When Google announced the Pixel 4, one of the things we were most excited for was the new Google Recorder app. It could transcribe your recordings live and offline! Around the world, journalists, students, and anyone who might need meeting transcripts raised their eyes heavenward and whispered a quiet “Thank you, Jesus.” The only hitch? The new app was exclusive to Pixel phones, starting with the Pixel 2. But now, there’s an unofficial workaround that should benefit most Android users.
The devs at XDA have modified the Google Recorder app so Android users with non-Google phones can take advantage of real-time, offline transcriptions. There are a few caveats and requirements. For starters, your Android phone has to run Android 9 Pie or Android 10. It also might not work as intended on some phones. According to XDA, the modified app should fully work on phones from Huawei, Honor, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, LG, and Sony Xperia so long as they meet the operating system requirements. The app partially works on ASUS, Oppo, and OnePlus phones in that you can get recordings but can’t view transcripts after saving. Xiaomi users are out of luck for now.
The devs do note, however, that in the case of the app only partially working—as with OnePlus phones—you can transfer the recordings to a Pixel phone to access transcripts. That said, if you have a Pixel on hand... you’d probably just use that instead.
Having used the Google Recorder app’s live transcription feature myself, I can say it’s a game-changer. It isn’t perfect and can struggle if you’re recording a conversation with a lot of technical terms or slang, but it’s a hell of a lot better than having to manually do it yourself.