How to record a call on your iPhone or Android

How to record a call on your iPhone or Android

Having the ability to record a call could be useful in many situations. You might be having a phone interview or a work call with someone and want to make sure you remember everything that is said. Depending on whether you have an iOS or an Android device, you have a few options. This post shows you how to start recording your phone calls on an iPhone or an Android.

Is it okay to record phone conversations?

Before we get into how to record phone calls, we need to talk about what the law says about it. When it comes to recording phone calls, different states in the U.S. have different rules. The same is true for countries outside of Europe as well. You can check the policy of a country on this Wiki page.

In most states in the U.S., for example, the recording is only legal if at least one person agrees to it. States like California, Florida, and Washington, on the other hand, require that all participants be told that the conversation is being recorded.

Things are a little bit more open in Europe. For example, recorded conversations are legal in Italy, and they can even be used as proof in court (even if the other person didn’t know they were being recorded), as long as the person recording is also part of the conversation.

In the U.K., however, it is not against the law for one person to record another without telling the other person, as long as the recording is for personal use. It is illegal, though, to record a conversation without telling the other person if the recording is then given to a third party.

Beyond what these laws actually say in your area, you should be aware that a person’s right to privacy can be severely affected if their calls are recorded without their permission. So, if you want to record a call, you should always ask for permission first. If nothing else, this manners will help you stay out of trouble with the law. Let’s look at how to start recording carrier-based phone calls.

How to Record an iPhone Phone Call

Apple cares a lot about your privacy, so you can’t use any built-in features to record phone calls. Using its own software, the company stops recording from an iPhone’s built-in microphone when the phone is in use for a call. Even though your iPhone has a built-in recording app (the Voice Memos app), you won’t be able to press “Record” while you’re on the phone with someone. You’ll have to use some workarounds instead, which are explained below.

1. Record the call on a different phone

If you have another phone (even an old one) lying around the house, using it to record the call is the easiest thing to do. It doesn’t matter if the device is an iPhone or an Android. The most important thing is that it has an app for recording. Most phones, including Android ones, already have one on them. If your phone doesn’t have one, you can easily get one from the App Store or the Google Play Store. Here are some examples of these apps:

We recommend that you turn your phone to “Airplane mode” before you start recording, no matter if you’re using an iOS or an Android phone. This will help make sure that calls or notifications don’t get in the way of your recording. If you have an iOS device, go to “Settings” > “Airplane mode” and turn the feature on. On an Android phone, you might have to look under Settings for a section like “Wi-Fi & Network” or “Network & Internet” to find the option. As the recording device for this tutorial, we’re using an iPhone.

Start recording.

  • Open your recorder phone’s Voice Memos app.
  • You can start a call or get one on your other iOS device. Put the phone’s “speaker” button on.
Switching to speakerphone on iOS.
  • Once the other person starts talking about the topic you’re interested in, make sure you press the red “Record” button in the Voice Memos app to start your recording, but not before you tell the other person you’re going to record them.
Recordings in the Voice Memos app for iOS.
  • Make sure the phone that is being used as a recorder is close to the phone that is being called. Also, if possible, the volume on the phone you’re using for the call should be turned all the way up. This will make sure that the recording is better.
Active recording in progress on iOS.
  • Press the red button again when you’re done recording. The file will be saved on your iPhone, and you can use the app to get to it. If you tap it, it will start to play. You can also share it or change it from that page.
Editing recording on iOS.

2. Use Google Voice

If you want to record phone calls from your iPhone, you can also use Google Voice. Unfortunately, the service is only available in the United States, Canada, or to people who already have a U.S. phone number. If you meet the requirements, you can sign up for an account and download the iOS app.

  • On your iOS device, open the Google Voice app.
  • Tap the three lines at the top and choose “Settings.”
Google Voice menu showing Settings option.
  • “Incoming calls options” can be found under “Calls.” Check to see if the switch next to it is on.
  • If it is, there will be some information below. To start recording calls, you’ll be told to press “4”.
  • Wait for the phone to ring, then pick it up.
  • When you press “4”, everyone on the call will hear a message saying that the call is being recorded.
  • Press “4” again to stop the recording. People will hear an announcement once more. By the way, the recording is also erased when the call ends.
  • On the Voicemail tab, you can find the recordings that were made.

