Record phone calls on a smartphone
You might think recording calls on your smartphone would be a relatively easy task. After all, most new models arrive with some sort of voice recording app already installed, and it shouldn’t prove much of a technological challenge to the likes of a Samsung Galaxy S6. Well, that isn’t
the case, and in truth it can be a bit of a pain. There are many reasons why you might want to record a call, but doing so can be tricky. Here’s how to record phone calls on a smartphone, and some legal issues to be aware of first.
One of the reasons you can’t record calls straight out of the box might be the potential legal ramifications that manufacturers would consider problematic. The law currently has a few conditions attached to the recording of calls, and these differ across countries and regions.
In the US there are federal laws that say it’s okay to record, but then there are state laws that say you can’t, or at least demand that both parties know that the recording is happening. As Android Advisor doesn’t moonlight as Law Advisor, we’d recommend you research the specific legislature in your area and ensure you adhere fully to its stipulations.
The UK has a uniform law, but even within this there are conditions dependant on why you’re creating the recording. The general rule is that you can record someone without their knowledge, but only if you intend to use the recording for personal use. Once you play the file to a third party, be it a friend, family, or whatever, then you are in breach of the law and could find yourself in trouble. If you’re conducting an interview, as journalists often do, you need to ask for permission to record, otherwise you can’t use anything said on the call. There are a few special exceptions, including if you think a crime is being committed, but again these should be researched before you embark on any sting operations.
Businesses can record conversation without informing you, but only for specific commerce related reasons, such as ensuring quality of service. There are a few other circumstances, all of which are outlined on Ofcom’s website (tinyurl.com/9en95).
One other form of recording that is permitted is that used by the security, intelligence and police services, as outlined in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). As this covers national security, the prevention of serious crime, and the protection of the UK’s economic well-being, it’s not really applicable in most cases to you.
Record phone calls
To capture conversations, you’ll need to download a call recorder app from the Google Play store. There are quite a few to choose from, with the likes of Another Call Recorder, Automatic Call Recorder, and similarly-titled offerings all garnering solid reviews.
Many are free, but there are often Premium editions that open up more features, such as cloud syncing. For the purposes of this tutorial we’ll use Total Recall, mainly because we’re big Schwarzenegger fans.
Go to the Google Play Store and search for Total Recall 2. Install and launch the app 3. Open up your dialler or contacts app and start a call 4. Total Recall automatically records the
conversation and stops when you hang up 5. Go back to the app, select the conversation,
and listen back
That’s it. One thing to bear in mind is that having more than one call recorder installed at any one time can cause performance issues. So, if you want to experiment with different apps, remember to delete any others before you begin. Martyn Casserly