What you need to know

  • Google's "Recorder" app is gaining automatic transcription and audio search.
  • The app was previously nothing more than a simple audio recorder.
  • Recorder is expected to debut on the Pixel 4 on October 15.

Late last week, we got our first look at Google's new "Recorder" app that'll debut on the Pixel 4. At the time, Recorder appeared to be a very simple app that offered the ability to record and save audio files and nothing more. However, the app has since been updated and now supports two big new features — automatic transcription and audio search.

XDA-Developers first discovered the new features as a result of a mysterious update for the Recorder app, and while they're pretty self-explanatory, they greatly enhance the usefulness of the app.

With automatic transcription, Recorder can transcribe any audio you record so you can go back and read through it as text. Similarly, the audio search function enables you to search for "words, music, and even sounds, like laughter" to find specific parts of a recording. It's reported that recognized sounds currently include the following:

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  • Applause
  • Bird
  • Cat
  • Didgeridoo
  • Dog
  • Knock
  • Laughter
  • Music
  • Rooster
  • Speech
  • Phone
  • Whistling

I haven't been able to get my hands on this updated version of the Recorder app, but Mishaal from XDA notes that, "when I search 'XDA' it brought me to about 3 seconds into the recording since that's where I said 'XDA-Developers.'"

Auto transcription and audio search will both work entirely on-device, meaning they don't require an internet connection and can be used offline without any issue. Transcriptions can be saved as a .txt file to your Google Drive account, and as of right now, transcription is only supported for English in the U.S.

It's also worth noting that the update for Recorder includes a demo mode, indicating that Google will heavily push the app on the Pixel 4 when it's being sold in retail stores.

Some of you may not find this very exciting, but I know this would have really come in handy when conducting a recent interview at Corning's R&D facilities. It is an interesting choice on Google's part that it seems so eager to market Recorder when it'll likely only really appeal to a small niche of users, but in any case, I'm excited to see how it pans out later this month.

Google Pixel 4: Leaks, Release Date, Specs, and News!

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