Magmo offers a simple approach to recording iPhone conversations
While it's definitely not a good idea to record a phone call without the other person's permission, there certainly are times when doing so with their permission could come in handy. The Magmo lets iPhone users do so in what looks like a quick and easy fashion.
First of all, no – due to privacy concerns, iPhones are not set up to record phone calls on their own. There are apps that allow them to do so, but those programs often involve routing calls through a third-party network, plus they may require an ongoing subscription.
We did previously review the PhotoFast Call Recorder, which plugs into an iPhone's Lightning port, but that product has been discontinued.
Made by South Korean company Mune, the Magmo takes a simpler approach. It just pops onto the back of the user's iPhone, attracted to the ring of magnets that make up the phone's MagSafe area. It should be noted that this feature was introduced on the iPhone 12, so older models won't work unless an optional adhesive-backed magnetic ring is installed on them.
Once the Magmo is in place, a slide of its one physical switch starts it recording. It does so using a piezoelectric element, which reads the vibrations travelling through the phone from its speaker. In this way, the Magmo is able to record the voices of both people, without picking up distracting back ground noise (other than what's picked up by the phone's own mic).
Up to 500 hours of phone call audio can be recorded on an integrated 32GB hard drive, for subsequent review when hard-wired to the phone or a computer. The Magmo itself is just 7 mm thick, weighs 44.2 g (1.56 oz), and should reportedly run for seven hours per 90-minute charge of its 3.7V/280-mAh lithium-polymer battery.
Should you be interested, the Magmo is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$94 will get you one – that's 37% off the planned retail price.
It's demonstrated in the following video.