If your work involves having to record some of your phone conversations (hopefully not for personal reasons), having a built-in or accessible feature on your device would be very useful. The Google Phone app is the pre-installed dialer app for some Android devices but it does not have any features like that. However, it looks like they may be adding support for call recording soon, although if it will be for a certain brand only is still questionable.
In an APK teardown of the Google Phone app, XDA Developers saw that there were new assets and an icon and layout that may be referring to call recording. There may even be an in-call button that will start a new recording. While call recording was previously available for Android phones, when Android 9 Pie came along, Google removed this for some reason. They have also not released a call recording API since Android 6 Marshmallow.
When Xiaomi smartphones in Europe switched to the Google Phone app, some of their users complained that unlike their previous MIUI dialer app, this one had no call recording. They promised though that it will be “obtainable” this 2020. So the codes spotted may just be for Xiaomi devices in that region and may not be enabled for other Google Phone users like Pixel phones and those on the Android One program.
Some users have of course found workarounds. Since some OEMs had call recording support in their own dialer applications, Pixel and Android One users had to root their devices if they wanted to use that too. So now that we know Google is preparing support for call recording, the next question would be if it’s just for Xiaomi or for all Google Phone users. Since the addition of the code was close to the Xiaomi announcement, it may just be for them.
XDA Developers says they will try to enable the feature soon which may give us more insight as to how it will work and who it’s really intended for. Google is also reportedly planning to bring back call recording APIs but that’s still for a future Android major update.