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Short summary

Google has a new permission policy and has denied phone number access permission for call recording apps including ACR under this policy.
From the beginning of March 2019, call recording apps will not be able to access to the incoming or outgoing phone number of the active call.
This change will not affect previous recordings or call recording in general.
We have given our 6 years to ACR and Google Play Store only to have it crippled by this policy. It breaks our hearts for it to be crippled like that. Unfortunately, we have no other way but to comply with the Play Store's new policy.
We will be releasing an update in the beginning of March 2019 to remove denied permissions from ACR.
ACR would automatically be updated to the new version if you have auto updates enabled on the Play Store app.
This will cripple many advanced features of ACR Pro and Free depending on knowing the phone number. For example, Excluded/Included numbers, recording by contacts will not be available.
This is Google's policy and only applies to the Google Play store. We hope to release fully functional version of ACR called "ACR Unchained" on other app stores such as Huawei and Samsung and keep required permissions for accessing phone number during the call.
ACR Unchained will accept Pro Key as usual

Details

In October 2018 Google has introduced a new policy.They want all apps which requests PROCESS_OUTGOING_CALLS and READ_CALL_LOG permissions to get written approval from Google Play Policy Team in order to use those permissions or be banned from the Play Store.

See



As you can see below, they have listed Call Recording as "disallowed" usage.


Regardless, we have requested exclusion. But, received negative response that says "call recording" apps are not allowed to ask these permissions.

This means that ACR and all other call recording apps, as well as many other utility apps will not able to get phone numbers during the call anymore.

ACR will simply have no way of knowing which number you have called or which number called you. All calls will be from and to "Unknown" numbers even if they are your own contacts.

 

What did they say?

Thank you for contacting the Google Play team. We have received the following information in the Permissions Declaration Form you submitted:

Q1 - Core use case(s)
Call recording

Q2 - Declared permission(s)
READ_CALL_LOG
PROCESS_OUTGOING_CALLS

I've reviewed your request and found that your app, Call Recorder - ACR, com.nll.acr, does not qualify for use of the requested permissions for the following reasons:

We evaluated your declared feature "Call recording", however we determined it is not eligible for exceptions...

 

Can't you just appeal it?

We have and received the same answer. Permission request was denied again.

 

What's next

We will add and and extra feature where you can manually add contact or number to the recording.

We hope to publish a version of ACR without these limitations called "ACR Unchained" to alternative stores such as Huawei and Samsung, which do not have permission limitations.

 

What can users do to help?

There are few open cases about this in Android issue tracker.
For example:


It is for mainly developers but any one with a Google account can comment. We have observed many users of many other affected apps do.

 

Another app can access to the phone number

There might be few apps that can get access to incoming and outgoing number during the call. They might not have read the new policy properly or prefer not to comply.

An app can get access to the phone number without needing the Call Log permission. This is due to a bug/feature present in all versions of Android up to Android P/9.

However, if you read the policy you will see that it clearly states the following.
You may not use alternative methods (including other permissions, APIs, or third-party sources) to derive data attributed to the above permissions.

Google clearly knows the workaround and prevent usage of it.

 

I am a paid user. I want features I've paid for!

This is out of our control. We have no saying in this decision. All apps that are avalible on the Google Play Store must comply with their policies.

Since we have no control over this issue and it affects free and pro versions of ACR as well as any other call recording app that is available on the market, our refund policy does not change. Please read our terms and conditions here


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