Here’s Why iPhones Don’t Let You Record Calls

Don't even bother searching through the Settings app to try to find a feature that will let you record phone calls.

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Although it’s rare, there might be a time when you find that you need to record a phone call. It might be for work, a conversation with important details that you want to be able to listen back on, or an interview. If you have an iPhone, you’ll quickly realize that there isn’t an easy way to record your phone calls, and those that have tried using the Screen Recording feature to record their phone calls know this all too well. While you’re learning about your phone, check out these hidden iPhone hacks you never knew about.

Why don’t iPhones let you record calls?

The answer is actually pretty simple: it’s illegal to record phone conversations in some states and since so many people use iPhones, it would be too hard for Apple to regulate a call recording feature built into their operating system. “While it is not illegal in every state to record phone conversations, Apple wants to make sure that everyone stays compliant by not automatically adding the feature in its smartphones,” says Burton Kelso, a Technology Expert at Integral Computer Service, a computer repair company in Kansas City. “Also, Apple wants to ensure its user’s privacy when it comes to smartphone use.”

In addition to not having a call record feature built-in, Apple doesn’t allow apps access to the microphone and Phone app directly so it can be tricky to get around that limitation, but there are ways to do it. Here are some other things Apple employees won’t tell you.

How can I record phone calls on my iPhone?

Kelso has a few suggestions for how you can record phone calls on your iPhone, but the most important thing to remember is to always tell or ask permission from the person on the other end of the call before you start recording. If you don’t, you could be breaking the law in some states. Here are some other weird laws you probably break all the time.

One of your options is to download a third-party app that uses a three-way-conference call to record the phone conversation. Kelso recommends Rev Call Recorder. It allows you to merge calls and get a full recording of your conversation. Also, for an additional fee, you can have your conversation transcribed and sent to you in under 12 hours. Another highly-rated app is TapeACall Pro, although it will cost you. It doesn’t set a limit for how long you can record a call for or how many recordings you can make. It also lets you easily transfer recordings to your other devices and they are always adding new features to the app.

Another option Kelso recommends for phone call recording is Google Voice. You can create a free account as easily as you can create a Gmail account. You then adjust the settings to have the phone call you want to record answered through the app or have it forwarded to your mobile phone number. The recording is done through Google’s server and not on your actual iPhone and a robot’s voice will state that the recording has begun so it is legal, but still make sure to warn the person before you start the phone call.

Finally, you can do things the “old school” way and get an external recorder and put your iPhone on speaker to record the phone conversation. The iPhone’s speakers are loud and clear enough that a recording device will easily be able to pick up the entire phone conversation for you to play back later. Now that you know why the iPhone doesn’t let you record phone calls, find out why it doesn’t always let you decline phone calls.

Sources:

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.