Record important phone calls from your BlackBerry 10 smartphone with Phone Tap

Record important phone calls from your BlackBerry 10 smartphone with Phone Tap
By DJ Reyes on 15 Feb 2014 09:12 am EST
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If you need to be able to record calls from your BlackBerry 10 device, there are a few options available in BlackBerry World. One of those is Phone Tap that comes from the developer of Hub++. You may have seen the app in our list of headless apps, something that has made the app even more appealing to some people.

Phone Tap has a simple interface and has the same design features as Hub++, you definitely know it comes from the same developer. When you first launch the app the first screen you come to is where your recorded calls will appear, of course on your first launch there will be nothing there. To get started with it, first create some tags. This helps to better filter your recorded calls if you’re going to be recording a lot of them. You can color code your tags too. You should also visit the settings page to set your preferences. You can choose whether to automatically record calls or have it prompt you if you’re only going to be recording a certain type of call. You have three recording formats to choose from - .AMR, .M4U and .WAV. There are then some other options you can toggle, such as whether to prompt to add your recorded call to a tag, to make device vibrate upon record start/stop and also whether you want to notify the caller with a tone to say that recording has started. There is also an option to set the up volume key as a shortcut to start/stop recording or even to make voice notes in general (when not in a call).

Phone Tap SettingsPhone Tap Label Tags

To add security to these recorded calls, you can set a password for the app. Definitely something I’d recommend if you’re going to be recording business calls. Though I’d password protect the app regardless, anyway.

Once you’re have all your settings sorted, you can start recording your calls. If you’re running BlackBerry 10.2.1, as long as you have given the app permission to “Run in background”, you don’t need to have the app open in an Active Frame for it to function. If you’re running anything lower you will need to have the app open for it to record calls.

When you make a call, once the call connects, a prompt will appear asking you if you want to record the call, if you have it set to prompt in the settings. If you chose to auto-record calls, you'll just get the vibration when the call connects, if you set it to vibrate. One thing to note is that you have to use the speaker to capture the full recording. When you hang up the call, a prompt appears asking you to tap to edit. Phone Tap cannot retrieve the number from the phone call but you can help with this by quickly copy the number of the caller in the phone app within 15 seconds of ending the call so it can be auto-added to the recorded call entry. Then you can tap the prompt to edit and you'll see it added. I tested this and it does work. If I didn't copy the number, it would just show up as 'unknown'. But even if you don't manage to copy the number, you can add it in anyway.

Phone Tap Call Record PromptPhone Tap Call Recorded, Tap and Edit PromptPhone Tap Recorded Calls Lists

When editing you can also add a tag to your entry to help filter entries when searching in the future. The phone tap tutorial says that if the caller is saved in your phonebook, name and photo can be retrieved to be added to the listed entry but this didn't happen to me. Instead I would just have to manual enter the name at the time I add a tag.

There is a disclaimer that comes with using an app like this, as in some countries there are certain laws surrounding the recording of phone calls. It seems that the app will be blocked in some countries anyway. I can verify that you cannot download it in the U.K. This seems to be a something that occurred recently as I did have the ability to download it about a month ago.

Phone Tap can also be used to record voice notes. There's an option in the settings that allows you to use the up volume key to quickly start recording on the fly. All you have to do is press and hold the up volume key (provided you set it to 'on' in the settings) to start recording. When you're done just press and hold the up volume key again, you then have to prompt to tap and edit the recording to name it and tag it.

If Phone Tap is the type of app you’re looking for, you can download it from BlackBerry World. It is available for all BlackBerry 10 devices but not in all regions. It costs $2.99. 

The Good
  • Headless, so it doesn't need to be open
  • Auto-record option
  • Tag with different colored labels for easy filtering
  • Password protect option
  • Voice recording feature
The Bad
  • Cannot fully retrieve caller information
  • Need to have the speaker on in order to record the call in full
The bottom line

Overall, Phone Tap does what it says on the tin. It records calls for you. Its simple interface makes it easy to use. The labeling system is a nice touch and very useful for those who will be recording many calls. The fact that is now headless is a big advantage. You don't have to remember to have the app open and you can just go about your business. I also love the fact that you can just record voice notes in the fly too. Its only negative is the fact that you need to have the speaker on in order to capture the full call recording. However, this seems to be a limitation for these types of apps. 

