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How to record calls on an iPhone for free

Call recording may not be built into the iPhone, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Using the free iPadio app, our guide shows you how.

Thanks to its unrivalled App Store, the iPhone can record your guitar playing, order your shopping for you and even check your blood pressure. The iPhone 4S (or the iPhone 4, if you're naughty) will do practically anything you want, simply by shouting at it.

One thing it won't do, however, which has left many iPhone adopters flummoxed, is record phone calls -- a task that some mobiles, such as the venerable Sony Ericsson K850i, have managed with ease since 2007.

Why can't it record calls? Why would you want it to?

It's worth pointing out just why the iPhone doesn't have this useful feature built-in. Designed by Apple in California, of course, the iPhone was created with American call-recording laws in mind. Put simply, every country has a different view on it. To avoid a smörgåsbord of legal ramifications, it was easier for Apple to leave out the feature altogether.

UK law doesn't ban call recording, but there are some rules attached to the practice. The basic one, as outlined by Oftel (the independent regulator for UK communications), is that you must attain the consent of the person you're talking to if you intend to broadcast the recorded call to a third party. For more details on the legalities, have a look at this website.

There are many honourable reasons for wanting to record a conversation. Journalists, for example, would record a call in order to get an accurate transcript of an interview. Similarly, people may need accurate recollections of financial or business transactions, or might simply want to improve their telephone manner. The free app we're going to use, iPadio, also allows you to broadcast the call live to the world over the internet.

We're only going to focus on recording outgoing calls here, as this method lets you take your time in setting up the call and pressing the right buttons in time. It also gives you the opportunity to make the recipient aware of your intentions before giving them a call back. Recording calls through iPadio is free as they don't charge you to dial their London 020 number. If you need more information on how it works, have a read of this page.

How it's done

1. Fire up your iPhone and navigate to the App Store, running a search for the free iPadio app. Download, install and open it.

2. Fill out your mobile number, country, name and email address and accept the terms and conditions.

3. Make sure you're on the first tab, Call/Record, and make a note of the four-digit PIN on your screen. Press Live Phonecast.

4. Your phone will now call iPadio. Listen to the message and press keypad after it asks for your PIN. Enter your PIN and immediately hide the keypad. After the beep press 'add call', press the keypad and dial in the number of the person you want to call. Press call.


5. Keep an eye on the 'merge calls' button in the bottom left-hand corner. It will be greyed out until the person you're calling answers. As soon as they answer, the merge call button will light up. When it does, immediately press it to merge the iPadio call with the one you just made. You are now recording the conversation.


6. When you're done, press End -- just as you would a normal call. Both calls will be ended. You now get the opportunity to add some data and other tags to keep track of your recordings.


7. Head over to iPadio and login. If you registered on your iPhone you won't have chosen a username or a password. Login with your phone number and PIN code instead. You'll be taken to your iPadio profile -- click on the Broadcasts tab to listen to or download, edit, delete or share your recorded call.