Third-party call recording apps no longer work with Android 9.0 Pie

If you’re one of the lucky few that have Android 9.0 Pie on your phone, you may still be getting used to all of the new updates and features on your phone. For those who frequently use third-party call recording apps, however, you may notice something different: These apps no longer work on your phone.

The change is sure to disappoint those who rely on call recording apps for business and personal purposes. The Android Play store currently has more than 200 call recording apps with an aggregate total of more than 200 million installs.

While there have been reports of the problems with third-party calling apps since Android Pie was in beta, some people believed it was just an issue that would be resolved with the official release of Pie. The team at Atlassian confirmed that Google closed a workaround in Android Pie that developers had been using for years to power third-party call recording apps.

An official call recording API was included in earlier versions of Android, however, Google removed the API with the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow in 2015. The tech giant stated the API was removed on the grounds of user privacy, however, it left an easy workaround for app developers that worked through the release of Android 8.1 earlier this year.

It’s likely Google did indeed close the workaround due to privacy concerns. In the U.S. call recording laws vary by state: While most states have single- party consent laws, some states continue to require two-party consent. And with the enactment of new GDPR laws, express verbal consent is required for any call where either party is located in the European Union.

If you’re using a phone with Android 9.0 Pie, there are still a few options if you want to record calls. You can place calls on speaker and record with a third-party device such as your computer or laptop. You can also find hardware that connects to your phone via Bluetooth or USB-C that will let you record calls.

We reached out to Google to learn more about its decision for more information and will update our coverage as we learn more.


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