What are the differences between free WiFi scanning apps and Wi-Spy Air?

There are quite a few big differences between free WiFi scanning apps for Android and Wi-Spy Air + Air Viewer.

The biggest difference is spectrum. Being able to see the spectrum with the Wi-Spy Air will actually show you how much a channel is being used as opposed to guessing. This image shows a non-WiFi interferer wreaking havoc on channel 11 that would otherwise be invisible without a Wi-Spy:

A second big difference is scan rate. Google heavily restricts the WiFi scanning API in their devices so much that they can only scan maybe once or twice every minute or so since Android 9. Wi-Spy Air and Air Viewer provide network data every 2 or 3 seconds or so, so it’s faster and regreshed more often. Apple restricts the WiFi scanning API completely, therefore you won’t find a WiFi scanning app for iOS on the App Store. Air Viewer and Wi-Spy Air is essential for WiFi scanning on iOS.

The third biggest difference is the type of data we can get. Free apps for Android can really only give you basic information found from the beacons of networks. Since the Wi-Spy Air has a packet capture adapter in it, we can acquire much more data mostly in the form of client traffic analytics. Seeing things like client roaming history is simply not possible in free apps given the restricted API of Google and Apple, but Air Viewer and Wi-Spy Air gleans this info nicely: