An upcoming a Google Play Policy aims to block access to third-party call recording apps

Google Play Store on OnePlus 9
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

 What you need to know

  • Upcoming changes to the Google Play Policy will block third-party call recording apps from the Google Play Store.
  • Google will be placing restrictions on the Accessibility API, which has been previously used as a loophole for developers.
  • Native call recording functions on approved Android OEM products will maintain functionality.

Smartphones offer a lot of utility to people in a variety of ways. Sometimes that can be to record a phone call in able to refer back to things discussed on it or other various reasons. But on May 11, methods of call recording on Android smartphones will be getting a bit shorter.

In a Google Play Console support post, first spotted by Reddit user NLL-APPS, among the many changes coming in 2022, there is a section detailing upcoming updates for the Accessibility API. One of the lines that stands out is the part stating that “the Accessibility API is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording.” This change will affect not only the most high-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra but all Android devices — even the best budget smartphones, come May 11.

Google calls this out because developers have been able to use this avenue to get around current restrictions around call recording. It allowed apps to accomplish the same end goal by still adhering to the policies put in place by Google and still getting their app approved. 

Along with the support post, in a YouTube video posted to the Google Developers Space channel, the subject of remote call recording and the Accessibility API also received attention.

While third-party call recording access will be going away in May, the functionality will be available to native apps. Approved OEM’s default dialers, such as Google Phone, can still offer call recording if the app falls within the policies set forth. So, suppose you have a favorite call recording app you currently use, and your phone’s manufacturer doesn’t provide it —you may want to start looking for an alternative. 

Chris Wedel
Smart Home Writer
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.