Have an important phone call coming up that you’d like to record and save? You can record both incoming and outgoing calls on your Android phone with the right app.

It can be difficult to record phone calls on an Android device. While Google’s Phone app includes a recording feature, its functionality is dependent on your carrier, region, and other factors. There is always the option of using an external recording device, but there are also several on-device options, ranging from Google Voice to third-party apps.

Recording Limitations on Android

Google has never been a fan of call-recording apps for Android, at least not third-party ones. With Android 9, the company imposed restrictions that prevented many apps from recording phone calls. The apps appeared to work, but when you played the recording, all you heard was silence or your end of the conversation.

Google cracked down even harder on these types of apps with Android 10, blocking call recording via the microphone. As a result, many app developers began using Android’s Accessibility Service to record phone calls. However, in April 2022, Google updated its developer policy to state that it would not allow apps in the Play Store to use the accessibility service for call recording. That policy became effective on May 11, 2022.

The company has even labeled call recording as a type of spyware.

People have previously found workarounds to Google’s block, such as changing the audio source or format, increasing the speaker volume, recording manually rather than automatically, and even rooting their phones. Others have since adopted the practice of sideloading call-recording apps via an APK file rather than downloading them directly from Google Play.

A Question of Legality

Can you legally record a phone call, assuming you can find a working call-recording app, especially if you don’t ask the other person for permission? The answer is determined by where you live. Most state and federal laws in the United States permit phone recording if only one party (yes, you) consents. Some states, however, require both parties to consent to being recorded.

Of course, other countries have their own laws. To ensure your legal protection, ask the other person for permission before recording the call. With all of those constraints, limitations, and obstacles out in the open, here are some apps that may be able to record your Android phone conversations in some way.

Phone by Google

Google’s Phone app includes call recording, but only under certain conditions. The app must be preinstalled with the most recent update on your phone. You must have Android 9 or higher. Most importantly, your region, carrier, and device must all support it, which rules out a lot of phones and locations.

Check that your phone is using the Phone by Google app rather than, say, Samsung’s Phone app. Open the app, tap the three-dot icon in the upper right, and then select Settings. Tap Call Recording to specify which calls you want to record. If the Call Recording option is not visible, your phone will not be able to record calls through the app.

If you have the Call Recording option, tap the Record button the next time you want to record a call. When you’re finished, press the Stop Recording button. You can find the recording in the Phone app’s Recents section. Tap the name of the recorded caller, then select the recording from the list of calls and press Play.

Google Voice

You select a dedicated phone number with Google Voice, and incoming calls are routed to your mobile phone. After you’ve configured your phone number and Google Voice account, tap the hamburger icon in the upper-left corner of the app. To enable call recording, go to Settings and turn on the switch for Incoming call options.

The limitation is that you can only record incoming calls. When you answer the phone, press the number 4 keypad to record the call. A message informs you that the call is being recorded, so get the other person’s permission first. To stop the recording, press 4 again on the keypad. The recording is saved in your email inbox, where you can listen to it or save it to your computer.

Automatic Call Recorder

Automatic Call Recorder is a simple but effective recording app. Open the app and grant the necessary permissions to record audio, access your contacts, make and manage phone calls, and access your photos and other media. The app then warns you that, due to new Google Play restrictions, future versions downloaded from the store may no longer record calls on this device.

You must enable the accessibility service on devices running Android 10 or higher. Turn on the device by pressing the Turn On button. On the Accessibility settings screen, tap the Call Recorder entry under Downloaded apps and toggle the Use Call Recorder switch on. Allow the app full control of your device, which means it can view and control the screen as well as view and perform specific actions. Then go back to the program.

If you leave automatic recording enabled, recording will start whenever you make or receive a phone call. The recording can then be viewed by opening the app. You can save the call as an audio file to your phone, add call notes, delete the recording, or share it via email or social media from the options screen. The free version is ad-supported, but the $8.49 Pro version removes the ads and adds additional features.

Automatic Call Recorder worked flawlessly on an Android 9 device in testing. When testing with Android 12, the accessibility service had to be enabled in order for the app to record calls.

Call Recorder – Automatic Call Recorder Pro

Call Recorder – Automatic Call Recorder Pro is a solid app with a plethora of features. It walks you through the initial setup steps, such as enabling accessibility settings. You can then go to the Settings screen and choose whether to record calls automatically or manually, change the audio source and format, adjust the audio quality, increase the volume, or enable the option to start recording when you shake your phone.

If you set the app to record incoming and outgoing calls automatically, it will do so from beginning to end. When the recording appears onscreen, tap it to listen to it in the app. You can play the file, save it to your phone, share it via email or other services, and delete the recording from the recording screen. The app is free and ad-supported, but you can remove the ads for $3.49.

In testing, Call Recorder – Automatic Call Recorder Pro successfully recorded phone calls on an Android 9 device and an Android 12 device using the accessibility service. The app made no mention of the latest Google Play accessibility service restrictions, but a future version may be unable to record calls due to Google’s new policy.

Call Recorder – Cube ACR

Call Recorder – Cube ACR is a more advanced and premium app. The basic version is free but displays ads and offers no cloud-based backup for your recordings. If you need the extra features, a subscription will run you $6.99 for six months or $9.99 for a full year after a free one-week trial. However, the free version should get the job done.

Cube ACR, like other call-recording apps, requires permission to use the accessibility service in Android 10 or higher. In the app’s settings, you can enable or disable automatic recording, exclude calls from unknown numbers, adjust call clarity and volume, and enable recording from VoIP apps if your phone supports it. You can even geotag your recordings to identify the location of the caller.

Simply call the other party as usual to record an outgoing call. Incoming calls are automatically recorded in the background if you select autostart recording. When the call is finished, launch the app to view and listen to the recordings. You can mark important recordings, delete them, view the caller’s location on a map, and share them via email or social media.

During testing, Cube ACR used the accessibility service to record phone calls on an Android 9 and an Android 12 device. The Google Play accessibility service restrictions were not mentioned in the app. But as with the other call recording apps, a future version might bump into trouble trying to record calls due to Google’s policy changes.

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