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.

Android Limitations

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.

Further Reading

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