Learn more/Purchase Phone Tap for BlackBerry 10

Reader comments

Record important phone calls from your BlackBerry 10 smartphone with Phone Tap

75 Comments

Sounds good. I do hope it records and not from load speaker.

Bringing sexy back on my Q10SQN100-3/10.2.1.1925

Did they fix that 'speaker must be on to record' problem. If not, its a deal breaker. Most of my calls are through Bluetooth, either earpiece or in car. If it still cant record those calls, its off.

Yep, just checked it out in BlackBerry World....Note: May Require speaker to be on while recording for better quality!

So if anyone has tried this lately please advise if the speaker is required to be on to record, thanks.

Posted via CB10

Also saw the note. I'd think it would be black or white, it does or it doesn't. Why the gray area statement?
Could the developer expand on why the quality is affected without the speaker being used?

Posted via CB10

Please note that some of the users have indicated that they did not require to have the speaker on, but for some, they needed to have speaker on. This is evident by some review comments and as well as comment in this post.

I have tried it, You don't need to have the speaker on but for better clarity you do

Posted from the comfort of QWERTY

Completely agree, it's the same problem that's been plaguing all these call recorder apps - major deal breaker.

I understand if it's not allowed by BlackBerry, but until it is, these apps just aren't practical for me.

I agree, if the developers can't make a recording application that records through a Bluetooth device they can stop wasting their and the consumers' time.

Posted via CB10

I get that with all my devices. Try searching, you won't find it. It's been blocked in the UK. Hit up the link on desktop browser, it says not available in your country

Posted via CB10

I am also using the Android app too and it works without having the speaker on. I would not mind paying for a Native app that works without the speaker on.

I would not mind paying a fair price for any native application that works in a proper manner. Till then, I'll be using Android apps. Btw, if a voice note taking application is needed, try COGI. Available in Snap. Awesome application!

BlackBerry needs to release the API to allow recording incoming / outgoing voice calls from the earpiece mic and not the speaker. Until then, all these voice recording apps use the speaker only!

I asked a BlackBerry dev and was told it's due to security :)

Posted via CB10

And they're surprisingly accommodating when you ask them to retrieve one from their archive for you. Once I couldn't quite remember the date/time/duration of the recording, which they officially require in order to place a retrieval request, and the NSA data tech was like, "Is that the one where you were discussing how to smuggle prohibited encryption devices in and out of China without the Chinese imprisoning you for espionage in a widely publicized global incident?" And I was all like, "Yeah!" and he was like "Okay, I'm emailing you the ftp link to retrieve it!" Pretty cool, really, for an objectively evil govt agency.

Art thou for real, brother?

An ftp link? Anonymous ftp? No sftp?

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Er, yeah, sure it's sftp; I was using "ftp" as a generic term to refer to both protocols. Yeah; that's it! And I merely omitted the part where he gave me the login credentials.

This is a great app. It is headless and you don't have to have the speaker phone on to record. The recording quality is outstanding. I used it this week to record several conference calls and then I was able to easily share them to colleagues. Very useful

Posted via CB10

Nope, it does not record without the speaker on. It's not true. I mean it does record but the sound level is so low, you can almost not hear the other party when playing back

Posted with my Z30

yes these apps could be better if there was deep OS integration to capture the digital audio stream... but recording calls without express consent of both parties is so illegal in so many jurisdictions that for the OS to have this built in would be an embargo waiting to happen... so even if you do use this be sure to check what the laws are... it can vary from state to state in the US and (funny NSA jokes notwithstanding) you could be charged with a crime if you record someone in what is known as a "two-party state" and they find out about it and complain (dealing with unscrupulous elder-care givers is why I researched it).

Posted via CB10

But that should be on the person recording. In disclaimers, BB and the devs need to maybe tell the buyer to check local laws, but definitely absolve themselves of any responsibility incurred from illegal actions (unless there are dumb jurisdictions that would hold them responsible regardless. Make the apps unavailable there.) It's kinda like torrents. Even though a lot of people (ok, most people) use them for illegal downloads, the technology/service itself has practical, legal uses.

As far as embargoes, I wonder if it's possible to tie it to a SIM and demonstrably not have it work without a SIM.

