Google will kill apps for recording calls on Android for good from May 11th

Google Phone app on Pixel 4


  • Google has changed some developer policies that will kill call recording apps forever.
  • The changes will not affect the original call recording functionality pre-installed on some phones.
  • However, third-party apps for recording calls in the Google Play Store will not work after May 11th.

Google has recently made some changes to its Play Store policy, which will take effect on May 11th. One of these changes aims to kill apps for recording calls on Android forever.

As noted by Reddit user NLL Apps, this particular policy change affects app developers’ use of the Accessibility API. Google states: “The accessibility API is not designed and can not be requested for remote call audio recording.” Google also clarified the policy in a developer webinar that was streamed live just a few hours ago.

Google has slowly phased out and removed APIs that allow recording of calls across multiple versions of Android. The company does this in the name of privacy and security, and also because the laws on recording calls are so different across different countries. In Android 10, Google blocked call recording by default. So to get around the limitation, Play Store apps started using the Accessibility API to record calls. This will no longer be possible after Google implements the new changes next month.

That said, Google’s policies are limited to third-party call recording apps in the Play Store. Built-in call recording functionality on phones like Google Pixels or Xiaomi phones with Mi Dialer will not be affected.

“If the app is the default caller on the phone and also preloaded, availability is not required to access the incoming audio stream, so it will not conflict,” explained the developer in the developer webinar, where he discussed updates to Google Play’s policy.

Basically, system apps can get any permission because they are pre-installed on the phone. Third-party apps do not have the same leeway and must acquire permissions.

Google effectively kills third-party call recording apps on May 11th. Do you support this?

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What remains to be seen is whether developers will implement the new policy changes before the May deadline, or whether Google will resort to removing apps from the Play Store for non-compliance.

What do you think about Google restricting call recording apps? Are you okay with the change, or do you dislike it? Take our poll and tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.