will provide a detailed overview and outline all the important checks required to properly verify if your cell phone is compatible, and ready to install tracking software on. But, for a better step-by-step tutorial, once you have a basic idea of your cell phone’s compatibility, use our complete cell phone spy software guide for more detailed information on the necessary steps to take when verifying compatibility.
Cell phone tracking apps, also commonly known as cell phone spy software, or monitoring software, performs advanced tasks, such as monitoring GPS location, logging text messages, and recording phone calls. It than sends all this data back to your online account, accessible through the vendor’s website. These functions cannot easily be performed on any cell phone, since much of the built-in security is aimed at stopping viruses or spy apps easily running in the background. This is a good thing, because you wouldn’t want it to be easy for malicious hackers to easily steal your information. This is why some preliminary steps can be required before being able to install, or use cell phone monitoring apps.
What Kind of Cell Phone Do You Need?
The first question to be answered is simply – what kind of mobile device can be used with these services?
Smartphones and Tablets
For starters, only smartphone or tablet mobile devices are compatible. Although you can install similar services on computers, this article will focus on mobile devices only.
I go into detail about various topics that may not be applicable to your cell phone(s), and to avoid wasting time, the summary below encompasses every important aspect, as shortly as possible.
- Only smartphones and tablets are compatible.
- Mobile device must have an internet connection (at least, periodically).
- Carriers don’t matter, you can use these apps from anywhere in the world.
- iPhones, iPads must be jailbroken for complete monitoring software.
- There are options available if you don’t want to jailbreak (but limited on features).
- Android does not require to be rooted, but only a few features will work.
- Blackberry and Nokia simply require a compatible OS version.
- Windows Phones, and the latest Blackberry models are not currently compatible.
Internet Access Is Required
The mobile device must have an internet connection for these services to work. It must at a minimum, periodically be connected to Wi-Fi in order to be able to report back, or send the text logs or calls, while some features such as GPS tracking, require data to be available at all times. Old flip phones, or no-data devices are not compatible for this specific reason.
Does The Carrier You Use Matter?
No, you can install and use cell phone tracking services without needing any specific carrier or network. That means you can use it from anywhere in the world. It does not matter if you are with Verizon, Vodafone, or in any other country, just as long as you have data service.
What Platforms Are Compatible?
At this time, you can find services compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, iOS – iPhone and iPad, Blackberry, and older Nokia Symbian devices. For the moment, there are no available services for Windows Phones, or the latest Blackberry smartphones, but as their popularity grows, developers should soon follow and complete compatible versions of their services.
Operating System Version – Do Not Update Your Mobile Device
You will need to verify the version of your operating system (OS), and ensure the version number is compatible with the service you want, but before we start digging into each platform, let me first suggest, that if you have not recently updated your smartphone’s software, to withhold from doing so. Why so? Because every time a new OS software update is released, say for Android, or iPhone, the monitoring apps are no longer compatible, or able to run on the device. The same can be said for jailbreaking and rooting new versions of the operating system. It will take time for developers to code new software, compatible with the latest versions. This could be weeks, or likely months. Therefore, if you’re running an older operating system on your phone, leave it as is!
Starting with Google’s Android, this is the most compatible and easiest platform to setup cell phone monitoring software on. To install basic monitoring apps on Android, rooting the device is not requires, but be aware that only the most basic features of the service will work. Every vendor website will provide a compatibility list showing which features require your Android device to be rooted beforehand. Most instant messenger apps, such as WhatsApp, or BBM, can only log chats on rooted Android devices.
Should You Root?
If you want to benefit from all the features offered by cell phone monitoring software, rooting is a must. As mentioned, you don’t have to do it, but be sure to verify that the features available will be enough to answer your needs. Head to our Android rooting guide for a much more informative page on the subject.
Apple iOS – iPhone, iPad
Apple iOS devices require to be jailbroken in order to install spy software. Unlike rooting an Android, Jailbreaking provides some of the same benefits, but is not as advanced. Jailbreaking your iPhone does not provide you full admin control like rooting an Android does, however, it allows you to install any apps of your choice, whereas a non-jailbroken iPhone can only install apps from the Apple Store. This is why it is absolutely required that your iPhone or iPad be jailbroken, since monitoring apps are not allowed to be sold on the Apple store.
Should You Jailbreak?
In order to physically be able to install tracking software, the iOS device has to be jailbroken. There is no way around this. However, some service providers now offer a jailbreak-free, or no jailbreak service. The service only works with iCloud, and you must have the account’s login details, and the device must have backups turned on. Unfortunately, the service is very limited in what it can do, and simply does not deliver the same level of product. Lean more about jailbreaking on this complete guide.
Blackberry and Nokia Symbian
I stuck these two together since they are similar, and both much less used nowadays. Although Blackberry is staying active, the Priv was not successful, but the team plans to launch a cheaper smartphone very soon. Nokia, on the other hand, has not been very active or releasing any new smartphones for a few years now. They have announced a comeback in 2016, but it is to be seen if they will be releasing a new version of Symbian, or using an existing platform.
Most versions of Blackberry and Symbian allow for monitoring apps to be easily installed, and you simply need to confirm that your OS version is supported. Since these devices are usually dated, not all vendors offer compatible software, but you can still easily find good service for both platforms from FlexiSpy’s monitoring service, or Mobistealth’s cell phone software. It should be noted that the Priv and other Blackberry smartphones are not supported at the moment. Older Blackberry phones are fully compatible, but with time, the latest models should soon join the list.
Now that you have a good understanding of the requirements, you can head to my complete cell phone monitoring software buying guide, where you can use a step-by-step guide to help you through determining your cell phone’s operation system version, and choosing the right service for your needs.