Google Play will ban apps that can record calls

The updated Google Play policy has received several changes that will be made to the Accessibility API from May 11th. One of them is that third-party app developers will no longer be able to add call recording functionality using this API.

The Accessibility API is not intended for, and cannot be requested for, remote call recording, according to the Google Play Console Developer Program Policy.

In a recent developer webinar, Google explained that this change will only affect third-party apps that specifically use the Accessibility API. If the call recording function is preinstalled on a smartphone, users should not worry.

For example, it will remain in the proprietary Google Phone application, although in some countries the function does not work due to regional bans. And it will continue to be available in third-party skins like MIUI and ColorOS:

If the app is the default dialer and is preloaded, accessibility is not required to access the incoming audio stream and is therefore not a violation.

As this is a clarification to an existing policy, the new wording will apply to all applications from May 11th.

Google did not specify how it intends to deal with third-party call recording applications. Since the release of Android 6.0 in 2015, the company itself has been actively preventing the ability to record calls.

For example, Google in Android 10 completely disabled call recording by default. This is the reason why third-party call recording apps used to be very popular on Google Play.

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