Sometimes, I want to take a voice note quickly. My ideal approach will look something like this:

  1. Take the phone
  2. Push a button
  3. Speak a sentence (without unlocking the device)
  4. Done

Later, I want to see a list of open voice notes (not handled yet) and reply them. No speech-to-text magic is needed. The primary focus is on speed.

Background: If I am talking to someone and want to take a note, I don't want to disturb the conversation since taking the phone, unlocking it, opening a note app, and finally typing it takes too long.

Best solution would be this: Start recording without looking at the phone. Like a dictaphone.

Anyway to get this thing get done?

  • I have not tried this (hence not an answer), and I'm not sure if a voice recorder would record with the screen locked. If it does, that could be achieved e.g. with Tasker: Have the camera-button (or a shake-pattern) as condition to start/stop a voice recording app.
    – Izzy
    Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 23:34
  • Not a full answer, you could use Google Now, with the options to use from any screen and when plugged in / lock screen. It's not ideal but you can just say OK Google and 'remind me to whatever' as your note. Or just put a Google Keep (or similar) widget on your lockscreen and enter it there?
    – RossC
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 10:54

3 Answers 3


Well, I don't know a specific application for this specific task. But you can use the built-in camera to record a video (obviously with audio) without unlock the phone.

Most devices have the function to take a picture without unlocking (camera-button, sliding, shaking etc). On the camera screen you can change from picture mode to video record easily.


Like @Izzy mentioned in the comments, Tasker is the way to go. Here you can see a List of Plug-Ins and 3rd Party Tools where you can find Easy Voice Recorder. With this installed it will be easy to create a Task for recording ;)

  • I installed Tasker, but could not start an app without unlocking. But maybe I was blind and could not find the correct configuration.
    – guettli
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 17:18

This is possible (recording audio without unlocking the device, but with the screen on) with the help of the excellent Macrodroid app. When I tried to do the same I found this hint. For those who are not familiar with how MD works, this device automation tool almost always works with the Trigger/Action/Constraint concept. For a basic recording we should created

  • Trigger: Shake device
  • Action: Vibrate (to sense that the action is executed),
  • Action: Record microphone (for actual recording).

The record action allows choosing a fixed length for recording starting with 30 seconds, but with the help of two macros and variables it's possible to use the first shake to start an unlimited recording and the second one is to stop it (maybe with an additional vibrate signal). Please note that the device might turn the screen off during the recording and for the off action to be successful one should light the screen with the side button.

Also have in mind that there are false triggers possible, for example when you use the device as an alarm clock and grab it in the morning there might be a shake trigger. So constraints settings might be used for example to avoid using the macro when particular apps are active (in foreground). Also additional actions (like the torch in the original article) might be used for additional indication that the recording is on.

The mentioned configuration was tested on a couple devices with Android 7 and 11 versions and worked flawlessly recording audio notes while the device was in the locked state

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