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).
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.