Google has announced intentions to effectively kill off most call recording apps on Android. Since there are legal hurdles in many countries when it comes to call recording, Google has already been deprecating certain associated APIs in recent years. This effort was also underway to improve security and privacy on the company's mobile platform.
Now, Android Authority notes that Google has clarified in a policy update as well as a developer webinar that its Accessibility APIs cannot be used for call recording purposes. Recently, many developers had begun using these APIs to circumvent Google's policies against call recording; this will not be possible after May 11, which is when the policy change goes into effect.
This means that third-party apps in the Play Store that are used to record calls will no longer function since this is effectively the last nail in the coffin of this functionality. It is important to note that the change does not affect brands such as Google Pixel or Xiaomi which come with the native capability to record calls. Google explained that:
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, will not be in violation.
It will be interesting to see whether Google will start removing call recording apps in violation of its policies from the Play Store after May 11 or if they will simply stop functioning.