Google Phone to Natively Support Call Recording Soon

Jan 15, 2020
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The Google Phone app is one of Google's lesser-known offerings. It is, in part, due to the fact that it only comes pre-installed on Pixels and Android One devices. Most OEMs prefer to use their own in-house dialer app as it gives them better control over what features they can bake in. Back when Android Pie was released, a lot of users complained about the inability to record phone calls. Even third-party apps such as Automatic Call Recorder didn't work due to restrictions imposed by software. Now, it looks like Google wants to bring the feature back, at least for devices that run Google Phone.

A recent APK teardown by XDA Developers shed some light on strings that pertain to the Google Phone app's call recording ability. Currently, the feature appears to be disabled and can only be found deep within the app's code. Ideally, we should see the feature make its way in a future version of Google Phone. Once implemented, the recording can be initiated by tapping a button in the dialer UI. XDA was unable to enable the function in the current version. Some OEMs such as Xiaomi and Samsung already have the feature baked into their dialer applications. However, it is often not available in regions that require two-party-consent to record calls.

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What does this mean for third-party call recording applications?

Not much, unfortunately. Android Pie effectively removed the call recording API that the apps use to record calls. Google Phone, like other dialers, will record the calls natively. While Google is reportedly working on some new call recording APIs for a future version of Android, it won't be available for use anytime soon. For now, you'll have to put your phone on loudspeaker, stick a really good audio recorder next to it and hope for the best.

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