Google will soon ban call recording apps from play store

 

I’m a big fan of android phones, but i’m really not a big fan of google and so, that puts people like me in a bit of a predicament. Because I love android. I love the fact that it is an open source operating system that I can use on my phone. But bad news is,

Google will soon ban call recording apps from play store.

 

That’s pretty much the best option. Besides the thing with pine phones is they’re not really ready for normal people to use them yet,at least in my opinion. But yeah,android open source operating system but one of the problems with it is that the decisions about what goes on with android, what changes are going to be made to the vanilla operating system and what direction it’s going to be are largely made by google. 

Which means it gets worse and worse over time. Sure you do have the option to modify the source code of android and then you can go ahead and compile your own custom rom. But,have you ever actually tried to compile android? I mean,really it makes compiling all of your packages on gen 2 look like a walk in the park.

Well,Google is making yet another horrible decision for our operating system that we love so much. They are going to be banning all of the call recording apps from the play store. Now, there was supposed to be a call recording app that was going to be built right into android. I believe back in 2020 was the plan for that. Which would make a whole lot of sense since smartphones are.

Well,they’re phones,that’s something that you would think. You would be able to do it by default. Anything that has to do with calling on a phone, whether it’s a smartphone or not, this should be built in right? Well,no. So, in the past,on android if you wanted to record your calls, there were a bunch of different apps that you could use. You had to install an additional third-party app which is kind of insane but pretty soon that’s not even going to be an option. At least not from the play store.

You can see that there’s a whole bunch of these apps that you can still see in the play store. Although the functionality of many of them might not be that good and some models of android phones they’re not going to work with these apps at all. So, we can take a look at the developer program policy updates.

These policy changes. That was recently announced and you can see that they’re all going to be going into effect on may 11th and if we scroll to the accessibility,the part that is relevant to the call recording because this was the mechanism that was being used before by all of these different apps that claim to do call recording.

And google doesn’t give us any real explanation as to why they are banning these apps,other than what they say right. The accessibility app is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording. That seems to be their official reasoning. Just because it’s not designed to do the thing. But why should that matter? I mean, android is the tinkerer’s phone right? This is the kind of phone where you would expect many users,the users to do things that are a little bit out of the ordinary on it.

I mean you can install ssh clients,you can install terminals onto your phone. Not everybody just installs facebook and snapchat and candy crush onto their smartphones. If you wanted to have a lockdown device, you probably would have gone and bought an iphone,and as far as how well this call recording functionality worked. Again like i said there’s many different apps that offered this functionality before. Arc phone is probably one of the more popular ones that was doing it and it has a 4.3 rating in the app store.

So,it seems like it actually worked pretty good. In fact this arc phone has the same rating as the phone by google’s. Obviously it’s the official google phone app which comes installed by default on all of their pixel phones. Same rating 4.3 as the third-party call recording app. The third-party phone app does a whole lot more than call recording. So, clearly, using the app in ways that it was not meant to be used,is not the real reason.

I doubt that it’s going to be for any kind of legal reason since the legality of call recording is highly dependent on where you live. So, there’s not going to be some kind of one-size-fits-all solution and it seems like a huge overreaction to just completely ban the app for that legal reason. Because so many different businesses record calls and it’s not a problem generally. At least in the United States the legality of recording phone calls just boils down to whether it’s a single party consent state or a dual party consent state.

Which basically means,does one person allow it to record or does the other person who you’re calling or who is calling you also have to consent to the recording. But generally all you have to do to get around that is just say, hey this call is being recorded just like the businesses do, at least as far as i know. I’m not a lawyer so don’t actually try to take legal advice about call recording from me.

Clearly the legality is not going to be the reason for google banning these apps either. I think the real reason that they want to ban call recording is because google wants to have a monopoly on call recording. So, you remember that phone by google app that i was telling you about earlier, if we take a look at it in the play store,we can see that one of the features it offers is the ability to record your call and on google’s website we also have instructions. Very detailed instructions for how to use this app to record your phone calls.

