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Google could bake a native snore and cough detector into your Android phone

Google Fit's sleep tracking feature
Google Fit's sleep tracking feature (Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google may be developing a native Android feature to detect coughing or snoring during sleep.
  • This sensing capability will presumably use your phone's mic to collect audio.
  • The feature could land on Pixel phones first before spreading to a broader range of Android devices.

Late last year, the second-generation Google Nest Hub gained a bunch of useful features that vastly improved its sleep detection capabilities (opens in new tab), allowing users to gain better insight into their sleep quality. One of these features is the ability to detect snoring and coughing while sleeping, which Google may be bringing to your Android phone.

9to5Google (opens in new tab) discovered a new sleep sensing feature in a string of code in the latest version of the Google Health Studies app. The built-in feature is said to use your phone's microphone to listen for potential sleep disturbances such as snoring and coughing. To protect your privacy, this process will take place natively on your phone.

It is part of a larger study by Google's Health Sensing team called "Sleep Audio Collection." The goal is to "bring an advanced suite of sensing capabilities and algorithms to Android devices with the goal of providing users with meaningful insight into their sleep."

Apart from the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) (opens in new tab), the feature is also available on some of the best Fitbit (opens in new tab) smartwatches, including the Fitbit Sense (opens in new tab) and Versa 3 (opens in new tab).

For the time being, the experimental feature is limited to full-time Google employees. But it's a safe bet that Google will introduce it to more users in the future.

It is unclear when Google will release this new sleep monitoring feature to the public. That said, it's possible that Pixel owners will get access to it first before it becomes widely available. It's also unknown which apps will include the feature, but Google Fit and Google Clock's Bedtime hub are the closest things that come to mind.


Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.