[Update: Available for Pixel 3, 3a, 2] Google will bring the Pixel 4’s Recorder app to older Pixel phones, but won’t backport Screen Attention
Now that all the initial hype surrounding the Pixel 4 has died down, people are starting to get into the finer details of the device and its software. Looking beyond the obvious candidates of the camera software and the buttery-smooth Android experience, one can see that there’s a lot more to the Pixel 4 than just its flagship features.
Screen Attention is a feature that first launched with the Pixel 4. It keeps the screen on while you are looking at it by using the front-facing camera rather than the Soli radar sensor. This is actually quite important to note. While the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the only devices that feature the Soli chip, basically all phones have front-facing cameras. This means that Screen Attention could be brought to other devices as no special hardware is required.
Unfortunately, however, Google has shot down any hopes of Screen Attention coming to other devices any time soon. When contacted by AndroidPolice, Google said that it did not have any intention of bringing the feature even to older Pixel devices. The one caveat, though, is that they specifically said: “for now“. This implies that if the company receives enough interest from consumers that they could change their minds on the matter.
But for some other features, the future looks brighter. Redditor /u/Valendr0s asked in the Google Pixel subreddit if the Pixel 4’s Recorder app would be brought to older Pixel devices. Google officially replied, saying that they planned to roll the app out in a future software update. No timeframe was specified, nor which models it would come to.
Nonetheless, the promise is there. As Valendr0s pointed out in his post, the Recorder app and its transcription capabilities can be extremely useful for those with disabilities that prevent them from writing out notes. Even for those of us too lazy to go listen to an entire audio recording and would prefer to have a block of text, the importance of the app cannot be understated.
It’s also worth noting that another user commenting on the thread said that the app worked on their Pixel 3 XL when they sideloaded the APK. We can’t be 100% sure that this is true, or if it works on non-Pixel devices as well. That being said, it’s worth checking this route out if you’re really in need of this app.
Update: Available for Pixel 3, 3a, 2
Last month, Google said they would be bringing the Pixel 4’s Recorder app to older Pixel devices in a future software update. Version 1.1 of the app adds support for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL. Unfortunately, it appears the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL are not included (though that doesn’t stop you from sideloading the APK). If you have one of those older Pixel devices, you should now be able to install the Recorder app from the Play Store.
Via: Android Police