So,it’s not like Google is really prejudiced against phone call recording for any legitimate reason.It’s just their app does it and they want you to use their proprietary app. In order to do call recording,they’re basically trying to take a page out of apple’s playbook. They’re saying, hey if you want to do these different special things,then you have to use our apps.

They’re slowly locking down the android operating system more and more. But luckily there is a way around this many android phones most notably the google pixel phones. They can have custom android roms installed onto them. So,remember when I was talking about how it is technically possible to make any changes you want to the android operating system and then you can go ahead and compile it yourself but it’s a massive pain in the ass to do and it takes a whole lot of time.

 

Well,a bunch of other people have already taken up these endeavors and they have created their own custom roms like calyx os or lineage os both of which have call recording built into their default call apps as far as i know.If we actually start looking through the rest of the developer policy update,we can see that there’s going to be some other changes to it that are probably going to end up removing a bunch of other apps.

So,if we see some things about financial services,this is basically saying that any type of loan app they have to display what the app is.In a way that’s actually visible for people to see it. So,this is something I think most of us could agree is pretty good.Then we have the hate speech section. So, any apps that are going to promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on this dozen or different identity categorizations,then that app is going to be banned.

That seems like something google probably already enforces on the app store.I know i certainly haven’t seen any apps that i would consider to be racist or sexist or anything like that but then again my barometer for measuring these types of hatred. I guess it is broken because there’s all sorts of things that I don’t think are offensive but people in the current day seem to think they are. Let’s just hope that Google is not too sensitive in how they classify apps as promoting hate speech,because for example there’s like a dozen or so different Indian browsers that I really hope are not going to get banned by this.

I don’t know if they would or not,I mean they say that they’re Indian browsers. So,I don’t know if maybe google’s gonna think that they’re trying to be racist against indians. I wanted to review a bunch of these to make a video, I guess kind of a joke video because I don’t know if it’s hilarious that there’s like over a dozen different browsers that are aimed for the people of one country.

If I had to guess,I bet you almost all of these are just a reskin of chrome. I mean this one in particular,like it literally just looks like the really old school google chrome icon just with indian flag colors instead. So, don’t ban the indian browsers google.They’re not racist i promise.Also apps that make misleading claims are going to be banned as well. Now, it seems like for the most part what they’re talking about are different kind of apps that give medical advice like there’s is a screenshot from an app that tells you that it’s a cancer cure or something like that and then we have this one over here which is a breathalyzer to tell you whether you’re drunk or not.

 

 

Obviously neither one of these apps are gonna work. In fact I would say if you’re looking up on the google play store,a breathalyzer to tell you whether or not you’re drunk,the answer is yes, you are very drunk. In fact, you were too drunk to drive probably two or three drinks ago.

Seriously kids don’t drink or drive.In fact i think what would be pretty cool of google to do instead of just banning apps like this.They should make it so that if you’re trying to download a breathalyzer test from the play store instead it just downloads the uber app or if you already have it downloaded it just opens up the uber app and it’s like,hey buddy i think you should go ahead and order yourself a ride home.

But you know one of the other cool things about android is that it supports side loading apps. So, if an app that is actually useful gets caught up in this massive ban wave that’s coming on may the 11th. Then you can just ask the developer to put the apk on their own personal website somewhere for you to download or maybe they put it behind a paywall.If it was a paid app before or they can just put the apk on f droid.

Generally it has to be open source to get listed there though or you could actually back up the apk yourself and you can have your own little repository of it. That way if you ever have to reset your phone or if you buy a new phone you can just go ahead and load the apk onto there and you might be thinking, why on earth would you want to tell people to install a bunch of nonsense apps that promote hate speech that give out fake medical advice?

Because it’s your phone.If i want to install a racist breathalyzer app,that also records my phone calls and that’s my business,I should be able to do it with my phone. So,have fun using your phones freely and deciding for yourself what apps you want to use. And have a great day.