How to record a phone call on your iPhone using third-party apps

How to record a phone call on your iPhone using third-party apps

holding iphone

Adnan Abidi/Reuters

You can't record a phone call on an iPhone without the help of a third-party app.

  • There's no built-in method for recording phone calls on your iPhone, but apps which add this capability abound.
  • Google Voice is a free method for recording calls, but it's limited to inbound calls and requires the other party to dial your Google Voice phone number.
  • Apps like TapeACall and Call Recorder can record both incoming and outgoing calls to your iPhone, but these apps aren't free.

Perhaps surprisingly, one of the things you can't do with your iPhone "out of the box" is record a phone call.

This may be in part because Apple didn't want to have to deal with the legal issues surrounding recording phone calls - there are laws at both the state and Federal level that place limits on your right to record calls, especially without all parties' consent (and these laws can vary by state).
But it's indeed possible to record calls on an iPhone; you simply need to install an appropriate app to do so. And to stay clear of any legal hurdles, always be sure that everyone on the line is aware of and consents to being recorded.

There are numerous apps available for recording calls, but one offers the ability for free: Google Voice. Be aware, though, that Google Voice only records incoming calls - so you can't record a call that you initiate on your own iPhone.

Set up Google Voice to record calls on iPhone

1. If you don't already have a Google Voice number, start by claiming one. Go to the Google Voice webpage and, logged in with your Google account, follow the instructions to choose a phone number in the city or area code you desire.

2. Install the Google Voice app on your iPhone and complete the setup with your new Google Voice number.

3. Once Google Voice is set up on your phone, go to the Google Voice webpage and click the Settings icon at the top of the screen.
google voice

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The Google Voice webpage is where you configure settings like enabling the ability to record incoming calls.


4. In the calls section, make sure that "Incoming call options" is turned on.

recordcall 2

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Be sure to enable "Incoming call options" to start recording a call.

Record a call using Google Voice

1. Receive a call using the Google Voice app on your iPhone. Remember that you can't record outgoing calls, so if you want to record a call you'll need to ask the other party to call you using your Google Voice number.

2. After answering the call, press "4" on your keypad. You'll hear a message that the call is being recorded.

3. If you want to only record part of the call, press "4" a second time to stop recording. Otherwise, the call will be recorded all the way until you hang up.

4. End the call in the usual way.
5. The recorded call will appear in your Google Voice voicemail. To save the recording to your computer as an MP3 file, go to the Google Voice webpage and click the voicemail icon in the navigation bar on the left side of the screen. Click the voicemail and then click the three dots on the right side of the screen. Choose "Download" and save the file to your computer.

recordcall 3

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Recorded calls (along with other voicemail messages) can be saved to your computer as MP3 files.

Recording calls with other apps

Yes, that is admittedly a little convoluted, and it only works with incoming calls. If you prefer, there are other apps which you can use to record calls - and outgoing ones at that.

In general, most apps work more or less the same way: To record a call, you need to set up a 3-way conference call between your iPhone, the recording app's recording center, and the party you are dialing. Apps which let you record both incoming and outgoing calls in this way include TapeACall Pro ($30) and Call Recorder Pro ($10 for 300 minutes, then additional in-app purchases).

CallRecorder - IntCall (recording time available through in-app purchases) works differently. It records outgoing calls only and you need to place the call directly from the app itself. But the app records the call on the iPhone itself, rather than storing it on a remote server.

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