Google Search now has a handy built-in tuner, letting you use the microphone on your phone or computer to tune a guitar, Android Police reports. To access the feature, which was added this week, just search for “Google tuner.” The interface is similar to the dozens of guitar tuning apps that are already available. You play a string on the guitar, and Google will detect the note you’re aiming for, and tell you to “tune up” or “tune down” as required.
Like other guitar tuning apps, the effectiveness of Google’s tuner seems to depend a lot on the hardware you’re using it with. My iPhone 12 Pro (via Safari) or Windows desktop with a Blue Snowball USB microphone (via Edge) had no trouble hearing and helping me tune an unamplified electric guitar, but a more affordable Android device I’m currently reviewing (with Chrome) couldn’t pick it up at all. Your mileage may vary, basically.
Like most other guitar tuner apps, I don’t think Google Search’s feature is going to kill off the market for dedicated hardware tuners from the likes of Korg or Boss. It’s too reliant on the quality of the mic in your device, and there’s no way to easily plug in an electric guitar to avoid having to worry about background noise. But if you need to tune up in a pinch, Google Search now has you covered.