Being able to record a call may come in handy in a number of situations. Perhaps you’re interviewing someone over the phone or on a work call and want to ensure that you can remember everything that is being discussed. Depending on whether you’re using an iOS or Android device, you have several options available to you. This post details how to start recording your phone calls whether you’re using an iPhone or Android.
Tip: is your iPhone not ringing when you’re getting a call? We show you what to do to fix this annoying issue.
- Is It Legal to Record Phone Calls?
- How to Record a Phone Call on iPhone
- 1. Use Another Phone to Record the Call
- 2. Use Google Voice
- 3. Try a Third-Party iOS App
- 4. Use a Dedicated Call Recorder
- How to Record a Phone Call on Android
- 1. Use Google’s Own Phone App
- 2. With a Third-Party Android App
- Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Legal to Record Phone Calls?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of recording phone calls, we need to first talk about the legal aspect. In the U.S., different states have varying laws when it comes to recording phone calls. The same applies to European countries and beyond. You can visit this Wiki page to verify a country’s policy.
In the U.S., for example, most states require at least one party consent to the recording for it to be considered legal. However, states like California, Florida, and Washington require that all participating parties be informed of the recording.
In Europe, things are a bit more liberal. For instance, Italy considers recorded conversations legal and even allows them to be used as evidence in court (even if the other party was unaware they were being recorded), provided that the recording party is part of the conversation.
In the U.K., on the other hand, a recording made by one party without notifying the other is not prohibited if the recording is for personal use. Recording without notification is prohibited, however, if the conversation is then made available to a third party.
Beyond what these laws actually state in your region, you should be mindful that a person’s right to privacy can be severely impacted if their calls are recorded without their express permission. As a result, we encourage you to ask for permission every time you want to record a call. If nothing else, this etiquette will help you avoid any unwanted legal issues. Let’s take a look at how you can get started recording phone calls that are made through a carrier.
How to Record a Phone Call on iPhone
Apple takes your privacy very seriously; hence, it won’t allow you to record phone calls using any native features. The company blocks recording through an iPhone’s built-in microphone if the handset is actively in a call using its own software. This means that despite your iPhone having a native recording app (Voice memos app) you won’t be able to press “Record” while you’re speaking to someone over the phone. Instead, you’ll need to resort to a few workarounds, which are detailed below.
Tip: just downloaded a file on your iPhone or iPad and can’t find it? Here’s where to look.
1. Use Another Phone to Record the Call
The easiest solution if you have another phone (even an older phone would do) laying around the house, is to use it to record the call. It doesn’t matter if it’s an iPhone or Android device. The important thing is that it has a recording app on board. Most phones, including Android devices, come with one preinstalled. If yours doesn’t have one, for some reason, you can easily download one from the App Store or Google Play Store. A few examples of these apps include:
- Recorder Plus (iOS)
- Rev Voice Recorder & Memos (iOS)
- Easy Voice Recorder (iPadOS | Android)
- Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder (Android)
- Smart Voice Recorder (Android)
Regardless of whether you’ve decided to use an iOS or Android phone as your recording device, we advise that you switch to Airplane mode before you get started. This will help prevent notifications or calls from interfering with your recording. If you’re on iOS, go to “Settings -> Airplane mode” and toggle the option on. On Android, you may have to look for a section such as “Wi-Fi & Network” or “Network & Internet” under Settings to find the option. For the purpose of this tutorial, we are using an iPhone as the recording device.
Begin the Recording
- Open the Voice Memos app on your recorder phone.
- Start or receive a call on your other iOS device. Put the phone on “speaker.”
- Once the other person starts speaking about the subject you’re interested in, make sure you press the red “Record” button in the Voice Memos app to start your recording – but not before informing the other person that you’re going to be recording them.
- Make sure the phone that acts as the recorder is placed in the near vicinity of the phone involved in the call. Also, the phone you’re using for the call should have the volume turned up to the maximum (if that’s possible). This will ensure you get a better quality recording.
- Once you’re done recording, press the red button once again. The file will be saved to your iPhone, and you can access it from the app. Tap on it to have it start the playback. You can also share it from there or edit it.
2. Use Google Voice
Google Voice is another alternative when it comes to recording phone calls from your iPhone. Unfortunately, the service is only officially available in the United States and Canada or for people who already have a U.S. phone number. If you meet the requirements, download the iOS app and sign up for an account.
