How To Record Phone Calls Natively Using iPhone Built-In Features

Recording phone calls on an iPhone can be useful for capturing important conversations, interviews, verbal agreements, customer service calls, and more. However, iPhones do not have a native call recording feature built into iOS due to privacy concerns and legal restrictions in some areas.

Why iPhones Don’t Have Native Call Recording

Apple has not included an iPhone call recording function in iOS to respect user privacy and comply with laws that require consent from all parties on a call before recording. Call recording laws vary widely by state and country, with some requiring only single-party consent and others requiring consent from everyone on the call. To avoid enabling illegal call recording, Apple has opted not to include native call recording capabilities.

Ways To Record Calls on iPhone

While you cannot directly record calls through iOS, there are a few workarounds:

Use a Second Device

The easiest method is to use a second iPhone or other device to record the call. Put your call on speakerphone and place the second device nearby to record the conversation through its microphone. Apps like Voice Memos can capture high-quality audio.

Third-Party Recording Apps

Apps like TapeACall, Rev Call Recorder, and Google Voice can record calls by accessing the iPhone’s microphone. However, they require setting up a three-way call or forwarding calls through their system. Quality varies among apps.

External Recording Devices

Dedicated call recording hardware can hook into your iPhone to capture call audio. These devices connect physically or via Bluetooth for direct call recording. Quality depends on the recorder used.

Tips for Legally Recording Calls on iPhone

  • Check your state laws – some require all-party consent to record calls.
  • Always inform the other party you are recording the call.
  • Use apps from reputable developers that clearly explain how they handle your data.
  • Transfer important recordings off your iPhone to preserve them.
  • Restrict access to recordings that contain private, financial, or sensitive data.

While iPhones still lack native call recording features, with some creativity, you can legally capture iPhone conversations when needed in compliance with privacy regulations. Proceed cautiously and ethically when recording any phone calls.

My Experience Recording Calls

As a journalist, I often need to record phone interviews for quotes and accuracy. While recording calls on an iPhone takes a few extra steps compared to Android devices I’ve used that have built-in call recording, I’m able to get high-quality audio by following these best practices:

  • Inform every interview subject I will be recording our discussion and obtain their verbal consent before proceeding.
  • Use a secondary device like my iPad with the Voice Memos app to capture call audio from my iPhone on speakerphone. This separates the recording function from the device I’m using for the actual call.
  • Transfer important interview recordings to my computer as soon as possible in case they get deleted from my iPhone or iPad.
  • Delete recordings after extracting necessary quotes and information to avoid keeping sensitive data that could compromise my sources.

The lack of straightforward iPhone call recording has some disadvantages, but overall I’m able to record the calls I need while upholding ethical journalistic standards. With consent and the right tools, it just takes some extra effort compared to having a native call recording feature.