We already have learned a lot about Google’s forthcoming Pixel 4, including its new voice recorded app, “Recorder.” The app seems quite basic. You hit a button to record, then share the audio with other apps. Surprisingly however, before it’s even been released, Google has made some updates to Recorder, with one especially useful feature: automatic audio transcription.
XDA Developers tested the new feature and it seemed to work decently enough. The transcription of XDA Developers’ test recording misspelled the name of the speaker and added a few extra periods, however, it was still good enough.
Normally, if you wanted to transcribe recordings automatically with an app, you would have to pay for a service such as Otter.ai. A nice alternative could be Google’s Recorder, especially if it is offered for free.
In Recorder, it seems you can search for a word within transcriptions and it will take you to where it showed up in the recording. This could be a pretty useful way to save yourself the trouble of carefully going through a recording to find that exact quote you’re searching for.
While testing the updated app, 9to5Google found what seem to be Google’s official Play Store images of Recorder as corroboration. Also, they present another handy feature: the app can add time codes automatically to sections of a recording. This could help to find certain parts of the transcript more easily.
Even cooler, XDA Developers found that it might be possible to search for other types of “audio events,” such as “applause,” “cat,” “didgeridoo,” “rooster,” “dog,” “bird,” “knock,” “laughter,” “music,” “speech,” “phone,” and “whistling.”
As XDA Developers shared, all of this transcription work is seemingly being done on-device, so Google may not be listening in to your recordings by storing them on its servers.
Rather disappointingly, the XDA Developer’s analysis says that for now, Recorder can only transcribe English, however, in the future it might support other languages.
It seems Google has been investing much into live transcription recently, having presented Live Transcribe, which automatically transcribes speech in almost real time, Live Caption, which captions spoken audio from apps on phones, and they are also automatically transcribing podcasts to appear more in search results.
Hopefully, we can know more about Recorder at Google’s October 15th event.