Google Will Remove All Third-party Call Recording Apps From The Play Store

A new Google Play Store policy will prohibit third-party call recording apps from being downloaded from the online store and set to be implemented on May 11, 2022.
SIA Team
April 21, 2022

Changes to the Google Play Policy, first reported on Reddit by user /u/NLL-APPS, mean that developers' access to the Accessibility API will be restricted even more. This has been used as a workaround to enable remote call audio recording, however starting May 11, Google will no longer allow apps on the Play Store to use the Accessibility Service. In addition, Google clarified any misunderstandings about the policy change in a recent developer webinar (h/t Android Authority).

During the dedicated developer webinar, Moun Choi, Google content operations lead, emphasized the clear ramifications: "Remote in this sense refers to call audio recording where the person on the other end is ignorant of where the recording is going place."

"Accessibility capability is not necessary to get access to the incoming audio stream if the app is the phone's default dialer and also pre-loaded." As a result, there would be no infringement. Because this is a clarification of an existing policy, the new language will take effect on May 11th for all apps."

In other words, users won't lose functionality if they can record calls using their pre-installed dialer program. Call recording may not be possible in the future if user use an app obtained from the Google Play Store. However, Google does not specify whether or not existing apps that use the Accessibility API would be removed from the Play Store.

Many apps allow users to record audio from a call without the other party knowing. As a result, this policy change only affects third-party apps on the Play Store. On some devices, several default dialer apps, such as Google Phone, Mi Dialer, and others, have native call recording features built-in. The update would not affect the default dialer apps on devices like Pixel and Xiaomi smartphones.