3. Try an iOS app not made by Apple.

Apple is pretty picky about which call recording apps it lets into the App Store, so there aren’t that many. Even so, there are still a lot of them around. The problem is that most of them cost money. Rev Call Recorder is a good thing because it is a free app that works well.

  • Get the app on your phone by doing this.
  • Open it and make sure your phone number is correct.
  • Press the “Call” button at the bottom of the screen when you’re ready.
Call button in Rev Call Recorder app fr iOS.
  • Enter the person’s number you want to call.
  • If you press the “Call [number]” button, the recording should begin on its own.
Calling button in Rev Call Recorder app fr iOS.
  • An announcement will be made to both people on the call that the call is being recorded.
  • To stop the recording, just hang up the phone like you normally would.
Having a call that's being recorded in Rev Call Recorder app fr iOS.

4. Use a separate device to record calls.

A call recorder like the RecorderGear PR200 is an interesting alternative for people who use mobile phones. This device can record both sides of a conversation on Android or iOS devices that have Bluetooth.

RecorderGear PR200 product shot.

The only problem is that you may end up spending a lot of money just to record phone calls. The RecordGear costs $120.

How to Record a Phone Call on Android

On Android, it might be easier to record a phone call, but only in some places, because Google has a built-in feature for this. For the rest of us, most of the options listed in the iPhone section also work on Android. This means that you can record the call using a different phone (iOS or Android), Google Voice, or a device that is made specifically for call recording. Here are the methods that only work on Android.

1. Use the Google app for your phone

This app might already be on some Android phones, but if it’s not, you can get it from the Play Store. Keep in mind, though, that this feature is only available in some parts of the world, and your carrier must also support it for you to be able to use it. Also, your device must run Android 9 or a later version.

  • You can see if you have this feature by opening the Google Phone app and tapping on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner.
Three dots menu in Google Phone app.
  • Choose “Settings.”
Settings option in Google Phone app.
    • Go to “Record Call.” If you don’t see it, it’s likely because this feature is not available on your phone.
    • You will now have to answer a series of questions about which calls will be recorded. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose “Always record.”
    • After that, go back to the Phone app and try to call someone.
    • During the call, look at the screen. You should see a button that says “Record” among the choices. Tap it to begin to record.
    Recording button visible in call on Android device using Google Phone app.
    • Tap “Stop Recording” again when you’re done to stop the recording.

    2. With an Android app made by someone else

    Google doesn’t like call recording apps as much as Apple does, but some have made it to the Play Store anyway. For example, Call Recorder – Cube ACR is a free app that makes it easy to record calls.

    • Open the app on your phone and allow it to do what it needs to do.
    • Call someone or be called.
    • The app will start recording on its own. A small message will appear at the top of the screen to let you know that the app is running and recording.
    Call Recorder - Cube ACR app for Android recording icon visible.
    • Just hang up when you’re done, and the recording will stop.
    Ending call while Call Recorder - Cube ACR recording is active.
    • You can play back the file in the app. You can also share it easily through apps for social media or email.
    Call recordings in Call Recorder - Cube ACR app for Android.

    Questions People Usually Ask

    How can I tell if my call is being taped?

    Some of the apps and services on this list will automatically tell both people on the call that it is being recorded. But that might not always be true. If you hear a constant beeping sound during a call or a loud beep at the beginning of the call, it could mean that your call is being recorded. Remember that in some countries or states, it is illegal to record without telling the other person, so it might be a good idea to always ask for permission to record the call, no matter what method you are using.

    How can I stop people from recording my phone calls?

    Unfortunately, there is no way to stop your calls from being recorded with technology. The best thing you can do is pay attention to signs, like strange beeps or other sounds during calls. If you think something is wrong with the conversation, hang up right away and try not to talk to that person as much in the future.

    Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici

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