Flexispy Control Panel Review
Previously, I wrote briefly on Highster Mobile and TheTruthSpy’s Control Panel. I didn’t spend much time on the subject, because the most important feature is a spy app that actually works — if the spy app works, I assumed that I would accept a second-rate control panel if necessary!
This is going to be another LONG, slightly rambling post. If you haven’t had your coffee yet this morning, you might want to get it now. Also, this is a review of the CONTROL PANEL only; I will dedicate another post in a few days to a complete and in-depth review of FlexiSpy Premium.
On the linked comparison post, I said that “TheTruthSpy / Ispyoo is not as pretty as the Highster page, but it is more functional and faster to load.” I find that I don’t care about pretty graphics, and icons, and screen-mapped colors, and fancily-displayed “numbers”. I want fast information and fast delivery. In less than 2 seconds, the dashboard loads (or reloads if you return to the dashboard page). I want ONE CLICK access to data.
Look below for the Highster control panel. My complaint about it was simple and is something I can’t understand why spy app developers don’t understand. Highster puts a real-time Google map call as well as thumbs of all the latest phone pictures ON THE FRONT PAGE of the dashboard.
Every time you click on something you want to view (ie: Viber logs, or SMS history), and then want to return to the main page, you must wait for this graphically-intensive page to load! To me, that is a failure.
Of course I am done with Highster. Two “lifetime” licenses purchased and discarded. I intend to continue using TheTruthSpy, but only because it allows three phones, and is working better since I installed it on top-of-the-line branded phones.
That is the background of my actual use experience with control panels. I have viewed demo accounts and such with other apps, but these are the only ones I claim to have knowledge about. And neither TheTruthSpy nor Highster worked correctly with the Lenovo A916 – the same phone I have now installed FlexiSpy on.
Below is the control panel of FlexiSpy.
The first thing you will notice about FlexiSpy Control Panel is that they load the dashboard main page with “recent photos” and a real-time Google Map showing “location”. All of this adds many seconds (and sometimes more!) to the load time. Remember, every time that you return to the main page of the dashboard, all of these items MUST load again! It is a waste of bandwidth and time.
The next thing you will notice on this page, in the upper left hand corner, is “NEW EVENTS”. This is a total of all new information that is summarized on the right screen (in the phone, message, facebook, etc.) sections.
This makes FlexiSpy different from the others. Both TheTruthSpy and Highster report TOTAL number of data-items in each section. For example, TheTruthSpy is reporting “14 SMS” in the log. Highster is reporting “2682 Calls” in the log. These are TOTALS of all data in the log that have not been deleted. These numbers are cumulative, and are NOT new events.
FlexiSpy is reporting “3 Calls” and “12 SMS”. This is an indicator of NEW EVENTS since the last log-in. I like this feature as it informs you immediately what needs to be reviewed. You click on the event and it takes you to the history/log page for that event.
My complaint returns to life after you have reviewed a particular type of event (ie: new calls or new text messages), because you must then return to the dashboard to select other new items. And every return to the dashboard main page is met with the delay of loading the pictures and map.
I don’t want to monitor pictures through the spy app, so I turn this off in the control settings. I will review pictures using the phone backup software installed on the phones (which for now, is G-Cloud). This helps to speed up the page loading time.
Another HUGE complaint is the lack of display (of SMS messages) in a “THREADED” mode (more commonly called “CONVERSATION MODE”). For example, when messages are displayed in threaded mode, you are reading the conversation “as it happened”. It is easy to see which post was in reply to what other post. FlexiSpy does NOT display in threaded mode (wiki link).
The image below is from TheTruthSpy, and is an example of “threaded” message display. It is easy to follow the conversation because the messages from each person involved are displayed in columns, interspersed in the correct order that the message occurred.
Highster displays messages in “linear” or “list” form. There is no easy way to see which message was a reply to which message. It is not “natural” and more difficult for a person to follow.
FlexiSpy also presents SMS messages in list form, making it more difficult to follow conversations.
But, what I find surprising is that FlexiSpy displays IM messages (viber, whatsapp, etc.), IN THREADED MODE! Why would they display IM’s in threaded mode, but not SMS messages?
Another issue I have with the control panel of Flexispy is how poorly it is conceived. For example, to go to the logs for “We Chat”, I first hover over “Messages”, then click on “IMs” when the second menu pops up.
But that still does not take me to “WeChat”. Although the page I am on will show a summary of ALL IM’s, that is not what I wanted. In order to go to “WeChat”, I must click the drop-down box, then I must click “WeChat”
So, I have to Hover, then click THREE times. Doesn’t seem like much, but it reflects poor design when one-click is all that is necessary. Go back to the pictures of Highster and TheTruthSpy’s control panel and you will see where ONE CLICK takes you to the logs you want to see.
And this failure isn’t only in the IM section. Many of the logs require hover actions and multiple clicks to get to where you want. Again, poorly conceived and designed.
Another area I am having difficulties with is the TIME ZONE that FlexiSpy uses. There is no data to indicate the time zone that Flexispy is using when it time stamps last connection and such.
By comparing the difference between the last connected time, and my current time, it appears that FlexiSpy operates on Greenwich Mean Time. I am unable to find any options to change the time. That is a really bad oversight. Why should I be required to manually convert the times when I want to get an updated time for a particular action? Isn’t that what computers are for??
So when it says “Last Connected Time”, I have to add 8 hours to their time shown in order to know what was the “Last Connected Time” IN MY TIME ZONE.
WHEN WAS THE LAST CONNECTED TIME?? If you get confused like me, there is another way to display this data. Notice the green arrow in the above photo located under “Action”? Click on that icon, then click on “settings”.
You will be presented with another page listing your various settings. At the top of this page is a quick time summary.
On this page, FlexiSpy tells you approximately how long ago it CONNECTED (“Last Connected”). And rather than a date and time, it gives you real-life information such as “About an hour ago”, “3 minutes ago”, “9 minutes ago”, etc. It helps to see when it was connected like this, because of the issue with the time zone that flexispy reports all time in.
I’m not sure about “Last Updated”. I can see in the control panel that it last connected “9 minutes ago”, and I can see that new data was uploaded. But “Last Updated” is showing “4 Hours ago”.
As an experiment, I sent the command to UPDATE NOW, telling flexispy to upload all data “waiting” to be upload immediately. Once it was done, I waited a few minutes and checked this section:
Another ill-conceived aspect of the control panel is the inability to use the “back” browser key to return to the previous page after you have made some selections (not all; some sections work correctly). For example, when you choose “Account”, then under “action”, choose “Settings” — the “back” key returns you to the main dashboard rather than the previous page (the “account” page). It is a minor issue, but it is still part of what I consider an ill-conceived control panel.
One of the features that I knew was missing when I purchased FlexiSpy, was the ability to display the name of the WIFI that the target phone is connected to. It is rather surprising that they don’t provide this easy-to-get information.
The reason for wanting the information is simple: Usually location settings are set to low-accuracy “wifi/mobile cell tower” rather than high-accuracy GPS in order to save battery life. So location could be reporting that my kid is in school, but is actually sitting across from school at Starbucks. “Connected Wifi” Reporting would allow me to see that.
In the Control Center Troubleshooting, there is an option to “Get Diagnostics from the target device”. I have tried this without success.
Other than these minor issues, the control panel works; the spy app works; and I have had less frustration with FlexiSpy with any of the others.
Next is a more thorough review of the app itself.