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If you're an Android smartphone user, you're in good company. Android makes up 75% of the global smartphone market share, with nearly 3 billion active users. Now and then, Android users may encounter the need to record an important phone call. While the functionality is not always obvious on the Android operating system and Google no longer allows third-party recording apps, don't worry; it is still possible to record phone calls.
But before we dive into the "how," it's important to keep in mind the legality of recording phone conversations. In the U.S., there are federal and state-specific laws surrounding the permissions needed to record a phone call.
In some states, like Arizona, you do not need the other party's permission to record the call as long as you are a consenting party on the call yourself. In some other states, like California, all parties must consent to the recording. Check federal and state laws before recording any phone conversation.
Now, you know you need to do it, but how? Here are a few different ways to record a phone call on your Android phone.
Recording a call on your Android using Google's Phone app
Google's Phone app has built-in call recording. But just because you have the app doesn't mean you'll have the capability to record calls. Here are the conditions that must be met to qualify.
Your Android device must use Android 9 or later.
You must have the latest version of Google's Phone app.
You must be in a location where call recording is supported.
Your carrier must support call recording.
How to record a call using Google's Phone app
Once you've confirmed your Android operating system and Google Phone app are up-to-date and that your carrier and location support call recording, using the Phone app to record a call is relatively simple, and Google makes sure all parties on the call are notified of the recording. Here's how:
Open the Google Phone app on your Android device.
Initiate or answer the call you intend to record.
On the call screen, tap Record.
Once you want to stop the recording, tap Stop recording.
Access the recording in the Phone app by selecting Recents if it was the most recent call or History to access a list of all saved recorded calls.
You cannot use the Phone app to record a phone call already in progress. But you can modify the Phone app settings to automatically record and automatically store recorded call history up to a certain amount of time.
Recording a call on your Android using Google Voice
Google Voice is a voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) that was created to make and receive phone calls from anywhere using the internet. It can also be used to record incoming calls. To use Google Voice to record an incoming phone call, there are a couple of conditions, and, as is the case with its Phone app, Google makes sure all parties know they're being recorded.
You must have a Google Voice account.
You must have Voice calling options turned on.
How to record a call using Google Voice
Here's how to record an incoming call on your Android device using Google Voice:
Answer the incoming call you intend to record.
Press 4 to start recording.
Press 4 to stop recording.
Access recordings in the Google Voice voicemail tab.
When using Google Voice to record a phone call, you can begin the recording during the call (in fact, all parties must be on the call before the recording can begin), and you can also switch phones during a recorded call.
Recording a call on your Android using an external recorder
Using an external recorder may not be ideal as it requires purchasing hardware. Still, if the Phone app or Google Voice won't work for your needs, an external recorder is a good option. Modern-day recorders are often wireless, with Bluetooth capabilities and have few conditions.
You must have external recording hardware to use.
Bluetooth must be turned on, on your Android.
Your Android must be paired with the recording device.
Beyond the initial setup of the recording device, the only step to recording is typically pressing a button to start and stop the recording. The recordings are stored on the recording device for up to a certain amount of storage. The major drawbacks of this method are, as we already mentioned, the need to purchase hardware but also the inability to use handy features like Android's one-handed mode when using external hardware.
How much does it cost to record a phone call using Google's Phone app?
There is no cost to download and use Google's Phone app.
How much does it cost to record a phone call using Google Voice?
Though rates may be applied if you're using Voice to make international phone calls or other calls and texts that don't use an internet connection, using Google Voice is otherwise free, including recording incoming phone calls.
Is it legal to record a phone conversation?
While it is not illegal to record a phone conversation, state laws determine whether or not the party being recorded must be notified they are being recorded. Using Google's Phone app or Voice, Google has built-in functionality that notifies all parties on the call that they are being recorded, giving the parties freedom to end the call if they do not wish to be recorded.