Google is pulling the plug on third-party call-recording apps next month

Technology


Google is ending support for third-party call recording apps with a new change to Android. An upcoming update to the Google Play Policy will kill the feature on all third-party recording apps that functioned in calls, conferences and any other similar use-cases.

Google has been actively against call recording apps and services for years now, believing it to be an invasion of a user’s privacy when they’re being unknowingly recorded on a call. As a result, even the call recording feature on Google’s own Dialer application comes with a loud “This call is now being recorded” alert that’s heard on both sides, before recording begins.

Starting with Android 6, the official call-recording API that enabled the feature was killed off. After this, many developers turned to unofficial workarounds for the recording feature of their apps to function. When these methods were also eliminated in Android 9, third-party apps started using the Android Accessibility API for call recording. This is where Google is set to strike now.

As per a report by XDA developers, the updated Play Policy will lay out several changes to the Accessibility API that will leave call recording apps unable to use the API to their advantage. The change is expected to go into effect from May 11.

Google clarified that the change will affect only third-party apps, which means call recording on the Google Dialer will still function if it is available on your device, in your region. This also likely means that any other preloaded Dialer apps that offer call recording features will also still work – only third party apps that are downloaded from the Play Store or sideloaded will get the axe.

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