Photo Credit: WhatsApp
Recording phone calls is relatively straightforward and that got us thinking — how to record WhatsApp calls? We all make several WhatsApp calls throughout the day because these are more reliable than phone calls (thanks to frequent call drops). As journalists, recording phone calls is essential for us especially when we're interviewing people over the phone so figuring out how to record WhatsApp calls is important for us. Let's cut to the chase: recording WhatsApp calls is far from straightforward. In fact, despite the hours we poured into researching this, we didn't find an easy method to get this done. We checked how to record WhatsApp calls across platforms, but hardware limitations and software restrictions got in the way.
If you would still like to do so — you're here after all — know that recording WhatsApp voice calls is a troublesome affair. Don't even get us started on WhatsApp video calls, as it's essentially out of the question.
There are two ways to go about recording WhatsApp calls on Android and iOS, and both have a similar issue: they won't work for many because you need specific devices. Before you follow these steps, please always take permission from all people on the call before recording WhatsApp calls, and make sure that recording calls is legal where you live.
The easiest way to record a WhatsApp voice call requires both a Mac and an iPhone. That's a big kicker, isn't it? Moreover, the iPhone cannot be your primary device. You will need a second phone — any platform that supports WhatsApp group voice calls — that has your WhatsApp account. In the instructions below, we will refer to the recording iPhone as 'the iPhone', and the phone you'll be calling from as 'your phone'.
Here's how to record WhatsApp calls:
All participants of a WhatsApp group voice call can see all other parties, which means there's no way to secretly record a WhatsApp call without them finding out. In any case, you shouldn't be trying to hide the fact that you're going to be recording the conversation in the first place, as we said before.
Remember how we said that both methods only work with specific devices? Due to hardware differences and software limitations, Cube Call Recorder's VoIP recording feature — WhatsApp uses VoIP, that's Voice over Internet Protocol — only works on certain devices. The list is available as a Google Spreadsheet linked from the app's Play Store page. There's another caveat with Cube Call: VoIP recording mostly works on the listed devices. We tested Cube Call with Samsung Galaxy Note8, which is present in the list, but it didn't work for us despite repeated attempts and tweaks to app settings.
If you have a device that's listed in that aforementioned spreadsheet, you're welcome to try these steps.
Android users have a third option: root your device. We don't recommend this as it comprises your phone's security and might push you off the manufacturer's update track, but if you must, then go ahead root your phone and use the SCR Screen Recorder app, available via XDA.
As we said before, recording WhatsApp calls is fairly complicated. If neither of those methods work for you, you can always keep your phone on speaker and record the call via a second phone or any device which has a voice recorder placed nearby, all while you sit in a quiet room. That's a crude hack and the only reason we have to mention it here is that it's the only reliable method of recording WhatsApp calls at a really low cost.
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We discussed what WhatsApp absolutely needs to do in 2019, on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.