Spy Hunter, find out who's sneaking a peek at your Windows Phone

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.

QR: Spy Hunter


Reader comments

Spy Hunter, find out who's sneaking a peek at your Windows Phone


Just wanted to say, that would be the easy solution. And then at least your personal data is save.

Ah ha as I was reading this I thought that! I always since day one on my old iphone have had a password on my phone! Silly kids!

Passwords are good, but doesn't help if my wife searching for something in my phone. If you ask she never touched it.

Meh. I've never bothered with password protection on my phone and don't see any reason to. It's either in my pocket, or in my own home so who's going to mess with it? My family know better than to touch my phone (it's common courtesy / basic respect). Having a password just slows down access to your own device.

EXACTLY! That's the main reason for me as well. I don't have anything special on my phone is another :)

That's good for you. Me on the other have way to many personal finance account information, business confidential emails, along with personal confidential information. Its not about you keeping your phone or nobody looking at home because of respect, or because you're lazy, but because you never know when you can lose your phone, when you get pick pocket or robbed. Shit happens. The ones who say it'll never happen to them, happens. I'm sorry I'm just not ignorant to think otherwise. To each their own of course.

I don't lose things... Especially not my mobile phone. I live in Australia, so the chances of being pickpocketed or robbed are slim to none. I can change the passwords on all of my email accounts, and hopefully Find My Phone will do it's job if I ever need it *touch wood*

I'm on prepaid, so the credit will just run out. If I've just topped up, the most they can spend is $30, so no big deal.

beside what is in your phone, what about the phone itself, it cost me AUD624 buying it outright (L925). And another thing is even if the phone is lost completely you know who has taken it, it capture a shot and upload to SkyDrive etc,etc.

Agreed.. These monsters are so expensive and have so much of your personal data, and even elses, that some are way more valuable than a passport.. Or a wallet.

Shhh... The "it won't happen to me" crowd are an endless source of entertainment, don't go trying to ruin that for us. :p

Did anybody besides me glance at the article title and think they brought the classic Spy Hunter game to Windows Phone?

Yeah, that works great until the day you leave your phone somewhere. We're all human, just sayin'...

It hasn't happened in 18 years of owning a mobile phone. I don't worry myself with negative thoughts of situations that could happen once in a blue moon.

You should see some of the pics my 3yo takes with my wife's L920. Every time he has the phone playing Agent P (Perry the platypus) and I hear the camera go off, I am quick to get the phone and Remind my wife about the Kids Corner !!!! Let alone the time alloted for her phone to go into lock screen. I give her the stern look each time. Doesn't work very well I guess. Lol

Today Mobile devices are much more than a phone it's many things. within five years we will not be carrying wallets credit cards drivers license will all be on your mobile device. just tap and send to buy  tab to send for identification I see it coming.

This can work well in another way.

The app allows capture after clicking on a tile on your start screen.

Since the ACLU has not seen it fit to put its app on the Windows Phone Platform.  You could use this if ever stopped by a cop since it will do image capture and sound capture.

The app allows capture after clicking on a tile on your start screen. Since the ACLU has not seen it fit to put its app on the Windows Phone Platform.  You could use this if ever stopped by a cop since it will do image capture and sound capture.