Last month, we told you that one of the most useful features of the new Pixel 4 series was heading to older Pixel models
. This is the new Google Recorder app that not only records audio and stores it but also transcribes audio on the phone's display in real-time. This is incredibly useful for taking notes in class or during a business meeting. In October, The Wall Street Journal tested the app
and it held its own against the fastest talking woman in the world reading from a prepared script, a court stenographer and four people with random accents. We should point out that the app works without an internet connection.
We would love to tell you that those with a Pixel 2, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a can simply go to the Google Play Store and download the Recorder app. And that is true, but not for everyone. Those with a Pixel 4 can install the app on the older Pixel models from Google's official Android app storefront, but only because their Google account knows that they own the latest Pixel model. 9to5Google reports
that users who own a 2017 or 2018 Pixel but not the Pixel 4 won't be able to find the Recorder app in the Play Store.
UPDATE:The Recorder app is now available directly from the Google Play Store for all Pixel 2, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a models. You can find it right here.
There is good news for Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 owners; the Google Recorder app can be sideloaded using an APK signed by Google
. In fact, we sideloaded the app on our Pixel 2 XL
without any issues. And if you're scared of sideloading (and these days we can't blame you), this all would seem to indicate that it won't be too long before all Pixels (outside of the OG models) will be able to install the app directly from the Play Store.
We tested out the real-time transcription by turning on CNN and opening the Recorder app. The results were impressive except for one issue; "The Biden family" was transcribed as "the bid and family."
Google Recorder's real-time transcription feature on the Pixel 2 XL