Recording your iPhone calls

Can you record phone calls on your iPhone?

Reader Simon Concannon is interested in pursuing an activity that's considered illegal in many quarters. He writes:

I occasionally need to record phone conversations with clients and I'd like to do it with my iPhone. Is there an app for that?

Before offering an answer, I should mention that there are U.S. federal and state laws that govern this kind of thing. In some states you're allowed to record a conversation with the permission of at least one participant. In others, all participants must agree to be recorded. If you'd prefer to not wade through the laws of these many united states (as well as avoid a trip to the hoosegow), make sure that the person you're talking with is aware that you're recording the call.

Let me start by telling you what won't work. If you were to fire up the Voice Memos app, tap the Record button, switch to the Phone app, make a call, and tap the Speaker button in the hope of recording your voice as well as the voice coming over the iPhone's speaker, you would be greatly disappointed at the results. And that disappointment would occur at the exact moment you discovered that Voice Memos had stopped recording when you placed your call. Apparently Apple doesn't want to be in the wiretapping business and so prevents recording apps from doing their business while you make a call.

You do have other options, however. One is to use Google Voice, which offers you the ability to record incoming (but not outgoing) calls. To do this, travel to the Google Voice site and sign up. You'll be walked through the process of creating an account and assigning it to your phone.

Once you have that account, travel to the Google Voice site once again, click on the Gear icon, and choose Settings. In the Settings screen, click on the Calls link. Near the bottom of the screen you'll see the Call Options item. Tick the box next to Enable Recording.

If you haven't done so already, download a copy of the Google Voice app.

Now, when you receive a Google Voice call, you can record that call simply by pressing 4 on the iPhone's keypad. When you do the Google Lady will announce "This call is now being recorded" so that all parties can hear it. When you finish your call, you'll find the recording in the Google Voice app's Inbox, where you can listen to it.

You say you want a copy of it on your Mac? No problem. On your Mac, use your browser to navigate to your Google Voice page. Click the More link, and select Recorded Calls. Below each recorded call that appears, there's yet another More link. Click on it and select Download. The file will download to your Mac. In my case, my call opened in iTunes.

More options? You could always forgo your iPhone and use Skype on your Mac in league with Ecamm Network's $20 Call Recorder. Call Recorder is my go-to tool for recording both sides of a Skype conversation. It's easy to use and comes with some great tools for splitting and converting recorded tracks. It can record Skype's video as well.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christopher Breen

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?