Google bans Accessibility Service usage for call recording purposes.

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Starting from 11th May 2022 Google Play Store introduced a new policy. Apps using Accessibility Service for call recording, including ACR Phone are no longer permitted to use Accessibility Service to record calls on their Google Play Store version.

 

Here to help

You can email us (cb [at] nllapps.com) at anytime for help and further information.

 

The new policy and ACR Phone

The new policy means you will not find any call recording apps on Google Play Store. While some developers may choose to ignore it and hope for the best, we don't have any choice but remove Accessibility Service usage from Google Play Store version of ACR Phone. All other functionalities including SIP call recording will continue to work as usual.

You can find ACR Phone with Accessibility Helper on other app stores. Please understand that developers like us have no control over how policies are set.

 

Short history

Google have been working to stop call recording on Android for some time. They have blocked access to real call recording on Android 6 and completely blocked call recording over the microphone on Android 10. In response, apps started using Accessibility Service to record calls on Android 10 and above.

 

The ban

Google have recently announced that from 11th May 2022 they will not allow apps on Google Play Store to use Accessibility Service for call recording.
The new policy clearly states that "The Accessibility API is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording.". They have also addressed this in their webinar video.

If you watch the video however, you will see that the speaker mistakenly claiming phone apps having access to call audio. This is not correct, only phone app that come with your phone or made by Google can access the call audio. 3rd party apps cannot.

We believe this total ban approach in the name privacy is not good for the consumer. Call recording is a valid need for many businesses and people. Banning it from Google Play Store will push people to look elsewhere and start installing apps from unknown or not trusted sources.

We hope Google will see the need and implement a better way of call recording on Android. In fact, they had a go in the initial days of Android 11. They have implemented a privacy respecting call recording functionality in to Android 11. Unfortunately, whatever has happened during tests, they have decided against adding it to the final version of Android 11.

 

Call Recording Support by install source and Android version

Android version ACR Phone from Google Play ACR Phone with Accessibility Helper
Normal calls
7-8 Two way real call recording including Bluetooth/Headphones Two way real call recording including Bluetooth/Headphones
9 Call recording from microphone or loud speaker Call recording from microphone or loud speaker
10+ Silent audio recording Call recording from microphone or loud speaker
SIP calls
7+ Two way real call recording including Bluetooth/Headphones Two way real call recording including Bluetooth/Headphones

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