Hidden code found in Google Phone app hints at call recording feature for Pixels and other models
The Google Phone app can screen calls, call 9-1-1 automatically in an emergency, make Duo video calls, warn about potential Spam calls, deliver visual voicemail and allow users to multitask while on a call. And if XDA is right, the app will soon give users the opportunity to record phone calls. Strings of code hidden in version 43.0.289191107 of the Google Phone app revealed that there will be an in-call button that will start a new recording.
The Google Phone app is used on Pixel and Android One phones, and also on some Xiaomi handsets. With Xiaomi making the move to the Google Phone app on some models, users lost the ability to record calls which was available with the stock MIUI dialer app. Xiaomi promised its fans that the feature would return in 2020 and this could have provided Google with the incentive to add call recording to the Google Phone app. And since the strings of code don't mention Xiaomi by name, we can assume that the new feature won't be restricted to that manufacturer's phones only.
Google stopped offering an official call recording API since Android 6. This means that users who wanted this feature had to hope that the company that manufactured the device in their hands had included it with their own pre-installed dialer app. However, Google shut that door to manufacturers in Android 9, concerned about the legal ramifications of recording calls in countries where it is not allowed.
So far, the latest version of the Phone app does not have the in-call button for recording. Hopefully, Google will make this official soon. Just to be clear, just because the code did surface in the latest version of the Google Phone app doesn't mean that it is certain that the feature will definitely appear now, in the near future or ever.