Google Phone app teardown hints feature that automatically records callers from unknown numbers

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Last year, Google own Phone app introduced a new call recording feature that only works with Pixel devices and select Nokia and Xiaomi phones. A recording button appears in the ongoing call screen that plays back a voice, notifying both parties that the call is being recorded.

An APK teardown of the latest Google Phone app version 59 (performed by XDA-Developers) reveals some strings of text that suggest a new feature would allow users to begin recording all phone calls from unknown callers or numbers not on a user’s contacts list.

One string is essentially a disclaimer that reads:

You or the other person in your call might be somewhere that requires everyone to consent to being recorded. Everyone will be notified ahead of time that the call is being recorded. It’s up to you to follow laws about recording conversations. Recordings are stored only on your phone.”

Other strings show a confirmation of an automatic call recording option. One is “Always record” and the other says “Cancel”.

Just because an app teardown finds this kind of evidence before a feature is activated, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it will come to life. At the same time, Google hasn’t acknowledged or confirmed that such a feature is going to arrive.

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