This voice dictation demo shows how much better the Pixel is than the iPhone

Google Pixel 3a XL
Google Pixel 3a XL (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The strengths of the Google Pixel line lies in the power of AI and machine learning.
  • The onboard speech to text is so speedy, it outperforms much more powerful iPhones.
  • Google has also released a recorder app for older Pixels.

Google's Pixels rarely compete on pure power, but machine learning and AI pick up the slack and push overall performance to a place where it can be compared with an often overhwleminlgy powerful iPhone. One area where this is most evident is Google's transcription speed when using speech-to-text on Pixels. It's fast, as this video reminded us today.

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As you can see from the short video, Google's speech-to-text is powerful, speedy, and accurate, capturing speech almost as naturally as if it were a trained stenographer click-clacking away on their own time. It's something you can use somewhat confidently without any awkward pauses, unlike Apple's own effort.

For what its worth, it isn't the only place you can see Google's excellent transcription prowess at work. All supported Pixels now have access to a Recorder app that can transcribe your recordings after the fact. It's useful in many scenarios from reporting to sitting in on lectures.

Writing a review in 2019, the Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said:

This is nuts. I'm speaking very fast right now. Not like auctioneer fast but fast. Yet the Google Pixel is transcribing all my words as I say them. Whoa it just inserted all the proper punctuation without me having to say it oh whoops it missed a comma and a period. Whatever. I forgive you and still love you Pixel. Even though your battery life should be better,

As the video above shows, all of that remains true in 2020 — even the battery life comment.

How to use the Pixel 4's Recorder app

  • Note it's the Pixel, not Android.
  • From James Cham's tweet:
    "The Pixel is so responsive it feels like it is reading my mind!" That is because Google knows you better than anyone else on the planet. Better than your family, friends or spouse. Google knows what you look at and buy on the internet, what you talk about, where you travel, who your closest friends are (and what they look at, buy, talk about, and where they go). It should come as no surprise that Google can almost read your mind.
  • Actually... No. Because Gboard is just as fast on my S8. I got an update a while ago that turned the voice to text from sort of usable to fantastic. Since Gboard was used in the video i don't know what it was. But it wasn't the pixel. Not that pixels don't have great AI.
  • Yeah, I use Gboard and I use the voice to text feature quite often, it's very reliable, it even works pretty good on my wearos watch.