Whether you're a journalist who likes to keep a recording of your phone interviews for notes, a businessman/woman who wants to be able to revisit a phone conference, or are trying to learn how to become a better communicator, having a recording of your calls can be very beneficial.
This article will show you 5 methods to capture your iPhone conversations for reference and posterity.
Method 1: Using Google Voice
1- Create a Google account. If you don't have one already, navigate to www.google.com on your computer and create a Google account. Click on the "Sign in" link, and then click "Create a new Google account."
2- Download and install the Google Voice app. Using your phone, search for the Google Voice app in the App store. Install it.
3- Sign up for Google Voice. Visit www.google.com/voice to create an account. Log in using your Google account information, then click "Get a Voice Number" in the left-hand column.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to determine your Google phone number. You can request that your existing phone number be used, or you can get a new number just for Google Voice. Porting your existing cell phone number has a one-time fee of $20 US, and will terminate your existing service with your carrier. This carries the potential of significant early termination fees, so it's a very good idea to research your options carefully before doing this.
- Getting a number from Google is free. Simply enter an area code, city, or zip code, and you will have a list to choose from. You can also add a word, phrase, or set of numbers that Google will try to match for the phone number. For example, if you live in Milwaukee, and are a florist, you could submit "Milwaukee - 4LILIES" and you may be able to get that as your number.
- Note that Google Voice is only available in the U.S.
4- Set your Google Voice account to record calls. If you've chosen to get a Google number, or port your existing number to Google Voice, you can set up your phone to record incoming calls.
- On your computer, log into Google Voice. Navigate to www.google.com/voice. Click on the gear icon, and select "Settings."
- Click the "Calls" tab, then click the checkbox to the right of Call Options to enable call recording.
- Click "Save Changes."
- You can enable recording during a call by pressing 4 at any time. To stop recording, press 4 again.
- Note: per Google, Google Voice does not record outbound calls at this time. Additionally, Google Voice will announce to all parties that the call is being recorded.
Method 2: Using Third-Party Calling Apps
1- Download an app that can allow you to make phone calls. The aforementioned Google Voice would work, as would Skype. If you have not used the app before and do not have an account (whether Skype or Google Voice), it is usually easiest to set up an account on a computer first.
- You can download Skype at skype.com.
2- Create an account.
- For Google Voice, follow the steps in the section above.
- For Skype, start up the program for the first time. The opening screen will ask those with existing accounts to sign in, but those who do not have accounts can click on "Create an account." Then select a username and password for your account.
3- Download a sound/voice recording app. There are many sound recording applications available on the iphone, many of which can be downloaded for free. However, not all will record both your own voice and the voice on the other end of the phone line. Others had built-in time limits. Test whichever apps you download before you actually need to use it.
4- Launch the recording app. Some must be in the foreground while you're recording, while some can operate in the background.
- Most recording apps will not function during normal calls, thus the need for the third-party calling app. Nearly all can continue to record while programs such as Skype are working.
5- Record your call. Enter the phone number, make the call, and enable recording.
- When you're done recording, you can download your call file to your computer, where you can edit it, email it, or simply free up space on your iPhone's drive.
Method 3: Using an iPhone App
1- Visit the App Store. Because of the legal complications of recording phone calls, Apple will shut down most in-phone recording applications the moment a call is placed. However, there are some apps that will route the calls through their call centers, allowing them to record your call, and store it on their servers.
- Make sure your phone plan includes 3-way calling, as this is how apps get around Apple's restrictions.
2- Research and find the best app for your needs. In iTunes, search for "phone call recording." There are a number possibilities, and range in price from free to $9.99 USD (as of 1/13).
- Generally, these apps are free or inexpensive to install, but some will charge by the call, some by the number of minutes used, while others have a monthly fee but will cover unlimited calls.
- Also check to see how long each recording can be. Many services limit the length of calls and will automatically halt the recording (but not the call) when that limit expires.
- Some record to a 3rd-party server, while some record to a cloud.
- Be aware that some services will automatically play a notification to the person you called, informing them they are about to be recorded. Some may play a periodic beep to remind the caller of that fact.
3- Launch your app and make a call. While the particulars will vary from app to app, they all work in essentially the same way. You'll be connected to their servers, then the call will be merged with the line you are calling.
- When the call is merged, the recording begins. When the call ends, or you've gone over the allotted or available recording time, the recording is terminated automatically.
4- Play back your call. The calls are stored either in the cloud or on your provider's servers, and will be displayed in a list.
- Some services even provide online storage, management, and retrieval.
- You can often edit your calls, trimming to only the parts of the call you want to save. From there, you can email or manage the recordings as you would any other computer file.
Method 4: Using Hardware
1- Download recording software to a tablet or computer. If you have other hardware available to use, such as an iPad or a computer with a microphone, they can be used to make a recording of your calls. There are a number of application options available for both Windows and Mac computers.
- For Macintosh, QuickTime Player offers simple audio recording and playback.
- Similarly, on a PC, Sound Recorder offers the same functionality.
- Audacity is a free application for all platforms, including Linux.
2- Place your iPhone in front of you. This works best if you're in a quiet room. You will be placing your call on speaker. If the room is noisy, you'll also record that noise.
3- Position your microphone. If you're using a laptop or a tablet, make sure the microphone is near your phone. If you're using an external mic, position it so that it's pointing at the bottom right edge of your iPhone: that's where the speaker is.
4- Launch the recording application.
5- Test the connection. Make a sample recording to make sure the application is working correctly.
- When you make the recording, you should see the recording meter respond. If it doesn't respond, adjust the input of your recording software as necessary.
6- Make your phone call. Make sure the speaker is engaged, set the application to record, and place the call. When the caller answers, be sure to inform them that they are being recorded.
7- Finalize your recording. When you're finished making your call, hang up. Speak any follow-up notes that might occur to you about the call, then stop the recorder.
Method 5: Using Your Mac
1- Turn on iPhone calls on your Mac.
- Open FaceTime, and then enter Preferences.
- Select iPhone Cellular Calls and set this function to "On."
2- Place your iPhone and Mac on the same Wifi network.
3- Download a Mac recording tool. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of recording programs available for download on the Mac.
4- Place the phone call using Facetime on your Mac. Inform the person with whom you are speaking of your intention to record the call and, if they consent, begin recording.