How to Record Your Calls on Android

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on July 7, 2017, How To Guides

Recording a phone call could be useful, and you never know when you might want to do so. However, you’ll need to set up this process beforehand, as well as being sure that you’re recording legally. How are you supposed to know what you’re doing? Well, that’s what we’re here for!

Why Would I Want to Record a Call?

There are all kinds of reasons to record calls. Maybe you want to be able to prove something, like a business transaction, or even some kind of illegal activity. Perhaps you’re doing an interview, or having a phone meeting, and want to remember things properly later. Maybe you’re having what you know is an important call, and would like a memento for the future, perhaps a call with an elderly relative, or your first phone call to your kid. Whatever your reasons for call recording, you’ll need to be prepared before you dial that number.

Hold Up, Is This Legal?

Alrighty, let’s deal with the serious stuff. Is call recording legal in the UK? Well, that kind of depends. It’s legal to actually record a call as long as you don’t plan on giving the recording to a third party. That means that recording a meeting, or making a memento, should be fine as long as it’s for your own personal use and you’re not giving the recording to anyone else.

Other than that, the law is pretty unclear. There are restrictions on how businesses can record calls, they get exceptions and are allowed to record calls to ensure that customer service quality is good, for example. For private people, there aren’t any firm laws. You may find, for example, that a recorded call of abuse can be given to the police without a problem, but that the recording won’t be able to be used in court as evidence, perhaps.

It’s always better safe than sorry, and there are two things you can do if you’re unsure of the legality of what you’re doing. The first is to get professional advice (and we’re NOT professionals when it comes to the law!). Your local police station may be able to guide you, for example, or a solicitor. The second thing you can do is to inform the person you’re calling that the call is being recorded. As long as you have their consent on the recording, you should be fine.

Method One: The Simple One

By far the easiest way to go about things is to have a Google Voice account, since this means you won’t need anything else to help record your calls. Google Voice is free and just requires you to set it up, and it’s pretty handy to have since it allows you to receive calls, texts and voicemails from one number on any device with a data connection (no switching phones, and you can set any number to redirect to your Google Voice number). It also means that you don’t need to give out your real phone number, which is great for people who do things like sell items on Craigslist. Once you’re all signed up, you can then set up Google Voice to record your calls.

Once you’ve got your account, launch Google Voice and hit “settings” on the left side menu. Scroll down until you see “calls,” hit it, then hit “advanced call options,” then toggle on the button next to “incoming call options.” Now all you have to do is hit the number “4” during a call and recording will start. This works across all devices, so you only need to set it up once.

There is a caveat here though. Google Voice will only allow you to record incoming calls. If you’re the one dialling the number, then you won’t be able to record at all. This could be a problem, so let’s move on to our second option.

Method Two: The App

If you want full recording ability, then you might want to check out a recording app, and for that we recommend ACR. ACR lets you do all kinds of fancy things, including recording incoming and outgoing calls, and automatically starting recording whenever a call is made or received. It also does NOT let the other party know they’re being recorded, so you’ll need to ensure that you’re doing what’s necessary to stay inside the law.

There’s a free version of ACR, which should be fine for most people. The paid upgrade gets rid of ads, and adds in a few new features (recording only specific contacts, starting recording in the middle of a call, letting you export recordings automatically to cloud servers such as DropBox).

Initial set up is easy. Download the app, open it, agree to all the terms and conditions, and you’re done. ACR will automatically record all calls by default. If you want to be a little more careful about who and what you’re recording, you’ll need to set up conditions inside the app itself.

In order to decide who gets recorded the simplest thing to do is to set the recording style to manual rather than automatic. That way you get to decide who and what is recorded. Open the app, slide open the left menu, go to “settings,” then “recording,” then check the box next to “manual” under the heading “start recording.”

If you decide to go pro, you’ll be able to set up recording defaults for each contact on your phone list, which might make things a little easier. However, manual recording should be fine as long as you remember to turn the app on before making your call!

Call Recording in Conclusion

Call recording can be an easy way of remembering things, whether that’s important to do lists or instructions, interviews, or even your baby’s first words. Recording is relatively simple as long as you’re prepared. However, the laws surrounding call recording are in kind of a grey area, so please do make sure that you’re not going to get into trouble for something as minor as recording a phone call!