Google Bans All Call Recording Apps From Playstore; But These Users Can Still Record Calls (How?)
Google had earlier announced that it will kick voice call recording apps out of the Google Play Store starting May 11.
Only Third Party Apps
Those affected include all developers offering third-party voice call recording.
Phones that come with an inbuilt call recording feature are unaffected.
Google has been against call recording apps and services for several years which it believes to be an intrusion of users’ privacy.
Voice Alert Before Recording
Motivated by this, it added an alert on the Dialer app which would say “this call is now being recorded” audible to both sides.
Since third-party apps are affected, call recording on the Google Dialer will still function if available on your device or region.
The same goes for any preloaded Dialer app with a call recording feature.
Truecaller Removes Feature
Following Google’s announcement, Truecaller said that it will remove the call recording feature from its platform.
It said that per the updated Google Developer Program policies, it will no longer be able to offer call recordings.
This will not affect devices that have a native call recording feature.
A spokesperson said that it had added the feature due to huge consumer demand.
It required users to enable the feature using the Google Accessibility API.
How The Ban Will Work
The third party 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.
Crusade Against Abusers
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 provoked a blanket ban on all call recording apps available on the Play store.