Google’s upcoming ‘Recorder’ app, which will likely launch alongside the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, may have a lot more to it than we think.
Recorder first leaked along with several other APKs acquired from a Pixel 4 device. At the time, it appeared to be a simple app for recording and saving things like sounds or conversations.
However, XDA Developer’s Mishaal Rahman received an update for the app that added two significant and, frankly, game-changing features: automatic transcription and audio search.
Yup, that’s right. Google’s Recorder app can automatically transcribe recordings and then makes them searchable. Beyond just searching text, however, users can also search for sounds. If you search for things like laughter or applause, Recorder will show you parts of the recording that feature those noises.
Here is a list of all the supported sounds:
Rahman notes that the transcription isn’t wholly accurate — it messed up complex things, like his name. However, the feature worked quite well overall. That said, he did use it in a quiet room, so it remains to be seen how well it works in noisy environments. In my own tests with the APK file, the feature worked quite well.
By digging around in the APK file, Rahman also discovered Recorder has a ‘retail mode’ for demonstrating the feature to customers. Additionally, users can upload audio and transcription files to Google Drive by long-pressing on the recording. Audio uploads as a ‘.m4a’ file while transcriptions upload as ‘.txt’ files.
Finally, the Recorder app feature only supports English in the U.S. at launch. The lack of support for other languages may mean we won’t see the full suite of Recorder features when it comes to Canada, but it likely won’t be hard to enable them.
On top of all that, the feature works entirely on-device, meaning you won’t need an internet connection for it to work.
We’ll probably learn more about Recorder as well as the Pixel 4 and 4 XL at Google’s upcoming Made by Google event on October 15th.