The Enduring Saga of Call Recording Apps on Android: Navigating Google's Restrictions

Samanta Blumberg


The Enduring Saga of Call Recording Apps on Android: Navigating Google's Restrictions

In the rapidly changing world of mobile tech, the feature of phone call recording has consistently sparked debate. Google, the powerhouse behind the Android platform, has been actively working to remove call recording applications from its Google Play Store for a while. Nevertheless, a few applications have managed to survive Google's stringent measures, still providing the option for users to record calls. This piece explores the intricate path of call recording on Android, showcasing the applications that have persisted and casting a light on what the future might hold for call recording functionalities on Android smartphones.

The Evolution of Call Recording on Android

Call Recording on Android screen

A Brief History

The narrative of call recording on Android is one filled with myriad challenges and restrictions. Initially, up until Android 6.0, developers enjoyed the liberty to directly record audio during calls. However, subsequent updates saw Google gradually removing these capabilities, citing privacy concerns. The introduction of Android Pie marked a significant turning point, with Google implementing stringent measures to block unofficial methods previously employed by developers to record calls. This move essentially marked the beginning of what could be considered the end for call recording apps on the Google Play Store.

The Workarounds and Google's Countermeasures

Despite Google's restrictions, developers ingeniously found workarounds, such as utilizing the phone's microphone to capture call audio indirectly. But Google's release of Android 10 further complicated matters, allowing call recording only through accessibility services, a loophole that was soon closed by Google in May 2022. This relentless pursuit by Google to hinder call recording on Android has led to many apps either becoming non-functional or being removed from the Google Play Store altogether.

The Resilient Few

Despite the bleak outlook, a few call recording apps have managed to survive Google's clampdown. These apps, now considered the daredevils of the Google Play Store, operate in a grey area, possibly breaching Google's policies. Cube ACR is one such app that has gained popularity for its ability to record calls effectively on recent Android versions, including Android 13. This app requires users to enable an accessibility service, which facilitates automatic call recording.

Native Call Recording Capabilities

Call Recording on iPhone

Remarkably, individuals looking to record calls on their Android devices still have a viable option. Certain smartphone brands include built-in call recording features in their devices, depending on the model and geographical location. This built-in functionality allows users to record calls directly, eliminating the need for external apps or extra permissions.

Alternative Avenues for Call Recording

For those without the luxury of native call recording capabilities, alternative methods still exist, albeit with certain limitations. Third-party apps, although scarce, can be sourced from outside the Google Play Store. Furthermore, users with root access on their devices can leverage tools like Magisk to record calls, offering a higher quality of recording by bypassing the need to use the device's microphone for recording.


The journey of call recording apps on Android is a testament to the constant tug-of-war between privacy concerns and functional utility. While Google's restrictions have significantly diminished the presence of these apps on the Google Play Store, a small contingent continues to offer these services, albeit under precarious circumstances. As the Android ecosystem continues to evolve, the future of call recording remains uncertain, leaving users to navigate the complexities of privacy, legality, and technological limitations.