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is a remote monitoring service that blends a hidden app, a manager and a web interface for monitoring mobile device locations, incoming and outgoing messages, calls and a whole lot more. If you’re a parent who likes to keep tracks of their kids for security reasons, this is a new, polished and feature rich service to try out.
Price: Free for a 7 day trial, then various subscription rates. See for more pricing details.
Catch Me If You Can is a powerful security application that comes with a multitude of features. We have before but this offers a whole new level of stealth monitoring. If you need or want to keep an extremely close eye on your kids, this is the app to install on their devices.
You install the app on the device or devices you want to monitor. Once linked to your account the app all but disappears from the device, although it hasn’t, it’s just hiding. You can then observe and be notified of activity via the accompanying app or, alternatively, a slick web interface. I would recommend the website as the best way of using the service. The app works well, but essentially just shrinks the web dashboard, which isn’t easy to use on a smaller phone screen.
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So, what can it do? Firstly, it can monitor locations. There’s even a feature which will present a map view which shows hot spots of where the phone has been. Additionally, it will capture SMS messages, calls and visited websites. If this wasn’t enough, you can also record bursts of audio to determine the environment the phone happens to be in. All these can be set to notify you as and when things occur.
If that wasn’t enough, you can also set up special alerts. These include Fences; which will tell you when the device leaves a particular area, Barriers; which will tell you if a device nears that area, Destinations; device can be activated to respond and feed back information based on a preset destination and a preset time. Finally, Time Violations allows you to be notified during preset periods when particular activities are taking place- for example, if your kid is texting when they should be studying. In addition to all of this, the app can capture extra multimedia such as the pictures and videos a device takes.
Now, I’ve only been able to test this for a short period, but the service performs exactly as it says it will, and performs well. You might have to take a little time to begin with to get it set up but it’s not rocket science. You might also want to check the legal ramifications if you plan to secretly monitor anyone over the age of 18. While I think tools like this are incredibly powerful and demonstrate the capabilities of today’s average smartphone, the social, and very human, implications of trust might need to be considered before diving into a subscription.
The good news price-wise with the app is that it initially comes with a 7 day free trial, allowing you to get the most from the service without financial commitment. All data is very securely held and, if you deactivate the service and do not take up a subscription, the data is completely removed from the servers.
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For tracking the mobile activity and behaviour of a device and therefore, person, Catch Me If You Can is a remarkably comprehensive service, allowing you to monitor locations, calls, text messages, videos and pictures taken in addition to a host of other features.
I found the service to be very easy to use. Ensure the device is correctly activated initially and it’s plain sailing from then on. To check, there’s a feature that allows you to send a buzz notification to the device to ensure it’s connected.
Frequency of use is the ,000 question. It’s easily something you could sit watching all day if you wanted to monitor everything the device owner does, although you can just as simply have the service look at specific actions or even allow it to hibernate for duration. Ultimately, it’s very much down to you, the user, as to how much and how often you use the app.