What recording apps are free?

Recording apps allow users to capture audio or video content on their mobile devices. Free recording apps provide this functionality without any cost, making them appealing options for people who want to record voice memos, interviews, meetings, or other content without paying.

Free recording apps have become extremely popular, with over 100 million downloads across both iOS and Android platforms. People use them for a variety of purposes, including journaling, recording music, capturing lectures or conversations, and more. The best free recording apps provide not just recording capabilities, but also helpful features like transcription, editing tools, cloud backups, and sharing options.

Voice Recording Apps

Some of the most widely used free voice recording apps for Android include Easy Voice Recorder Pro, Smart Recorder, and RecForge II Audio Recorder. Easy Voice Recorder Pro provides high-quality recordings, transcription support, cloud storage integration, and a user-friendly interface. Smart Recorder offers excellent audio quality, trimming tools, sharing options, and a compact size. RecForge II has robust editing features like trimming, exporting, playback speed controls, and metadata editing.

Video Recording Apps

Some popular free video recording apps available for both iOS and Android include Screen Recorder – Xrecorder, Record it! Screen Recorder, and the built-in screen recording feature on iOS and some Android devices.

Screen Recorder – Xrecorder allows recording video, audio, and screenshots. Key features include drawing tools, no ads, unlimited recording time, custom watermarks, and editing tools like trimming and cropping. Record it! also records video, audio and screenshots with additional annotation features. Both offer easy exporting and sharing of recordings as well.

The built-in screen recording feature varies across devices but generally offers basic video capture without advanced features. Enabling this option allows quick and easy video recording without downloading a separate app.

Screen Recording Apps

There are several popular free screen recording apps available that allow users to capture video and audio from their computer screen with limited restrictions or watermarks.

CamStudio (https://camstudio.org) is an open-source screen recorder for Windows that lets users create AVI video files. Key features include drawing tools to highlight areas of the screen, the ability to record audio narration from a microphone, and options to set the video frame rate and quality.

ShareX (https://getsharex.com) is another open-source screen capture program with built-in sharing options. It can not only record video but also take screenshots, annotate images, upload files, and more. The recordings can be exported locally or uploaded directly to file hosting sites.

ScreenPal (https://screenpal.io) is a simple web-based screen recorder that requires no installation or signup. Users can record their screen with audio, trim clips, and download the videos without any restrictions. A handy browser extension is also available for quick access to start/stop recording.

Audio Editing Features

Many audio recording apps provide basic audio editing features like trimming, splitting, and cutting audio clips. Audacity offers advanced audio editing options including trimming, cutting, pasting, applying filters and effects, remove background noise, adjust volume and speed, change pitch, split files, and more. Apps like Audio Editor Maker MP3 Cutter focus specifically on chopping up audio files. Features include trimming, cutting, splitting, join, merge, amplifier and converting formats.

Other popular features in audio recording apps are normalizing and adjusting volume levels across multiple clips, fade in/out effects when transitioning between clips, and the ability to export clips individually or combined into a single file. Some apps even allow editing of waveform visualizations directly by cutting, copying and pasting waveform snippets.

Considerations When Using Free Recording Apps

One key consideration with free recording apps is storage limitations. As noted in the article from Fireflies.ai, many free voice recorder apps only allow recordings up to 40 minutes. After that time, users would need to upgrade to a paid version for longer recordings. There may also be caps on total storage space for recordings.

With free video and screen recording apps, storage limitations may be less strict but can still apply. For example, some apps provide free users with up to 1GB or 2GB of cloud storage for their recordings. Heavy users would quickly run up against those caps.

Upgrading to paid versions of apps can provide more storage space, longer recording durations, and additional features like editing tools. As the article on MakeUseOf notes, paid screen recorders allow recording without watermarks or time limits that exist in the free versions.

So while free recording apps are useful for basic needs, power users should examine if paid versions better suit their recording and editing requirements.

App Recommendations

Based on the research, the best free all-around app for voice, video, and screen recording is Audacity. Audacity works on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms and offers a wide range of powerful audio and video editing tools. It can record audio from a microphone or from computer sound, allowing for recording music from streaming sites. Audacity also has video capabilities, including screen capturing and combining audio tracks with video.

For mobile devices, Dolby On is an excellent free option for Android and iOS that records high quality voice and video. It has noise cancellation features, allows sharing straight to social media, and can remove vocals from existing music tracks.

These free apps provide professional-grade recording and editing tools while being easy enough for beginners to use. With powerful features rivaling paid software and flexibility across platforms, Audacity and Dolby On are great starting points for exploring recording apps.

Using Recording Apps Legally/Ethically

While recording apps provide useful functionality, it is important to exercise caution and ensure any recordings done are legal and ethical. There are often laws and regulations restricting recording of conversations, meetings, phone calls, etc. without the consent of all parties involved. For example, according to this Quora post, in some states all parties must consent before a phone call can be recorded.

When considering recording any conversation or meeting, it is crucial to research applicable laws and get consent if required. Organizational policies may also prohibit recording without permission. For example, this article discusses how there may be legal restrictions on recording meetings without consent depending on your location and organization.

Ethically, covertly recording others without consent is questionable at best. Recordings should only be done transparently, with disclosure and permission. The trust and privacy of those being recorded should be respected. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and avoid recording questionable situations where consent is unclear.


In summary, there are many great free recording apps available for mobile devices and computers. For voice recording, top options include Voice Recorder, Otter Voice Notes, and Windows Voice Recorder. For video recording, Open Camera, AZ Screen Recorder, and the built-in camera apps offer robust features. OBS Studio, Screencastify, and Xbox Game Bar stand out for screen recording capabilities.

Key factors to consider when selecting a recording app include your device OS, video/audio quality needs, editing tools required, and whether you want to capture screens, audio-only, or video. Leading picks overall based on reviews and ratings are OBS Studio for screen recording, Open Camera for video, and Otter Voice Notes for voice.

The best free recording apps allow you to easily capture multimedia content while providing polished editing tools and output options. Just be mindful of legal and ethical usage when recording others. With the right app, you can produce great content to share without needing expensive software.

Additional Resources

There are many other helpful articles and sites about free recording apps, including:

  • 6 Free Recording Apps for Audio Journaling – Journaling Habit – This article lists 6 free apps for audio journaling, including OneNote, Evernote, Otter, and Apple Pages.
  • Auphonic audio recording app for Android & iOS – This article reviews the Auphonic recording app for Android and iOS.
  • There are many options for free recording apps on both Android and iOS devices. When choosing an app, consider the recording quality, editing features, privacy protections, and cloud storage integrations.

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