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Google is putting an end to third-party call recording apps

It’s a privacy thing.

google logo with blurred pixel background
Image: KnowTechie

Google is making a policy change in the Play Store that will affect hundreds, if not thousands of apps. Included in those affected are third-party apps that enable call recording, which will be blocked from working under the changes.

The policy goes into effect on May 11, which doesn’t give app developers much time to find another way to make their apps work.

The changes were first noticed by Redditor u/NLL-APPS, who noticed that the Accessibility API is being updated. Now it won’t be able to be used by any app to record calls.

text from the accessibility api policy changes
Image: Google

Once the policy is in effect, only apps that come pre-installed on your phone or from Google will be able to record calls.

Google has been trying to restrict call recording for years; ever since Android 6 when it blocked access to call audio. In Android 10, it blocked the workaround, which was to record the audio from the microphone and the speaker separately.

Now it’s completely blocking recording from the microphone as well. The reason given was about the third-party recording of call audio without the other participant’s knowledge, which is illegal in some jurisdictions.

That’s a valid point, but it doesn’t address why the default dialer on some smartphones is able to.

We are not sure if third-party call recording apps that use the Accessibility API will stay in the Play Store. If call recording is a necessary business requirement for you, it’s time to explore other options.

One of those includes buying an iPhone, where you can record calls easily.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.


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