Unlike Android, iOS doesn’t have a built-in ability to record phone calls. If you need to keep records of your calls for convenience or legality, you’ll need to download an additional call recording app. There are a couple good choices that allow you to use your normal phone number, but you can also consider VoIP apps that offer more flexibility.
Of course, before you start recording all your phone calls, make sure it’s legal in your jurisdiction. In most U.S. states you’re free to record any calls you’re a party to, but there are some notable exceptions. Do your research before you try to catch some dirty cheat redhanded on a hot tape.
TapeACall Pro is the Cadillac of call recording apps. It works beautifully and reliably, but it’s not cheap. You’ll need to drop $10 for the fully unlocked version. However, if you’re a jurist, journalist, or jilted lover, it might be well worth it.
TapeACall conveniently lets users record incoming and outgoing calls using the native Phone app on every iPhone. You can start recording before a call or even start recording in the middle. Unfortunately, the call recording process on the iPhone is a little convoluted. You’ll need to start a call, then “merge calls” with the TapeACall app on the other line. Then TapeACall can “listen in” on your phone call and record anything that happens. While this is a little kludgey, its not hard to get used to. The limitation unfortunately comes from the iPhone side. A live phone call can’t be accessed directly by an app, so TapeACall needs to be “conferenced in” in order to record what’s happening.
Many call recording apps require users to purchase timed credits to use the app, as they sell call recording time by the minute. TapeACall, however, just relies on a (admittedly steep) one-time payment to cover your costs.
If you’re not into the pay-up-front structure of TapeACall, NoNotes is a good alternative. The app is free to download, and each month you can record up to twenty minutes of calls. You’ll get your recorded calls emailed to you, and they’ll be stored in the app. Uniquely, NoNotes can also transcribe your calls for seventy-five cents per minute. You’ll still need to do the same call-merging dance as above, since that’s a limitation inherent in the iOS system, but the app is attractive and simple to use. With modest needs, you might never go over the twenty-minute limit. But if you need unlimited recording, you can pay twenty-five cents per minute of call recording or opt for the $8-per-month unlimited plan.
Google Voice is the first VoIP solution on this list. As seen from the above two apps, recording actual phone calls from your iPhone requires some call-merging chicanery. VoIP apps, on the other hand, benefit from no such restrictions. Because they don’t use the existing phone system, instead sending telephony info across data lines, VoIP apps are more flexible, avoiding the built-in restrictions of the iPhone’s calling system.
There are some downsides to using VoIP apps. For one, you won’t be calling from your carrier phone number. This means that any call-backs you get will be for your VoIP phone number not your regular phone number. But if that’s not an important restriction for you, you’ll find a massive and constantly-expanding feature list available to you. This includes recording calls, easy conferencing, better audio quality, transcribed voicemails and more.
If you want to use your normal phone number and don’t mind a small up-front investment, check out TapeACall Pro. For infrequent use, or if you need a transcription service, NoNotes is best. VoIP is the most flexible, but if you don’t love Google Voice, other VoIP apps like Viber or WePhone are good choices too.