Now you can get Google's real-time audio transcription app on older Pixels – here's how

Google Pixel 4
(Image credit: Future)

One of the benefits of investing in a new flagship handset such as the Pixel 4, is that it gives you access to exclusive apps and features. Just as the likes of Samsung and OnePlus do, Google gives owners of its latest Pixel devices new toys to play with, and with the Pixel 4 this included the Recorder app.

More than just a simple audio recording tool, Recorder also uses AI and voice recognition to automatically transcribe and label recordings in real time to make them far more useful. Now there's good news for anyone packing a Pixel 2, Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a: the Recorder app is no longer exclusive to the Pixel 4.

The automatic transcription offered by the Recorder app is great for taking minutes of meetings, dictating documents and much more. The app is now being opened up to a wider range of users, giving many more people the chance to avoid the laborious task of transcribing recordings by hand.

It's not great news for everyone, as the app remains exclusive to Google's own Pixel devices, but it's no longer just the Pixel 4. Strangely, Google did not initially make a great fuss about expanding the availability of Recorder but after it was spotted by numerous users, the company went on to confirm things on Twitter:

Transcription on-the-fly

As the tweet notes, transcription is only available in English, and it's not clear if Google plans to expand into other languages. As with whether or not non-Pixel handsets will be welcomed into the fold, only time will tell.

If you have an older Pixel, you can grab the Recorder app from Google Play free of charge. There's no point trying to install the app on other handsets, as the Play Store will simply tell you your devices isn't compatible – and sideloading an APK downloaded from elsewhere won't help you either.

The app does rely on some on-board Ai trickery to work properly, so non-Pixel owners will just have to sit tight, and wait and see if Google decides to open up this outrageously handy app to other handsets.

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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