How to Record Phone Conversation on Android or iPhone

How to record a phone conversation on Android or iPhone. All the tricks and secrets

A topic that seems simple and obvious, causes a lot of confusion and curiosity for most people. You can or can’t record phone conversations, what you need to do to do this and so on. In this material, let’s figure out how to record your conversations.

The legal aspect of recording phone conversations

Recording phone conversations is handy in many life situations, although here it all depends on what country you are in. For example, in some U.S. states it is illegal to record conversations unless both parties are notified, such as California law. And near Arizona, you can record a conversation and not notify the person you are talking to. Of course, we are talking about recording your own conversations, in almost every country in the world recording other people’s conversations is illegal, unless there is court permission to do so, which is issued by law enforcement.
For example, trying to listen to and record a conversation with your spouse will lead to criminal punishment in the vast majority of countries, the degree of intimacy does not play any role, you are breaking the law. Exactly the same approach, anyone involved in the conversation can record the conversation without warning, no permission is required. You can record the conversation for personal use, such as listening to it on long winter evenings. Many people have heard that the secrecy of telephone conversations is protected, and mistakenly interpret the article as prohibiting such conversations.

But that’s not true at all, let’s read this article:

Violating the privacy of the correspondence, telecommunications, postal, telegraph or other communications of individuals – penalised by a fine of up to eighty thousand or in the size of the wages or other income of the convict for up to six months, or compulsory works for up to 360 hours, or corrective labor for a term of up to one year.

The same act committed by a person using his official position – is penalised by a fine of a hundred to 300 thousand or in the amount of the wages or other income of the convicted person for a period of one to two years, or deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for two to five years, or compulsory works for up to four hundred and eighty hours, or forced labour for a term up to four years, or detention for a term up to four months, or imprisonment for a term up to one year.

Accordingly, you will violate the secrecy of the negotiations in the case if you do not participate in them, but you keep a recording. The penalty will be a fine of up to 80 thousand. Another important point is that by keeping a recording of the conversation for personal use, you do not violate the law. But if you share such a recording without the permission of the other party, it is also a violation of the law.

You’ve probably called operator customer service, banks, and other companies and heard the answering machine say: “In order to improve quality control, all conversations are recorded.” Indeed, such companies record all conversations and can use those recordings to determine the essence of the customer’s claims and what was going on during the call. But they cannot publish such recordings without your explicit and explicit permission. In addition, whoever recorded the conversation is responsible for keeping it safe and inaccessible to third parties. Keep this in mind before you decide to record all of your conversations.

Please familiarize yourself with the laws in your country so that you do not violate them when recording conversations with interlocutors. This is important! Technical capabilities for recording conversations are available anywhere in the world.
So you have determined that recording conversations is legal, and now you need to figure out how to do it and what it takes.

Recording on a dictaphone the old-fashioned way – an easy way for everyone

You can’t record your conversation on the recorder, which is built into the smartphone, unless the manufacturer initially allowed you to record conversations (then no dancing with tambourine is necessary). For example, in Samsung smartphones, you will see an inscription that the work of the voice recorder during a conversation is not supported.
But no one forbids using the same phone to record a conversation on a second device. Then you will have to turn on speakerphone mode. It’s inconvenient, this way is suitable at home, but on the street it doesn’t work. And your interlocutor will know that you are talking on speakerphone mode, it is well noticeable. If there is no other way, and the conversation must be recorded here and now, then this method is reliable and working, but far from convenient.

How to record a phone conversation on iPhone

The answer in the title sounds simple – no way. If you go deeper into the question, it turns out that there are several ways, and they are relatively exotic. If you jailbreak the device, you can install software that will record all conversations on the line. But the security of this approach is questionable, and I strongly advise against it. It’s enough that your iPhone is not the most secure smartphone in the world, and it could potentially be tracked by school kids or people you don’t know. And access to your conversations would be a tidbit for your blackmail. Is that what you want? I don’t think so.

Another expensive and exotic way is to buy a special adapter for iPhone, a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo by PhotoFast. A small box connects to the Lightning connector, and you plug in a regular headset with a 3.5 mm jack. During a call, all you have to do is press the record button, and the conversation is saved on the microSD card. This accessory costs about $125 and is quite difficult to find on sale, it seems that Apple has consistently banned its sale. The plus side is that you can record any conversation in any app. And it’s all at the expense of using the regular audio output. So I consider this method as exotic as the first, but someone will surely track down this accessory.

The easiest way, which is available on absolutely any phone and depends directly on your operator, is to use the second line. This feature of cellular networks is used by the creators of apps or individual services, as well as by the operators themselves. 

Here’s how the service is described in a company press release:

“Calls and voice messages are recorded using the technical number 333. To record an outgoing call, you must:

  • Call the 333 number.
  • Press the “Add call” button.
  • Call the necessary addressee and after connection with it to unite calls.

To record a conversation that has already begun, you must:

  • During a conversation with the caller, press “Add call” on the screen.
  • Call the number 333.
  • Merge the calls, and then the recording will begin.

To record a voice memo, dial 333 and dictate the message

After the call is ended the recording will appear immediately and will be available in Tinkoff Mobile app under Events -> Calls. Recordings will be available only to the subscriber, who can dispose of them at his discretion. They can be downloaded and saved on the smartphone, as well as sent by e-mail, text message or forwarded to any messenger”.

This method is brand-independent and can work on pushbutton devices if they support a second line. On the iPhone, you always need to manually add a third call, there is no way to do this without it.

How to record a phone call on Android

Many smartphone manufacturers initially added the ability to record conversations, no additional programs or services are required. For example, you can record conversations on Xiaomi (until recently), OPPO, realme and others. You can clarify this point in the characteristics of the smartphone.

For example, Samsung believes that the recording of conversations should not be available to users, and therefore in most countries this option is not available by default. For Samsung smartphones, recording conversations is prohibited. For smartphones you can get root access, put programs that are able to record all conversations from the line, but we also do not advise you to do this – it is an unnecessary risk, which you definitely do not need.

In the Play Market you can find many conditionally free or paid programs that are able to automatically record calls on any Android smartphone. As a rule, they use the same method as Tinkoff Mobile, that is, they add a third line and then send you a file (or immediately record it on your device). 

It is important to note that most apps do not know how to record conversations using VoLTE, VoWifi, this should be taken into account and apparently turn off such features if you need to record a conversation in the app. Also on Android 10, third-party apps can’t transmit call information, so you have to manually enter the name of the call, who the conversation was with. This is extremely inconvenient.

Quick Conclusions

Although recording conversations for personal use of one of the interlocutors is allowed in many countries around the world, there are almost no technical solutions to make it painless and convenient. In Android smartphones, where such recording is present, it is impossible to record all conversations in a row, you must activate this function. Third-party services (third line) handle this better, they record all conversations without stopping.

Google has banned recording conversations on Android, and is consistently forcing all manufacturers using GMS services to drop this feature. For example, Xiaomi last year refused to record conversations, such an option disappeared. However, in the phone book from Google, the release of which is planned for 2021, appeared the option of recording conversations, it differs in the fact that when you press the record key, you also notify the interlocutor (he hears a voice warning that the conversation will be recorded). Saved conversations can be transcribed and read as text. This is a great way to conduct a phone interview. But for recording, hidden from the interlocutor, this caller from Google is definitely not suitable. As a consequence, if we discard hardware solutions, that leaves only the third line, implemented in one service or another. This is the kind of solution that will remain functional for a long time.

Do you record conversations? Do you need such an option?