I tried this app about a month ago on my Q10 running 10.2.1.1925, and it absolutely would NOT function correctly unless it was on speaker phone. Just tried downloading & using it again, and had the same issue. Dunno if it's particular to the Q series phones or what, but very annoying. If it's an API issue, say so.

I develop a 99 cent phone call recorder/voice recorder app that is headless called "Phone Recorder" and from my research the api isn't available for access to the other party's audio. So speakerphone seems necessary on most all these apps built with Cascades developer tools/apis.

Posted via CB10

As noted, using this in some countries is illegal without the called party being aware of the recording. Likewise this is also the case in some, if not many, states, Pennsylvania and Maryland, to my knowledge, being two of them. So you should check your local laws before using, or at least never use recordings made to support any claim in an official capacity if illegal.

Posted via CB10

Not being completely familiar with the law, in the States mentioned to say nothing of those I didn't name, I'd still recommend getting the details in the jurisdiction the user resides before using this app. It's quite possible that adding a warning tone will not meet the requirements defined by the law(s) in question. And, as well, be aware of what the law mandates when traveling.

Posted via CB10

So I just bought this app and it's in my Z30. It records every call I make or receive without asking. I can't seem to figure how to get into the settings to change it. There are no tabs in the app and I can't seem to find them in the device settings.

Posted via CB10

The name of this app just sounds so wrong..... I'm sure all this app will be used for is business purposes.......

Posted via CB10

Ir records without speaker mode on. You can set it up to ask when to record or if it records automatically.

Posted via CB10

OK, but from the comments it seems that the app records the incoming voice via the mic.
So if speaker phone isn't on, all you get is the "audio leakage" from the earpiece speaker which won't be much.

And with a bluetooth headset you'll likely get next to nothing.

Posted via CB10

Also remember guys that in some states and countries this is might be illegal. Read the state laws and inform the person on the other end before they're being recorded otherwise it very likely couldn't serve as proof in any court (in case its important!).

Posted via CB10

I'm using this only to "write this way down" a phone number, adress or appointment. I'm at any point able to write down what was said as soon as I have time for this. It's hard to add something to your calendar while driving a car. :-)
It may be illegal in my country, but it is also illegal to touch the device while driving or to write with a pencil on a pice of paper. So I feel somehow more comfortable to record illegally a phone call in opposite to driving by a police car while having my BlackBerry in my Hands. ;-)

Yep.. Seems like a great app.. would definitely purchase.. but not if it can't record without speaker..

Posted from my Q10 (TMobile) Running OS 10.2.1.2102 as of 2.14.2014!

A API to record a important call full duplex is badly needed. We have now BB10 for nearly a year and this is still missing. So I have still to carry 2 devices with me. Very frustrating. I would like to finally switch over to BlackBerry.

Same goes to BBM. I'm currently stucking on a Z10, even if I have now a Z30 laying around over here, because I'm unable to transfer my BBM chat history over to the new device. We got a lot of new toys at BBM, but the most important stuff (backup and restore, or even a simple export to XML) is still missing.

Frustrating! :-(

I make interviews everyday, so I need my Z10 to record my phone calls. Is there a reliable call recorder for free? I tried 2 apps, they are not reliable. Thanks.

Posted via CB10

I'm confused. By saying it only records with the speaker on, do they mean it must be switched to speakerphone? Or can it still work with the phone up to my ear like normal?

Posted via CB10

Installed this app on my z10 about two days ago. Immediately, the size of my SYSTEM files exploded from 2GB to a whopping 10GB even though I was deleting my saved calls regularly. Suspect developer needs to do more work to resolve this issue.

Been using the software for the past few days and it sucks... you needs to be on speaker phone and who wants hear you talk on speaker phone. I wish there's something out there that works as advertised. Please make it right..

Posted via CB10

Helpful in my Government work, if the phone can sit on the table upside down and retain the look of a phone - with no problem phone activities occurring while recording.

Posted via CB10

Please be aware that this app will capture a lot of your internal memory until your device will run out of memory. My Q10's device memory exploded from 4.5 gb to 10 gb in two days. Deleting it was the only solution, but that was better than a complete wipe.

Posted via CB10

Oh well just waisted 2.99 on the pro version of parrot. It does not record calls through blue tooth or through the regular receiver. I see exactly what everyone is talking about.

Blackberry for life. Z30 on VZW 4G LTE