When Google announced Pixel 4, one of the things we were most excited about was the new Google Recorder app. You can transcribe your recordings live and offline! Around the world, journalists, students, and anyone who might need transcripts looked up to the sky and whispered a silent "Thank you."
The only problem? The new app was exclusive to Pixel phones, starting with Pixel 2. But now there's an unofficial workaround that should benefit most Android users.
XDA developers have modified the Google Recorder app so Android users with non-Google phones can enjoy offline real-time transcriptions.
There are some caveats and requirements. For starters, your Android phone should run Android 9 Pie or Android 10. It may also not work as expected on some phones.
According to XDA, the modified application should work fully on Huawei, Honor, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sony Xperia phones, provided they meet the operating system requirements.
The app works partially on ASUS, Oppo and OnePlus phones as you can get recordings but can't view transcripts after saving. Xiaomi users are out of luck for now.
Developers note, however, that in the case of the application only partially working – as on OnePlus phones – you can transfer the recordings to a Pixel phone to access the transcripts. That said, if you have a Pixel on hand … you'll probably use it.
Having used the live transcription feature of the Google Recorder app, I can say it's a watershed.
It is not perfect and can be difficult if you are recording a conversation with many technical or slang terms, but it is much better than having to do it manually. But it sure is a tool that will make many people sigh with relief and thanks.