How to record a phone conversation with an Android phone

How to record a phone conversation with an Android phone
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There are a number of legitimate reasons why you might want to record a phone call. For example, when talking to a medical professional about test results, you may want to make sure you got all the correct information. Or if you’re interviewing someone for an article or a job, you might want to make sure you remember the conversation accurately. Or if an older member of your family suddenly launches into a story about one of her grandparents, it would be nice to have a record of it.

Unfortunately, however, it has become almost impossible to record a phone call. as i explained in a previous articlefederal law in the US says you can legally record a phone conversation but only if you’re participating in that conversation. State laws differ. While most states generally follow federal guidelines, some require all parties to consent to the recording, rather than just one. You know how, when you call a company, you get a recording that tells you that your call can be recorded? That’s why.

As a result, if you’re on a call and try to use a recording app to record that call, it probably won’t work. (There may still be some Android apps that claim to be able to record your calls despite Google’s preventative technology, though most are no longer available. Some use workarounds, such as creating a third “caller” who is actually a cloud recorder (if you don’t want to try one, go ahead, but make sure you’re within the free trial period).

But don’t despair, there are some strategies you can use if you really want to record a call. They’re awkward and not always convenient, but at least they give you some options.

Quick note: Regardless of which method you use, the ethical (and often legally required) thing to do is let the other party on a call know that you’re recording the conversation. Just say.

Use Google Voice for incoming calls

Google Voice has been around for quite some time; is a free service that gives you a virtual phone number that you can use instead of the number provided with your SIM. I’m pretty familiar with it; I’ve been using Google Voice for years because it made checking phones simple: If I wanted to use a new device for a week or more, I could just enable my Google Voice number and not worry about changing SIMs. (This was before eSIMs existed.)

One feature that Google Voice still has is the ability to record an incoming call. This is not a complete solution, of course, as it will not record outgoing calls. But if you’re expecting a call that you’ll want to record, this can do it for you. (By the way, this is also available for iPhone users.)

This is how you set it up:

  • If you don’t have a Google Voice number, so first set one.
  • Download the Google Voice app to your phone
  • Open the app, tap the menu icon (three parallel lines) in the upper left corner and go to Settings.
  • Scroll down and activate Incoming call options.
Google Voice menu popup.

In the Google Voice app, tap the menu icon and go to Settings.

Google Voice settings menu showing switch

Turn on “Incoming Call Options” and you can record your incoming calls.

Now when you’re on a call, pressing 4 on the dialpad will start the recording (and everyone on the call will hear an announcement about it). If you touch 4 again during the call, it will stop (and again, there will be an announcement). Once the call ends, you’ll find your recording in the Voicemail tab of the app.

Use a recording app on another phone

If you’re in a place where you’re comfortable using your speakerphone and you have another device with a recording app, you can use it to record the call. (And no, your phone’s built-in recording app won’t work, even if you have the call on speakerphone.) This is something I fall back on often, using an older phone to be the recorder. You can use the Android Recorder app or a third party applications like Otter or Temi; all three will also provide you with auto-generated transcripts. (You can also use any other recording app you prefer, of course.)

Use a conferencing app

Since the pandemic began, conferencing apps like Zoom have become much more familiar as communication methods, with many allowing you to record the session.

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