On Android, Google bans call recording apps

On Android, Google bans call recording apps

Tech Highlights:

  • Google says in the video that call recording can be offered by an Android phone’s built-in dialer app. Any software downloaded from the Play Store, however, cannot offer recording capabilities if anyone on the call might be unaware their conversation is being recorded. NLL-APPS claims that “only [the] phone app that come with your phone or made by Google can access the call audio,” however, and that third-party apps don’t have similar access. If that is the case, this policy change might spell the end of call-recording apps in the Play Store.

  • Google is planning to delete an entire category of apps from the Play Store: call recorders. Google’s plan to amend a policy affecting the Accessibility API, which Android developers exploited in their call-recording apps, was revealed by Reddit user “NLL-APPS” on April 21. “The Accessibility API is not designed for remote call audio recording and cannot be requested,” Google writes, which will likely come as a shock to all the developers who have been using it for that reason. In a webinar that was posted as an unlisted YouTube video, the company stated its reasoning.

Google is set to restrict developers’ access to the Accessibility API on May 11. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on what this change means for call-recording apps, or the accuracy of NLL-APPS’ claim that third-party apps can’t access call audio.

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