Want to record phone calls on your Android phone? Google’s mobile OS doesn’t come with a built-in voice recorder, but there are other options. You can use an external recorder or Google Voice, but several third-party apps will allow you to record all phone calls—incoming and outgoing—under the right conditions.
Those conditions vary. In Android 9.0 Pie, Google added limitations that prevent many apps from recording your phone conversations. The apps may seem to work, but when you play the recording, there’s only silence. In my testing, however, the apps I tested recorded the conversations on my Android 9 phones but not on my Google Pixel phone with Android 10.
Some people have found workarounds to Google’s block, such as changing the audio source or format, turning the speaker volume as loud as possible, recording manually instead of automatically, and even rooting their phones. Also, certain apps may work on specific phones and not on others. So your mileage may vary compared with mine.
Rumors have been floating that Google will add a call-recording feature in a future flavor of Android. But until then, you’ll have to rely on third-party apps compatible with your version of Android.
Meanwhile, because of privacy issues, Google no longer allows calling apps to access the call log to identify the caller. That means each call you record through an app shows up as coming from an unknown caller, even if the caller is in your contact list. In this case, your best option is to rename the recording if the app will let you or store the recording elsewhere as an MP3 file, where you can then rename the file to identify the caller or conversation.
Finally, let’s discuss the elephant in the room, namely is it legal to record a phone call, especially if you don’t ask the other person for permission? The answer to that question depends on where you live. US federal and most state laws allow phone recording if just one party (and yes, that can be you) gives it the okay. Some states, however, require both parties to give permission to be recorded. Other countries have their own laws, of course. To fully cover yourself legally, ask the other person for permission before recording the call.
Okay, now let’s check out some apps for recording your Android phone conversations.
With Google Voice, you choose a dedicated phone number through which incoming calls are routed to your mobile phone. After you set up your phone number and your Google Voice account, tap the app’s hamburger icon in the upper-left corner. Tap the Settings command. Swipe down the screen and turn on the “Incoming call options” to enable call recording. The limitation here is that you can only record incoming calls.
After you answer a call, press the number 4 on the keypad to record the conversation. A message announces that the call is being recorded, so be sure to get the other person’s permission beforehand. To stop the recording, press 4 on the keypad again. The recording is saved to your inbox, where you can listen to it or download it to your computer.
Call Recorder from BACA Soft is simple to use as it can automatically record your phone calls. Open the app to check it out. The home screen offers four different categories for storing your call recordings—All, Outgoing, Incoming, and Important.
The app’s settings menu allows you to enable or disable Call Recorder to automatically record all calls, outgoing calls, or incoming calls. You can exclude specific phone numbers from recording, tell the app to prompt for a PIN when you open it, and change the file type for the audio recording.
To record an outgoing call, simply call the other party as you normally would. If you set up the app to automatically record incoming calls, you won’t have to do anything for them either. After the call is completed, open Call Recorder to view and play phone call recordings. You can then tag calls as important, delete them, or share them via email or social media.
At the home screen, you can tap the three-dot icon to delete a call, share it, view details on it, add it to the excluded section, or call the number. The free version of Call Recorder saddles you with ads. To escape them, you’ll have to shell out $3.99 for the pro edition.
In my testing, Call Recorder worked fine on Android 9. But on Android 10, the recordings were silent due to the limitations imposed by Google.
Automatic Call Recorder
Automatic Call Recorder from Appliqato is a simple but effective recording app. Before recording anything, it’s best to configure the app’s settings first in the Settings menu. Here, you can enable or disable the option to automatically record each incoming and outgoing call. You can also opt to record only certain contacts and ignore others.
Remember to choose an audio format for your recordings. After recording, the files can be sent to a service like Dropbox or Google Drive, if you set it up. There is also an option to turn on recording if you shake your phone.
If you leave automatic recording on by default, just make or receive a phone call, and the recording begins. After the call ends, open Automatic Call Recorder to view the recording. From the options screen, you can save the call as an audio file to your phone, add call notes, delete the recording, or share it via email, social media, and other services.
The free version of Automatic Call Recorder splashes ads across the screen. For $6.99, the Pro version puts the kibosh on the ads and kicks in other features. While Automatic Call Recorder worked well on Android 9, the recording on Android 10 was silent.
Call Recorder from Lovekara is a simple but useful call recorder with a clean and stylish interface. Fire up the app, tap the three-dot icon and select Settings.
Here, you can set Call Recorder to automatically or manually record calls. Other options allow you to set the file location, change the recording source, and record automatically from your phone’s speaker.
Now, if you set the app to automatic, it will record incoming and outgoing calls from start to finish. Tap the recording when it appears onscreen to view it in the app. From the recording screen, you can play the file, save it to your phone, share it via email or other services, and delete the recording.
The app is free but does throw ads your way. This app also worked smoothly on Android 9 but delivered silent recordings on Android 10.