Google updates Recorder app from the Pixel 4 with transcriptions and audio search
Yesterday, I unexpectedly received an update to the “Emergency Information” app, which changed it into “Personal Safety” and also revealed that car crash detection and emergency message sharing were coming to Pixel smartphones. Today, I unexpectedly received an update for another app: the leaked Google Recorder app from the Pixel 4 XL. This simple app lets you record audio from the microphone, but that’s about it. With the update that I received, the Recorder app now automatically transcribes audio recordings and lets you search through them.
I’m not going to explain how I got this update. I’m still not sure myself, though I do have a theory as to why. In any case, the first screenshot on the left (below) shows the changelog in the Google Play Store, while the second screenshot on the right (below) shows the welcome screen when you first launch the app after the update. The biggest new feature is the automatic transcription of audio, which is also accompanied by audio search so you can find important words or phrases from a recording. Lastly, the welcome screen also tells the user that audio recordings, transcriptions, and search are all handled offline.
Here are screenshots showing off the features from the latest update. The audio transcription wasn’t 100% accurate (I don’t really blame it for not spelling my name correctly), but it did get the gist of what I was saying. I recorded this in a quiet room, though, so I would expect it to be pretty accurate anyway. I’ll have to try it out in more situations to see how well it fares.
For reference, here’s what I actually said:
Hi, my name is Mishaal Rahman for XDA-Developers, testing the latest version of the leaked Google Recorder app. I somehow managed to get an update to this app, even though I don’t think that’s supposed to happen. So I’m just testing out the transcription feature.
One cool feature is the ability to find a specific part of the audio recording by searching for a word or phrase spoken in the recording. For example, when I search “XDA” it brought me to about 3 seconds into the recording since that’s where I said “XDA-Developers.”
I don’t think this update to the Google Recorder app is generally available yet, but we’ll let you know when it gets announced. Google will likely launch it with the Pixel 4 on October 15th.
Update: More Details
After digging into the APK, here’s what I found:
- There’s a retail demo mode, so you’ll likely see it running on Pixel 4 units in retail stores. Here’s a short video of the demo.
- Recognized audio events include: Applause, Bird, Cat, Didgeridoo, Dog, Knock, Laughter, Music, Rooster, Speech, Phone, and Whistling.
- The only currently supported transcription language is English (US.)
- You can directly upload the audio file (.m4a) and transcription (.txt) to Google Drive by long-pressing on a saved recording and then selecting “Save to Google Drive” in the menu.
Update 2: APK Download
If you want to download the Recorder app from the Pixel 4, I uploaded it to APKMirror: