Google will kick voice call recording apps out of the Google Play Store starting May 11.
Those affected include all developers offering third-party voice call recording.
These apps will be blocked from using the accessibility API which they require to record calls.
Google stated that the Accessibility API is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording.
However, if the app is the default dialer on a phone and also preloaded, Accessibility Capability is not required to get access to incoming audio stream.
Hence, it will not be in violation.
This means that the system apps can obtain any permission because they are pre-installed.
Third-party apps don’t have the same leeway and need to acquire permissions.
It will be implementing new Google Play Store policies preventing third-party apps from using the Accessibility API for recording the call audio stream.
Only the native call recording function will remain unaffected.
Also exempt are system, pre-installed apps that already have permission to tap on the Accessibility API.
This is considered a native call recording functionality, Pixel’s and Xiaomi’s dialers, for example.
Android users will no longer be able to record calls if they don’t have a built-in call recorder from May 11.
Smartphones from Google, Xiaomi, and Samsung come with an in-built call recorder.
Crusade Against Misusers
Google has been making efforts to bar call recording on Android smartphones for quite some time now.
The changes are meant to improve privacy and security as call recording laws across the world differ in strictness.
It found that rogue developers were misusing the Accessibility API to track users.
In Android 10, Google blocked call recording by default.
To circumvent this, Play Store apps began using the Accessibility API to record calls.
This will not work anymore for these apps.
Truecaller Record Functionality
There are countries — almost all of Europe — where recording any phone call is illegal.
Indian users of the famous Truecaller app are set to feel the pain.
A spokesperson said that as per the updated Google Developer Program policies it will be unable to offer call recording any longer.
Call recording was one of the most in-demand features of the app which it introduced in its last update last year.