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Author Topic: Free call recorder for Android  (Read 946 times)

kalos

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Free call recorder for Android
« on: September 12, 2019, 02:02 PM »
Hello!

Is there any free reliable call recorder for Android to automatically record and store the audio of all calls?

Thanks!

4wd

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2019, 09:36 PM »
The API required was completely removed in Android 9 and as Motorola is pretty much stock Android you're probably out of luck.

IainB

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2019, 02:32 AM »
@kalos:
There seem to be lots of phonecall recording apps in the Google PlayStore and/or the Samsung app store.

However, the ability to record audio, including automatically recording two-way phone conversations and linking those phonecall recordings to the Contacts database seems to have been built-in to the standard Android 6.0 OS (Marshmallow) with the Samsung Voice Recorder app.
I was quite surprised when I "discovered" it in my primary phone - a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S7 SM-G930P (Android 6.0) that I purchased a while back. The app was impressively stable and useful, and was based on the Samsung Voice Recorder, which could be set to record phonecalls as well, if the user wanted that.
But maybe not all phones are the same. For example, I noticed in a Samsung Galaxy S7 SM-G930F (Android 6.0) that I used as a backup the other week, that there was no similarly built-in phonecall recording functionality, and Samsung Voice Recorder doesn't have the phonecall recording functionality on this other phone, so I used a free app. (CallRecorder by LoveKara) that is not quite as good (for my requirements) as the Samsung app was on the primary phone.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 02:43 AM by IainB »

4wd

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2019, 06:50 PM »
He's got a Moto G7 Power, they run, (for all intents), stock Android - in his case, v9.

I run an automatic call recorder on my Moto G5+, works fine however it's reviews are full of "doesn't record anything" because they're using it on phones running Android 9, (usually a Samsung 9 or 10 in the reviews).

Nothing stopping him from trying any and all of them ... just thought I'd mention that the underlying OS interface to do it no longer exists.

IainB

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 11:17 PM »
@4wd:
He's got a Moto G7 Power, they run, (for all intents), stock Android - in his case, v9.
Yes, it's not an area that I know much about, so I couldn't offer any suggestions other than what I did (from experience of using 2 Samsung phones), but I did read somewhere that Google had at some stage (Android version) apparently deprecated/removed the automatic call recording functionality API or something, but the fact that it worked as standard using the Samsung Voice Recorder app under Android 6.0 on one phone (Samsung SM-G930P) but not on another (SM-G930F) - unless you installed another voice recorder app (and that didn't work quite as well) - was what puzzled me. I mean, the functionality was evidently still there, but differently enabled.
This is from my relatively narrow experience of comparing the use of the above 2 refurbished unlocked phones. Assuming other things (e.g., hardware and Android 6.0) being equal, it seems that the "F" and the "P" may relate in part to the peculiar service provider specs (Verizon, etc.) or country/market sector that the phones were originally tied to in their first (initial) life, so I wondered whether there was an undocumented firmware/hardware switch involved somewhere. Those phones are presumably sealed/unserviceable to block your average user from meddling, for a reason.

I must be missing something here, because I don't understand this. Maybe Samsung disabled the functionality in later Voice Recorder app updates, depending on that supposed switch setting? I don't know, but both phones were Android 6.0 (or their internal specs said so, at any rate), yet they are different as regards the enablement of voice recorder functionality.
At what point (version) was that API removed from the Android OS altogether - do you know? It must have happened (apparently) after Android 6.0 and was apparently in place in Android 9, from what you write, but one suspects that the hardware/firmware functionality may remain. (I sometimes wonder about that as regards wireless phase-locked loop and AM/FM functionality, which is trivial using modern technology, so why disable it?)

I don't know how easy it would be for a user - e.g., @Kalos - to (say) replace Android 9 with Android 6 on the Moto G7 Power, but, if it were possible/feasible, then I wonder whether the Voice Recorder functionality that is apparently enabled in Android 6 would in fact work, depending on the aforementioned supposed hardware/firmware switch. How would one go about testing this on a suck-it-and-see basis? It would be easier if we had access to the different firmware specs/settings for these Samsung F and P and phones, but I'm not sure where to start for that - they may be restricted anyway, due to there being some legally/commercially sensitive aspects, for all I know.
Ultimately, most things are hackable.

anandcoral

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 04:09 AM »
Is there any free reliable call recorder for Android to automatically record and store the audio of all calls?
If you have MI phone then you can use the inbuilt option to auto record all incoming/outgoing calls. I use the same.
For my older Lenovo A6000 I used "Automatic Call Recorder" https://play.google....appstar.callrecorder and it works too.

Regards,

Anand

4wd

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2019, 03:11 PM »
@Iainb: There's a few links on the web about it, Google apparently removed it as of Android 6 but manufacturers found ways around it.
With Android 9 they really locked it down to the point where if you want to do call recording then you're probably going to need root, (or alternative firmware, eg. Lineage, etc).

The problem was that different countries have different laws regarding call recording, (eg. UK only requires one of participating parties, Germany requires both parties to give permission), so they took the only reasonable option and disabled it.

NOTE: This is all w.r.t. stock Android.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 01:33 AM by 4wd »

IainB

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2019, 03:37 AM »
@anandcoral:
..."Automatic Call Recorder" https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appstar.callrecorder
Hey, thanks for that tip. I just installed it. That seems to be a seriously useful call recorder. The call notes editor is very useful too - actually meets pretty much one of my main requirements, but which I had not come across before (there are simply too many of these apps to trial them all).    :Thmbsup:

IainB

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Re: Free call recorder for Android
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 03:43 AM »
@4wd:
...With Android 9 they really locked it down to the point where if you want to do call recording then you're probably going to need root, (or alternative firmware, eg. Lineage, etc).
Thanks, that's rather interesting.