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How To Record A Phone Call On Android (Even on Pixel)

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Recording phone calls used to be a walk in the park on Android—just a few taps in the native phone app and you were good to go. But the Android world has changed a lot. Now, the level of difficulty for recording calls depends on a combination of factors, such as what device you’re using, who your carrier is, and what operating system (OS) or software version you have.

Specifically, the Android OS is typically known for being highly customizable and modifiable enough to accomplish anything with enough tech-savviness—but that doesn’t mean laws and regulations can’t lead to certain features being held back.

Case in point: call recording.

While the tech side of recording a call might be straightforward, that’s not always the case with the laws that govern it. For example, each state in the United States has its own guidelines, and so does every country. Thus, even if you’re in a location where one-party consent is generally supported, it’s possible that you could be calling a place where the recording laws require consent from all parties—which can put you in a gray area.

Before you go about recording calls, the safest thing you can do is abide by the laws of the most restrictive party.

Use the Native Phone App

The simplest way to record a call is often just using your phone’s built-in features. But not every Android phone offers this option. It usually depends on the version of Android you’re running, the brand of your phone, and if you have the Google Phone app pre-installed. Sometimes you can be blocked from using the feature based on your region as well.

Requirements:

  • For most Android devices, you must run Android 9 and up.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of the Phone app.
  • For some Pixel phones, use the Phone by Google app.
  • You must be in a region that allows call recordings.

There are several ways you can record calls, including recording a single call or setting automatic recordings for unknown numbers or selected contacts.

To record a single phone call on most Android devices:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Place or receive a call.
  3. On the ongoing call screen, tap Record. (On a Samsung, this option is in the menu during the call.)
  4. To stop recording, tap Stop Recording.

If you don’t see these recording options during a call, you’re likely in a region where recording calls isn’t allowed due to local laws.

To record a single phone call on Pixel phones:

  1. Open the Phone by Google app.
  2. During a call, tap Record to start recording.
  3. Tap it again to stop recording.
  4. Recordings are found on the Recents tab.

Turn on automatic recording for unknown numbers:

  1. Open the Phone app on your Android device.
  2. Tap More Options on the top right.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Select Call Recording.
  5. Under Always Record, turn on Numbers Not in Your Contacts.

Turn on automatic recording for selected contacts:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap More Options on the top right of the screen.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Select Call Recording.
  5. Turn on Always Record Selected Numbers.
  6. Tap Add at the top right.
  7. Choose a contact you wish to record every time.
  8. Tap Always Record.

If you’re new to recording calls, you might be wondering how to find the recordings. Here’s how to do that:

To find your recording on most Android phones:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap on Recents.
  3. Select the contact from the recorded call.
  4. If you recorded the most recent call, go to the media player in the Recents screen. If you’re looking for a previously recorded call, tap History, then select the recording from the list of calls.
  5. Press Play.

Record Incoming Calls With Google Voice

Google Voice is more than just a way to make and receive calls. It’s also a handy tool for recording incoming calls if you’ve got a Google account.

Note: it’s important to know that this only works for incoming calls. If you’re planning to record an outgoing call, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Requirements:

  • You’ll need a Google account to use Google Voice. Chances are you already have one if you’re on Android.
  • Make sure you’ve got the Google Voice app installed on your phone.

Here’s how to record an incoming call using Google Voice:

  1. Use the Google Voice website or app to set up your Google Voice account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap Incoming Call Options.
  4. Tap to enable call recording.
Google Voice settings to record phone call.
  1. Answer an incoming call.
  2. To start recording, tap 4 on the keypad, and an audio prompt will notify both parties that the call is being recorded.
  3. To stop recording, tap 4 again, and an audio prompt will indicate the recording is off.

Once you’ve recorded the call, you can find it within the Google Voice app.

To listen to your recording:

  • Open the Google Voice app.
  • Tap on the hamburger menu (the three horizontal lines in the top corner, not the Five Guys app on your home screen) and go to Settings.
  • Scroll to Incoming Call Options, and you’ll find your recordings there.

Record Phone Calls on a Separate Device

This is an old-school method, but it checks out. To record phone calls using a separate device, put your call on speakerphone and record the audio with another phone’s voice recorder, your computer’s recording feature, or any digital recorder.

The upside of this is that it works on any phone, and you don’t need any special apps or settings to make it work.

Here’s how to do it, step by step:

  1. Do a quick audio test on the recording device you’ve chosen to ensure it’s working properly.
  2. Make or receive a call.
  3. Switch the call to speakerphone so both sides of the conversation can be heard.
  4. Turn on the recording device and place it close to your phone.
  5. Once you end the call, stop the recording on the second device.

While this method is very accessible, it won’t give you studio-quality audio. Use this method when there aren’t any other options available or if you aren’t too concerned about crystal-clear audio.

To get the best possible quality with this method, choose a quiet spot to make and record the call. The less background noise, the better your recording will sound. Keeping the two devices close together will also help improve the sound quality.

Recording Phone Calls With a Third-Party App

Third-party apps for call recording on Android can be a bit of a rollercoaster. Google has been tightening the reins, especially since Android 10, making it tricky for these apps to function as they used to. This has all been done in the name of user privacy and security, but it’s also thrown a bit of a wrench into the call-recording gears.

Still, some apps have found clever workarounds to keep this feature alive, but Android updates or another Google curveball could change that.

When they’re working, some of the current go-to apps include:

  • ACR Phone
  • Drupe Dialer
  • Cube ACR

To record a call on a third-party app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the call recording app you downloaded.
  2. Go to Settings and ensure the Recording feature is enabled.
  3. Place or receive a call through your regular phone app.
  4. The third-party app should automatically start recording once the call is connected. If not, you can probably force a manual start through the app’s interface.
  5. To stop recording, end your call. If the recording doesn’t stop automatically, tap Stop in the recording app.
  6. Recorded files are usually found under a designated Recordings or Saved Calls section within the app.

Remember, third-party call recording apps may not always work thanks to Google’s ever-shifting policies and OS updates. If you’re looking for something more dependable in the long run, consider exploring other methods, such as recording the call with a separate device.


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