There are many features you can do with your phone dialer app, but one feature many people would like to have is being able to record incoming calls. Whether it’s to keep recordings of meaningful conversations for posterity, you need to recall important information after the call, or you need audio proof of something said, being able to record calls would have a variety of uses.
This is why it can be so frustrating that the ability to record calls is so hard to get on any cell phone. The iPhone doesn’t have that ability, and it can be a bit of a hassle to make it work on iOS. As for Android phones; there used to be many ways to record calls, but in recent years, Google has been shutting down all third-party apps that allow for recording audio. This makes sense, since it is against the law to record calls without consent in many states and countries.
But not all is lost if you need to (lawfully) record some discussions over the phone. In fact, you don’t have to do much to be able to record calls: If you have an Android phone, you can just use Google’s own Phone app to record calls at the press of a button. Of course, there is a catch, and a few exceptions. Plus, if you want a dedicated recorder app, you may unfortunately need to do a bit of hacking.
How to record calls on Android, and why it may be difficult to set up
The easiest way to record calls on Android is with Google’s own Phone app, though not all devices or carriers support it, like the Google Pixel. According to Google, you need to have an Android phone running Android 9 or above, update to the latest version of Google’s Phone app, and specifically be based in a country where call recording is supported. Additionally, your wireless carrier also needs to allow call recording on its service.
If you don’t have a device that supports it, or want to use a different app, things get a bit trickier. Starting on July 31, 2023, Google will introduce new and stricter permission requirements for apps that access sensitive information (like phone call audio). Up until now, some third-party call recording apps could get around Google’s restrictions by accessing its Accessibility API, but that is changing.
As such, only apps where you sign into Google or system apps can access the audio of a phone call, meaning any app on Google Play as of June 2023 that states it can record phone calls is either not up to date, or not telling the truth.
The only way third-party apps can actually record phone call audio from July onward is with a rooted phone, where the user can mark the app as a system app. This solution isn’t guaranteed to work, and rooting your Android phone can lead to serious problems with the phone’s operating system, but if you’re set on recording call audio, that’s the only unofficial way.