Recording phone calls isn’t something you’d necessarily be doing on an every day basis. But there are legitimate reasons to do this. For example, if you’re a journalist and need to record a phone interview.
Regardless of your need, we’re going to teach you how to record a phone call on Android. Unlike Apple products, it’s quite simple to catch your call with an Android device. Before we do that, though, we need to talk legality.
Is it Illegal to Record Phone Calls?
NOTE: We are not lawyers and are not providing legal advice! You should do your own research about the legality of your recording. We’re just trying to point you in the right direction here.
The legality of recording a phone call is pretty grey. It completely depends on your country and, if you’re in America, on your state.
The best rule of thumb is that both parties should know they’re being recorded. For more on the ins and outs of the grey areas, make sure you check out the Digital Media Law Project to learn more. Some states only require that one party (in most cases you) have knowledge of the recording. It can get a bit messy, so consult on your specific region. No matter what, though, recording a public phone is illegal, even if you’re on Android.
How to Record a Phone Call with Google Voice
Google Voice is slowly becoming a mainstay for Android devices. After all, Android is a Google technology. As long as you have an account, recording with Google Voice is quite simple.
There’s a dedicated setting for call recording available in both the mobile application and browser UI. We’re using the browser version for screenshots, but the steps are essentially the same no matter what version you’re using.
Open up Google Voice and slide the meny out from the left. In there, click on “settings.”
In the app, scroll down until you see “calls” and select it. You select the same option in your browser, but you shouldn’t need to scroll to find it.
In your browser, find “incoming call options” and slide the ticker to the on position. You can configure hotkeys to start recording incoming calls.
On Android, you’ll find the same setting under the “advanced call settings” tab.
Like most Google services, the settings are synced on an account level, meaning it’ll maintain no matter what device you’re on. You only have to enable once, no matter if it’s through your browser or on your mobile device.
The annoying part of this process is that Google only allows you to record incoming calls; it can’t record calls you send. It will also state that the call is being recorded.
Regardless, you can access your recorded calls in your Google Voice account which shares space with Google Drive.
How to Record a Phone Call with ACR
If you want any call automatically recorded, ACR is a useful application that provides more features than Google Voice. It also gets around the whole incoming call caveat of Google Voice.
There are free and premium version of the application, but most should fare just fine with the free offering. The $3.99 upgrade takes away all ads and adds mid-call recording, DropBox and Google Drive sync and contact specific recording.
The app has quite an extensive terms and conditions as well as permissions list. It makes sense, of course, knowing that you’re recording a phone call, so make sure you get through all of that before setting out.
After that, you’re done. ACR will automatically record all phone calls on your device from the moment you receive or send it. That may be a bit overkill for many situations.
You can change that by opening up the app and going into the “Settings” menu. From there, click on “recording” and switch the recording mode from “auto” to “manual.” There are a lot of other useful options here so make sure you dig around to customize your experience.
That said, ACR is certainly not the only application in the Play Store that does this sort of this. It is, however, one of the best. The app is cleanly designed with plenty of options to boot, so we’d recommend it over most other offerings.
Recording a phone call is useful for a multitude of reasons and Android makes it pretty easy to do so. For most, Google Voice is fine as it allows you to stockpile your conversations and keeps tabs on what’s going on.
ACR, on the other hand, is far more sophisticated which comes at the cost of ease of use. If you want to record outgoing calls, then ACR is still a better choice over Google Voice.