Truecaller is a popular application on Android. Apart from providing caller ID it also has multiple other functions, one being call recording. The popular feature will soon be unavailable to many users. The decision has been taken by Google in favor of making Android more secure.
Google has claimed to have updated the Play Store policy to restrict third-party applications from accessing features like call recording. To stay in compliance with the app store, Truecaller will be removing the call recording feature from May 11.
The call recording feature requires Accessibility API and that won’t be accessible to third-party users. All Android users with Android 10 or newer operating systems won’t be able to access features of third-party call recorder app. However, some phones come with built-in call recorders such as Xiaomi and Redmi. These will continue to be available. Even Google Dialler that is pre-installed on phones will be able to make use of the call recording feature.
Truecaller claims that they had introduced the call recording feature for Android users due to “overwhelming consumer requests”. The call recording feature by Truecaller was free for all users but required access to certain Accessibility API. Google Developer Program has now been updated to restrict Truecaller’s access to this API.
In its new Developer Program Policy, Google said that “The Accessibility API is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording.” This means all call recording apps will lose access to the feature by May 11.
Google mentioned this during a webinar on YouTube, the statement said, “Remote in this context refers to call audio recording where the person on the other end is unaware of the recording is taking place. So, if the app is the default dialer on the phone and also pre-loaded, accessibility capability is not required to get access to the incoming audio stream and hence would not be in violation. Since this is a clarification to an existing policy, the new language will apply to all apps starting May 11th.”
Android 12 comes with more features to ensure safety, including indicators for use of a microphone or camera. The user will come to know if any of their smartphone’s camera or microphone is in use by a green dot on the top right corner of the screen.