Support third-party calling apps

Android 9 provides APIs to better support third-party calling apps. Third-party calling apps typically rely on Telephony APIs such as the PHONE_STATE broadcast to co-exist alongside carrier phone calls. As a consequence, third-party calling apps must give carrier calls priority and often resort to silently rejecting incoming calls in the app, or terminating an ongoing call to make way for a carrier call.

The APIs in Android 9 support concurrent calling scenarios between third-party apps and carrier calls. This makes it possible, for example, to receive an incoming third-party call while engaged in a carrier call. The framework assumes responsibility for ensuring the carrier call is held when the user engages in the third-party call.

In Android 9, third-party calling apps are encouraged to implement the self-managed ConnectionService API. For more information on how to build a calling app using this API, see Build a calling app.

The self-managed ConnectionService API also gives developers the opportunity to opt-in to having calls in their app logged in the system call log (see EXTRA_LOG_SELF_MANAGED_CALLS). Per the requirements in the Android Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) (section, you should ensure your dialer or phone app displays these call log entries and shows the name of the third-party calling app where the call originated (for an example of how the AOSP dialer app meets this requirement, see Call log entries from third-party calling apps).

Apps are responsible for setting CAPABILITY_SUPPORT_HOLD and CAPABILITY_HOLD on their apps' connections. However, it is possible that an app cannot hold a call in some circumstances. The framework includes provisions for resolving these types of cases.


You should modify your dialer app to handle the following scenarios.

Handle incoming calls that disconnect an ongoing call

In a scenario where there is an ongoing third-party call (e.g. in a SuperCaller call) that does not support hold, and the user receives a mobile call (for example, using their carrier FooCom), your Dialer or Phone app should indicate to the user that answering the mobile network call will end the ongoing third-party call.

This user experience is important as a third-party calling app may have an ongoing call that cannot be held by the framework. Answering a new mobile call causes the ongoing third-party call to be disconnected.

See the user interface in the figure for an example:

Incoming call disconnecting an ongoing third-party call

Figure 1. Incoming call disconnecting an ongoing third-party call.

Your dialer app can check if an incoming call causes another call to be disconnected by checking the call extras. Make sure that EXTRA_ANSWERING_DROPS_FG_CALL is set to TRUE, and EXTRA_ANSWERING_DROPS_FG_CALL_APP_NAME is set to the name of the app whose call is disconnected upon answering the incoming mobile call.

Call log entries from third-party calling apps

Developers of third-party calling apps can opt-in to having calls in their app logged in the system call log (see EXTRA_LOG_SELF_MANAGED_CALLS). This means that it is possible to have entries in the call log that are not for mobile network calls.

When the AOSP dialer app displays call log entries related to a third-party calling app, the name of the app where the call took place is displayed in the call log, as illustrated in the figure:

Call log entry with third-party calling app

Figure 2. Call log entry with name of third-party calling app on dialer app.

To determine the name of an app associated with a call log entry, use the PHONE_ACCOUNT_COMPONENT_NAME and PHONE_ACCOUNT_ID columns in the call log provider to create an instance of PhoneAccountHandle, which identifies the source of a call log entry. Query TelecomManager to get the details for the PhoneAccount.
To determine if a call log entry is from a third-party calling app, check PhoneAccount capabilities to see if CAPABILITY_SELF_MANAGED is set.

The getLabel method of the returned PhoneAccount returns the name of the app associated with a call log entry from the third-party calling app.


To test that your device supports third-party calling apps, use the Telecomm test app, which implements the self-managed ConnectionService API. The app is located in /packages/services/Telecomm/testapps/.

  1. Build the test app from the root of your Android source repository using:

    mmma packages/services/Telecomm/testapps/

  2. Install the build apk using adb install -g -r <apk path>. A Self-Managed Sample icon is then added to your launcher.

  3. Tap the icon to open the test app.

Handle incoming calls that disconnect an ongoing call

Follow these steps to verify that an incoming call disconnects an ongoing third-party call.

Test app for third-party calling apps

Figure 3. Test app with sample implementations of the ConnectionService API.

  1. Clear the Holdable option.
  2. Tap OUTGOING to start a new sample outgoing call.
  3. Tap the ACTIVE button to make the call go active.
  4. Call the phone number of the device under test with another phone. This invokes the scenario where your dialer is provided with the name of an app, which will have its call disconnected.
  5. When you are finished, tap the DISCONNECT button in the test app.

Call log entries from third-party calling apps

After completing the steps above, the test app should have logged a call to the system call log. To confirm the device logs calls from third-party calling apps, open your dialer app and confirm the call appears in the system call log.