Record phone calls on iPhone 3Gs?
June 25, 2009 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Going from Treo to iPhone -- how do I record in-progress calls?

I've had a nice app on my Treo the past few years called CallRec. It could even auto-record every single call (outgoing or incoming), locally to the Treo's SD card, then sync the WAV file to my laptop. If I can't figure out how to record calls on the iPhone within the next 3 weeks, as of today I'm thinking I'll need to go back to the Treo.

I travel a lot for work so I talk to my 4 year old on the phone a lot, and I love having his cute voice preserved forever. I also record presentations I do, counseling sessions that I pay for, voicemails I want to keep, etc.

I think voice recognition technology will catch up in a few years to where I'll be able to dump all these sound files into a program and have it spit out clean text on the other end.

Any ideas other than buying hardware to go between phone and headset? Any programmers want to tackle it? I'm enjoying the heck out of the iPhone after a week, have googled for 20+ hours to find the apps I need to replace Treo functionality, etc. Since this new 3Gs version has video recording and a voice recorder, I figured call recording would be a piece of cake. So far, no go. Thanks!!
posted by Bradley to Technology (7 answers total)
I think you can use the Voice Recorder app that is part of the new OS (3.0)
posted by askmehow at 12:28 PM on June 25, 2009

mmm, just saw the last line of your post. i don't know why you haven't been able to get it working, i've been forwarded phone conversations saved as m4a from the voice recorder. i haven't tried it myself yet, perhaps there is some options you need to set while recording.
posted by askmehow at 12:32 PM on June 25, 2009

askmehow: Nope. It's for voice memos, not recording phone calls.

Call recording is just flat-out not possible, at all, on a standard iPhone; thanks for playing. This is very much on purpose, even if you'd like the ability.

However, if you're willing to jailbreak your phone - ie, crack the software open to enable apps to be installed other than through Apple's own App Store - you do, I believe, have some options. Be aware that jailbroken iPhones aren't supported by Apple (not that your warranty is voided, but nothing's *guaranteed* to work) but it generally works fine.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:33 PM on June 25, 2009

note also that recording phone calls without consent of the other party is a crime in some US jurisdictions.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:50 PM on June 25, 2009

Can't do it. From what I've read, only one application can use the mic at any one time on the iPhone, so it's a hardware limitation.

You can sign up for Google Voice when it opens, but you have to call GVoice and then call out from there, that's how they can record your calls (so you can use any phone). There are other such services out there.
posted by exhilaration at 12:51 PM on June 25, 2009

Tomorrowful is right; even if a developer wanted to make an app to record in-progress calls, they couldn't, because there are no APIs for that in the official SDK. I did once have my phone jailbroken and used an jailbreak app to record calls, but I don't remember the name of it. Sorry.
posted by joshrholloway at 12:53 PM on June 25, 2009

There are several commercial services that do this. You create an account, then when you want to record a call, you call their toll-free number, then punch in your account number, password, and number you want to call. Google knows the names of these services. They are neither free nor expensive.
posted by neuron at 12:32 PM on June 27, 2009

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