Let’s say you’re on a work call with someone and you need to record the conversation to preserve all the details. Android devices don’t have the native ability to do so, and there are a few apps in the Google Play Store that can do the job, but not all of them create the best results.
One critical thing to keep in mind is that both the federal and state government have laws for recording phone calls, so you need to make sure you have consent before you proceed. Once you have authorization to record your phone call, follow this guide to discover which Android phone recording apps are worth your time.
Are you an iPhone user? Check out our guide on how to record phone calls with an iPhone.
Editor’s Note: There are federal and state laws pertaining to the recording of phone calls. As a general rule of thumb, though, you shouldn’t run into any legal trouble if you capture both parties verbally consenting to the recording. Some states require that only one party consent; however, check your state or local laws if you need further clarification.
Recording calls with Google Voice
Many Android users have the Google Voice app installed on their phone, which makes it easy to record phone calls using a Google Voice account. Not only that, but the app allows you to record your calls for free. Well, at least some of the calls. If you opt for Google Voice, you can only record incoming calls.
First, you need a Google Voice account. If you don’t have one, head to the Google Voice website and follow the on-screen instructions. Then, once your account is set up, you need to enable recording on your account, which is relatively easy to do.
Step 1: Navigate to the Google Voice homepage.
Step 2: Click the three vertical dots more menu located on the left and select Settings from the menu.
Step 3: Scroll to the Calls section and turn on Incoming call options by using the slider on the right.
Once done, you will be able to record incoming calls by simply hitting the “4” button on your keypad. When you press “4,” you and the person you’re talking with will hear a message saying that the recording is underway. Press “4” again, and the recording will stop and automatically save to your inbox. To access your recordings in the Voice app, head to the Menu and tap Recorded.
Google Voice app
You can also do this by using the Google Voice app. Click the hamburger menu located at the top right-hand corner and go to Settings. Choose Advanced Settings and turn on Incoming Call Options.
Recording calls with a third-party app
There are many apps out there designed for recording calls on your Android phone, though some of them work better than others. We tested a few of them to see how they worked, but before diving into our suggestions, there is something to keep in mind. Most of these apps rely solely on your microphone to record both incoming and outgoing audio, which means calls that aren’t recorded while on speakerphone will be a little quiet. That said, here are a few of the better recording apps we’ve come across.
Call Recorder S9 – Automatic Call Recorder Pro
Perhaps the best call recording app around is Automatic Call Recorder Pro, largely because of how well-made the interface is. Thankfully, it doesn’t just look good — it works pretty well, too. The app provides a host of customizable settings, allowing you to tweak the audio quality and set the app to record every call automatically. Another cool feature is “shake to record,” which does exactly what you might think. If you want to record a call, simply shake your phone. You can also set the app to save recordings to various cloud services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Call Recorder — ACR
Another good call recording app in the Google Play Store right now is ACR. There are freemium and premium versions of the app; the latter costs $4 and gets rid of ads. The app is straightforward and looks good. It automatically records and saves calls based on a phone number and lists them in an organized way. In addition to that, the formats of recordings can range from M4As, MP3s, WAVs, and MP4s, among others.
The app also deletes old recordings automatically, but if you don’t want that to happen, you can mark a recording as important. Best of all, if you don’t wish to record calls from a particular number, you can exclude it from recording. You can also protect recordings with a password so nobody else can access them. If you want to upload your recordings to a cloud service, ACR is compatible with popular options such as Google Drive, Dropbox, WebDAV, and OneDrive, among others.
One final thing to keep in mind is that this app doesn’t record Wi-Fi or VoIP calls – only cellular ones. That means that if you use the Google Fi network, which makes calls over Wi-Fi, you need to manually disable Wi-Fi to record the call.
Recording calls with an external recorder
The last method of recording a phone call can be complicated and expensive. Rather than using an app, you can buy a specific phone recorder and plug it into your phone’s 3.5mm jack. You can’t use a recorder with a smartphone that doesn’t have this jack.
There are several solid choices for phone recorders on the market, like the Waytronic Call Recorder and the RecorderGear PR200. These devices are both straightforward to use and cost between $34 and $110. They’ll cost you more than the apps we reviewed above, but they’re simpler to use and probably more reliable.
At the end of the day, the method you choose depends on what you want out of your phone recordings.
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- How to record calls on your iPhone
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- How to set up Google Voice on your smartphone