Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter is a security app for Windows Phone 8 that will help you catch those who like to spy on your phone while you are not around.

Once the trap is set, Spy Hunter snap a series of photos of the culprit, sounds an alarm and will record audio when your Windows Phone is unlocked.  You also have the options to automatically save your photos to SkyDrive and receive notifications when Spy Hunter is triggered.

Spy Hunter has a friendly user interface and not a bad option to consider if you need to find out who keeps messing with your Windows Phone.  However, it is not exactly fool proof.

The main interface with Spy Hunter has menu icons running across the top of the screen and button controls to view your image gallery and access the app’s settings at the bottom of the screen. 

Spy Hunter
Spy Hunter's Main Pages and Fake Page When Triggered

The menu icons sends you directly to Spy Hunter’s settings for capture, sound recording, alarm, PIN Code, and sending.  Otherwise, you can tap the settings control button to view the full settings menu that covers:

  • Capture: Image resolution, photos per second, number of photos captured, how the hidden capture ends and turning on/off sound recording.
  • Alarm: On or off, as well as type of alarm, media displayed and voice message.
  • PIN Code: Secure your image gallery, settings and hidden capture.
  • Tile Trap: Set a Live Tile trigger to activate Spy Hunter’s capture features.  Fake tiles include call logs, photos, messages and more.
  • Sending: Setting up your SkyDrive, Facebook and Twitter accounts for saving images and sending notifications.
  • Spy Hunter Store: The base app is free but you can purchase/unlock premium features through in-app purchases (more on this in a second).

You also have access to the Help pages and About screen through Spy Hunter’s settings.

To set Spy Hunter, simply launch the app and lock your Windows Phone from the app.  A false screen will greet whoever turns on your Windows Phone and the hidden capture will launch.  The false screen is a mock “update” with progress bar that runs across the screen as the images are captured.

To review the images of the spy, just tap on the gallery control button.  The free version will only save one set of images to the gallery.  You can increase the gallery storage to ten sets through an in-app purchase or by getting the full version.

Spy Hunter
Spy Hunter's Settings

For the most part, Spy Hunter performs as advertised.  However, if you have lockscreen password set on your Windows Phone Spy Hunter will not override this protection (which makes sense) and the photo capture can be disabled by tapping the Windows button as soon as the false screen appears.

Spy Hunter isn’t a bad option to consider but is designed more for finding out who is handling your Windows Phone in your absence than securing your phone.  The alarm is a nice touch and may scare someone off but you will need to remember to crank up the volume on your Windows Phone for it to have any effect.

While Spy Hunter has plenty of features, the lockscreen password may be the best option to keep prying eyes from snooping through your Windows Phone while it is unattended.  However, with the Tile Traps Spy Hunter might help identify someone who has stolen your Windows Phone.  The thief becomes curious, taps a trap tile and his image is sent to your Twitter or SkyDrive account.  Spy Hunter can be a useful app but isn't fool proof.

The basic version of Spy Hunter is a free app (freemium to some) with premium features available for in-app purchase.  Each feature set will cost you $.99 and includes sound recording, storage (allows for up to ten image sets) and sending options, and alarm and PIN code options.  There is also an option to buy the full version that includes all these feature sets for $1.49 from the Windows Phone Store.

The freemium version is a good option if your spy hunting need is not that great.  If you are having major issues with a mystery person handling your Windows Phone, buying the full version is likely your best option.

You can find the two versions of Spy Hunter through these Windows Phone Store links.  Spy Hunter is available for Windows Phone 8 devices and will require a front-facing camera.

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