Google bans 3rd party call-recording apps from May 11, 2022: How to still record calls on Android phones

By G. S. Vasan | Published 11 May 2022 07:55 IST
HIGHLIGHTS
Google call recording ban, alternative apps, solutions, etc.

Google puts an end to third-party Android call-recording apps on the Play Store with its developer program policy for Accessibility API (Application Programming Interface). As per it, the so-called Accessibility API shouldn’t be used for “remote call audio recording”. This is being done for privacy and security reasons. Now, we shall see what this means for the flurry of call-recoding applications and built-in call-recording on OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi, and other smartphone brands. We will also take a look at the various call-recording solutions available right now, even after the new Google policy.

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Google bans call recording apps: Why?

How to record phone calls on Android

Here's the reason, straight from the horse’s mouth. Google’s developer program policy notes:

Google first blocked the official API in Android 6, then the ability for apps to record using the phone’s microphones in Android 10, and with the stroke of a pen, it has now choked the app developers from using the accessibility workaround. This impacts popular call-recording apps like Automatic Call Recorder by Appliquato, ACR Phone by NLL Apps, etc.

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But, all hope is not lost yet.

Android phone call-recording hacks after the Google ban

Call recording on OnePlus

Proprietary or default call recorders on phones from brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, OnePlus, and Samsung could still work. They have system-level access to the call’s audio source termed VOICE_CALL which 3rd party apps lack. In a recent developer seminar, a Google presenter said, “If the app is the default dialer on the phone and also pre-loaded, accessibility capability is not required to get access to the incoming audio stream, and hence, will not be in violation”.

The new Google rule doesn’t seem to be applicable to the company’s own Phone app’s in-built call-recording.

Here’s how Google Phone call recording works:

You can enable call recordings for selected contacts on the Phone app. These days, even in some Android skins, you have the Google dialer. You can also hit the on-screen record button whilst on-call and hit the stop sign to end the recording session.

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Another rather stupid but simple way to record calls would be by putting calls on speakerphone, and recording using another device. On the other hand, there are complicated and perhaps even costly solutions like using pay-as-you-go call-recording services, using call-recording with root apps, or employing a telephone pickup microphone like Olympus TP-8. And who knows, thanks to Android’s open-source nature, devs may find other workarounds to the current roadblock.

In the meantime, you can also check out the other ways to record WhatsApp calls.

As for other newsreviewsfeature storiesbuying guides, and everything else tech-related, keep reading Digit.in.

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G. S. Vasan

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About Me: Vasan is a word weaver and tech junkie who is currently geeking out as a news writer at Digit. Read More

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Google Android Call recording apps Google call-recording ban
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