Apple is pretty strict regarding what apps are allowed to do on its platform, and it draws a hard line on the recording of calls. But with a bit of hackery, you can record a phone call from your iPhone. Here's how.
First, know the local laws
Before you begin, it is important to understand if recording a phone call is legal. The very short version is that if you are an active participant in the call, you have a good chance that it is legal. Otherwise, it's almost definitely illegal. The slightly longer version consists of various state and federal laws covering the subject. To blur the cards, these laws also vary from country to country. There is a quite complete list on Wikipedia, but as with everything on Wikipedia, find a second source for your local laws. Rev, a company we will discuss below, also has excellent blog article on the subject.
It boils down to the two types of consent: one party and two parties (which is a little abusive). The consent of a party means that you can record a call for as long as you want. Most US states, federal law and most other countries require the consent of a party. The consent of both parties means that everyone in communication must approve the registration, whether it is two people, three or more people. Several US states and some countries require the consent of both parties. Again, look for your local laws.
The penalty for non-compliance varies, from civil litigation to criminal. If in doubt, make it clear at the beginning of a call that it is being recorded and ask everyone to say that everything is fine.
So, now that we are legal, let's go. You can use two methods to record a phone call on an iPhone: hardware or software. We will describe the options for each one below, from the simplest to the most complex.
The simplest option: a speaker phone and a voice recorder
Recording hardware calls can be as simple as placing a call on the speaker and placing a digital recorder next to your phone. the Sony Voice Recorder ICD-PX Series is a highly rated option on Amazon for $ 60. It has a built-in bbUSB jack, a MicroSD extension and a Lavalier mic in case you ever want to record someone face to face.
But this method works with any voice recorder. Just arm it to record, put your phone on the speaker and record. If you never plan to broadcast the recording and it is only personal notes, this option probably suits you. If you need a superior quality, things get a bit complicated.
The software option: Record a call with Rev Call Recorder
Apple does not allow applications to record a phone call on your device. However, some applications you can get will allow you to record via a three-way conversation. The call is routed through the company's servers, where it is registered. This is a small trick if you need something more refined than a speakerphone call recorded on a voice recorder, but you do not want to invest in specialized recording equipment.
Call recorder is a highly rated call recording service (4.4 stars and nearly 2,000 reviews at the time of writing these lines). It's also free, but you can pay for the optional transcription service of a recording.
It contains other provisions regarding compliance with laws, company transfer, and so on. Technically, since call transcripts are reviewed by freelancers, they are considered "third parties", but that's it. In short, you can trust Rev with your records as much as any other service containing your data. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, the material options above and below are a better choice for you.
How to record an outgoing call with Rev
To record an outgoing call, launch the Rev application before you even start the call. Tap Start Saved Call> Outgoing Call.
Type the phone number you want to call (or select it from your contacts). Tap "Start Calling".
The first time you do this, a brief tutorial guides you through the process of recording an outgoing call. Press the arrow button in the lower right corner to browse the tutorial, then press the "Understand! Start button.
Press "Call" to call the phone number registered by Rev. Once this call is launched, the application prompts you to call the recipient's phone number.
When both calls are connected, press "Merge Calls".
A reminder is sent to you by SMS also inviting you to merge the calls. From this moment, the call is recorded and stored on Rev's servers.
How to record an incoming call
Recording an incoming call is a little easier. Start by accepting the call as usual, and then press the Home button on your phone to return to the Home screen.
Open the Rev Call Recorder application.
Tap Start Saved Call> Incoming Call.
Press "Call" to connect to the Rev registration line.
Once connected, tap "Merge Calls".
There is a lot of pats and multitasking here, but it's not too painful overall. There are other software options, like Google Voice. However, Google Voice only allows you to record incoming calls. In addition, other software options include warnings. Rev offers the most complete and flexible solution we can find.
The disadvantage of the software method is that you entrust your private conversations to a third party. If you are not cool with this, the material method might be a better choice for you. However, this involves more configuration and equipment.
The Pro method: Using a recorder with an entry
This method is the one we recommend for any broadcast-quality recording. If you do not synchronize your interview on a tape (which is a sophisticated term that means you both record your own local audio), this is the best way to do it because it eliminates as much noise as possible. There is no third-party server and you minimize the number of Internet connection and defective phone problems. The disadvantage is that it is complicated and expensive.
The first item you need is a recorder with an entry. There are many options at varying prices, but the Zoom H5 Recorder (which at $ 280 is a bit pricey) is one of the best. It has all the I / O you need: inputs for recording and outputs for the headphones. Plus, it has a MicroSD extension and is versatile enough for all your recording needs.
Then you need a cable to connect your iPhone to your recorder – like this Cable Matters 3.5mm XLR male audio cable for just over $ 8.00. If your phone has a headphone jack, you're ready. However, if you are using a newer iPhone, you will need a Lightning to Headphone Jack (#donglelife) type dongle. If your iPhone comes with a dongle, this one would work. If not, you can get one for $ 9. From there, take your iPhone (and dongle, if necessary), then plug the 3.5mm cable into the phone / dongle. Plug the other end into the zoom recorder.
If you want to record your side of the call, you will also need a microphone and an XLR cable. We recommend the tried and true Shure SM58 Microphone with this $ 7 AmazonBasics XLR Cable. Plug it into the second input of the zoom recorder.
Finally, you need a headset that plugs into the Zoom recorder so you can hear the person on the other end of the line.
After connecting your headphones to the zoom recorder, make your call. Inform the other party that the conversation is being recorded, then press the record button.
Here is the whole configuration in action.
Of course, it is only a method to record calls with hardware. There are a range of options, although they may work differently from what we have described here. If you're looking for the best possible recording, the Zoom / SM58 combo is hard to beat.