- Open the Google Voice app on your iOS device.
- At the top, tap the hamburger menu and select “Settings.”
- Under Calls, you will see “Incoming calls options.” Make sure the toggle next to it is on.
- If it is, you’ll notice some information underneath. You’ll be instructed to press “4” to start recording calls.
- Wait for the call to come in and answer it.
- Once you press “4,” all participants in the call will hear an announcement alerting them that the call is being recorded.
- To end the recording, press “4” once again. Participants will once again hear an announcement. By the way, hanging up the call also cancels the recording.
- The resulting recordings can be found in the Voicemail tab.
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3. Try a Third-Party iOS App
Apple is quite restrictive when it comes to call recording apps, not allowing many in the App Store. Even so, you can still find quite a few of them. The trouble is, most of them are paid apps. Fortunately, Rev Call Recorder is an app that works for free and is fully functional.
- Download the app on your phone.
- Open it and verify your current phone number.
- Once you’re all set, press the “Call” button at the bottom of the display.
- Enter the number of the person you wish to call.
- Press the “Call [number]” button, and the recording should start automatically.
- Both parties involved in the call will hear an announcement saying the call is being recorded.
- To end the recording, simply hang up as you would normally do.
4. Use a Dedicated Call Recorder
An interesting alternative for mobile users is using a call recorder device, such as the RecorderGear PR200. This device can wirelessly record both sides of the conversation on Bluetooth-compatible Android or iOS devices.
The only disadvantage is that you may end up paying quite a large sum (the RecordGear retails for $120) just to record phone calls.
Tip: don’t want to be bothered by certain callers? Learn how to hide calls from specific contacts on Android.
How to Record a Phone Call on Android
Recording a phone call on Android has the potential to be easier, but only in some regions, as Google offers a native feature in this respect. For the rest of us, most of the options detailed in the iPhone section also work on Android, meaning recording the call using another phone (iOS or Android), Google Voice, and a dedicated call recorder device. Below we look at the Android-specific methods.
1. Use Google’s Own Phone App
On some Android phones, this app might already be preinstalled, but if not, you can download it from the Play Store. However, keep in mind that this feature is only available in certain regions of the world, and your carrier must also support the feature for you to use it. Also, your device needs to be on Android 9 or higher.
- You can check whether you have this feature by opening the Google Phone app and tapping on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner.
- Select “Settings.”
- Go to “Call Recording.” If you don’t see it, it probably means your phone does not support this feature.
- You’ll now have to answer a series of questions regarding which calls will be recorded. Follow the prompts that appear on the screen and select “Always record.”
- Once you’ve done this, go back to the Phone app and try calling someone.
- Look at the display during the call. You should see a “Record” button among the options. Tap on it to start recording.
- Once you’re done, tap the “Stop Recording” button again to stop the recording.
2. With a Third-Party Android App
Like Apple, Google doesn’t like call recording apps, but even so, some have still made it to the Play Store. Call Recorder – Cube ACR, for instance, is a free app that can help you record calls without much fuss.
- Open the app on your phone and give the necessary permissions as required.
- Make or receive a call.
- The app will automatically start recording. You’ll see a small notification at the top of the screen that the app is active and recording.
- Once you’re done, just hang up, and the recording will be terminated.
- The file will be available in the app where you can play it back. You can also easily share it via social or mail apps.
Tip: unclutter your Android agenda and learn how to organize your contacts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my call is being recorded?
Some of the apps and services included on this list will notify both parties that the call is being recorded automatically. That might not always be the case, though. If you hear a constantly beeping sound during a call or a loud beep at the start of the call, it could be a sign that your call is being recorded. Remember that in some countries or states, recording without informing the other party is considered illegal, so it may be a good idea to always ask for permission regardless of the method you are using to record the call.
How can I stop my calls from being recorded?
Unfortunately, there’s no technical solution that could prevent your calls from being recorded. The best you can do is to pay attention to the signs, such as strange beeps during the calls or other noises. If you feel there’s something off about the conversation, hang up immediately and try to limit interactions with the person in question going forward.
Can I use my phone's screen recording feature to record a call?
While on an iPhone, you can screen record with the sound on, but the moment a call comes through, screen recording will automatically turn off. On the latest version of Android, while it’s possible to screen record with microphone and device sound enabled, you will only be able to record your side of the conversation. If you never recorded your screen on an Android, check out our dedicated guide on the topic.
Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici
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