How do I keep iphone call records for longer?
March 31, 2015 8:52 AM   Subscribe

i'd like to keep a record of phone calls received - my iPhone does this, but only for the most recent two months. Can I export these somewhere or extend the time they're kept for? To clarify, I don't want to audiorecord the actual call, just keep a list of who called me and when.

I often get called for work-related advice when I'm at home, and the person calling is supposed to summarise the conversation in a database at work. Quite often they don't bother, and when we need to review these records later (like, months to years later) nothing is documented and people's memories of events have faded or are conflicting.

We are working on getting people to document discussions better - unfortunately the nature of the job involves high turnover of trainees (whole new set every three months), so this is likely to come up again. I can't keep personally-identifiable data at home, so can't keep detailed records myself (that's why it's firmly not my responsibility to record it). However I don't really like seeing yet another junior getting thrown under the bus for poor documentation if their actual care was ok.

My iphone keeps a record of calls received, but it only stores the last two months. Is there any way of recording calls for longer, or exporting the records to a database? Then at least I would be able to say "Chris called me at 1am but I didn't get any further calls", which would be somewhat better than "Can't remember the patient, no idea if it was discussed with me or not but since there's nothing documented I would guess not".

I'm open to other suggestions, but like I say we're already working on the juniors, and I can't keep detailed records myself. I get a couple of calls a night, so would rather not hand-enter this if I can avoid it.
posted by tinkletown to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My cell phone bill includes this. If you get your bill electronically perhaps it's available for you to download?
posted by amaire at 9:30 AM on March 31, 2015

Response by poster: I can download calls I've made, I don't get a list of people who have called me unfortunately.
posted by tinkletown at 9:35 AM on March 31, 2015

My call history on my Verizon Android goes all the way back to when I bought it (2.5 years ago).
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:43 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have an Android and I use SMS Backup+ to automatically backup txt messages (full message with attachments) and call logs (incoming, outgoing, missed) to my Gmail account. It shows up as an archived message tagged "Call log" that looks like this:

from: Person X (
date: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM
subject: Call with Person X
668s (00:11:08)
9876543210 (incoming call)

The thing I like is that it's automatic and searchable. I looked briefly and it seems there are many variations of this sort of app for iPhone, you can poke around and see which ones hit the right combination of information saved, format, automation for you.
posted by yeahlikethat at 9:45 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I use CallTrack for this on Android. It automatically makes a calendar entry for each call with name, duration and numbers.

IOS has similar apps.
posted by builderofscience at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2015

Best answer: iOS doesn't allow 3rd party apps to access the call log at all so the only apps you're going to see on the App Store that claim to log calls are going to be at best logging only calls that were initiated from that app. So: no logging of calls made from other apps (including the built-in Phone app), and no logging of incoming calls.

There may be apps for jailbroken phones that can access the call log, I'm not sure.

I think your best bet otherwise is likely to be with an app running on a computer that lets you copy your call log from your plugged-in phone or from an iTunes backup of your phone. Here's a link to iExplorer's page explaining how to do that. You'd of course have to remember to do that process manually every couple of months (and deal with any overlap, etc).
posted by glhaynes at 11:19 AM on March 31, 2015

There are recipes at IF (which is an awesome service in general) that can log all of your calls into a spreadsheet on Google Drive.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:21 PM on March 31, 2015

The aforementioned SMS Backup+ on Android also allows you to display all calls from the call log on a separate calendar which makes it véry easy to have a nice overview of calls.

You could also use a call recorder. I use Incall Recorder on android which automatically syncs the conversations through dropbox; this results in a folder by contact containing the chronological files of conversations. There could be privacy rules which apply, but even storing your half of the conversations would give you a name, call date, length and subject.
posted by Akeem at 7:18 AM on April 1, 2015

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