If you’re a lawyer or reporter or just plain paranoid and need to record your phone calls, you’ve probably had to kluge your own method to tape your conversations since iPhone apps to do this are few and far between. However, Cupertino-based handsfree.ly released Call Recording Pro in the App Store late last month, which lets you record incoming and outgoing calls for a modest charge.
Before you get too excited, you should know that the call recording functionality is not built into Call Recording Pro itself. Apple’s developer guidelines do not allow 3rd-party apps to use the microphone while a call is active or access incoming call audio, which is why there have been few apps to date that offer a call recording feature since those that do must use some alternative method to accomplish this. Given this, Call Recording Pro handles the call recording externally.
Essentially, you need to initiate a call with Call Recording Pro‘s recording service and then merge that call with the phone call you’d like to record. You can do this easily before you make an outgoing call or activate it for an incoming call you’ve already received, though this will require you to have the caller hold on while you make that connection and then merge the calls together.
When you want to record an outgoing call, you open Call Recording Pro, enter your iPhone’s phone number and provide an email address (where a link to the recording will be sent to you afterward) and then press the record button at the bottom of the screen. After a few seconds, you’ll receive an incoming call from the app’s recording recording service, which will first make a short announcement to let you know the call is being recorded. Then you put that call on hold and dial the party with whom you want to have a conversation recorded. Once that call is connected, you merge the calls. Apple provides an overview on how to merge calls here.
The process is very similar if you’ve received an incoming call you want to record. At no time are there any beeps or other sounds that indicate the call is being recorded after that initial notice when the call is initiated. And since you’re initiating and receiving the calls on your iPhone, there won’t be any confusion from a different phone number showing up on caller I.D. for the other parties.
Recorded calls are accessible in the Folders tab within Call Recording Pro and you’ll also get an email with a link to the recording as well, which you can use to download it to your computer if you want.
Call Recording Pro costs $2.99 and comes with three call recording “credits”. You can buy more credits via in-app purchase where a single call recording costs $.99, three call recordings cost $2.99 and five call recordings cost $4.99. The maximum recording length for each call is one hour.
I know what you’re thinking. You wanted this to be free, right? Since it’s Apple who restricts the functionality of 3rd-party apps, you should give feedback to Apple to ask for a change so that developers can create apps that will take care of all of this directly on the iPhone without needing to use an external service that costs money to run. Until then, Call Recording Pro offers a fairly streamlined process to record calls, all things considered, at a reasonable price.
(Of course, you should also check the legality of recording phone calls in your area. For example, some states in the U.S. make it illegal at all times while others allow it if both parties are aware of the recording in advance. We here at AppShopper do not encourage or condone anyone to record calls illegally.)