Google appears to be working on native call recording

Google Pixel 4Image source: Google/Screenshot

Google has been known to be working on native screen recording for months since it first appeared in the Android 10 beta, but that’s not the only new feature the company is working on. Apparently, Google native call recording is also in the works, according to the code of the current beta version of the Phone app.

Code for Google native call recording spotted

XDA Developers spotted the code for Google’s native call recording in the beta version of the Phone app. The app is the default dialer app found on the company’s Pixel smartphones, Android One devices and Xiaomi phones sold in Europe.

There is certainly a desire for native call recording, as demonstrated by Xiaomi users. The company announced that the phones it sells in Europe would ship with Google’s Phone app pre-installed, which meant that users lost the ability to record calls without a separate third-party app. Native call recording was included in the dialer app that came as the default in the smartphone maker’s MIUI Android-based operating system. Many people were disappointed by that change.

At the time Xiaomi made the announcement, it said the feature would be “obtainable” in 2020, although it was unclear what the company meant by that. Now with the code revealing Google native call recording in the Phone app, it has become clear.

Still more questions

XDA Developers saw the code in version 43.0.289191107 of the Phone app, which rolled out to Pixel 4 devices on Tuesday. After decoding the new version of the app, they found that there was a new layout, icon and other bits relating to call recording in the Phone app. They also found new strings indicating that Google may add an in-call button so users can start recording a call while they are on it.

It’s unclear if Google will definitely bring native call recording back to the Phone app. The addition of the code is a promising development, but it is no guarantee that the feature will return. It is also promising that the code lines up with what Xiaomi said about call recording, but it certainly doesn’t mean all Android users will get the capability.

It might be limited to Xiaomi phones, which would be a disappointment for many. On the other hand, XDA Developers found nothing to indicate that a Xiaomi phone is required to record calls using the feature, so it’s possible that it will be available to all Android users.

It was possible to record phone calls in versions of Android that came before Pie. Google then closed the loopholes developers used to allow for call recording. The company hasn’t offered an official API to support call recording since Android 6 Marshmallow, which meant users only had the ability to do that if the maker of their smartphone included it natively in their dialer apps or if they rooted their smartphones.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.

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