Google’s Recorder app, which can automatically (and very quickly) transcribe audio recorded on the Pixel 4, is coming to older Pixel devices. The news was quietly announced in a Reddit comment by Google’s Pixel Community account that was first spotted by Android Police. A Google spokesperson later confirmed the news to The Verge but declined to share any further information about release dates or which specific Pixel devices would be compatible.
Automatic transcription services are becoming increasingly common, but the advantage the Recorder app has is it does everything on device and works even when your phone is without an internet connection. It’s not perfect, and it can struggle with some stronger accents and particularly fast talkers. But for the most part, it’s fast, fairly accurate, and, most importantly, totally free.
So if you own an older Pixel device, the good news is that you might not have to buy this year’s phone to get access to the new app. If you’re eager to get your hands on the app before it’s officially released, there are a number of Recorder app APKs around that you can try sideloading on your device. It’s not something we’d recommend, though, so proceed at your own risk.