Google's third big Pixel feature drop arrived yesterday, and while it was a little lighter on standout features than the two previous, some interesting upgrades for the Recorder app were included. The ability to control it with the Google Assistant makes an already great app even more useful, as does saving transcripts directly to Google Docs so you can use them more easily later.
Before, you could only save your audio as .m4a and transcripts as .txt files to Google Drive. The new option allows you to create a Google Doc file of your transcripts with utmost simplicity, so you can get to work on editing your notes right away. Stopping, starting, and searching your recordings will also be a cinch now as you can ask the Google Assistant to help. You can make use of the following commands:
- “Start a voice recording.”
- "Stop voice recording."
- “Save voice recording with title” and then your title.
- "Search voice recording for" and then your keyword.
As with the new Google Clock app, the latest changes are tied to the Pixel update so you won't get the new features until you do that first. Without having already updated my Pixel 4 XL, the Assistant would open the Recorder app if I asked it to "start a voice recording" but it wouldn't actually begin. The Google Docs export was also missing, but once I'd updated my Pixel, all of the new functions were available for me to use.
The option to save text directly to Google Docs only appears if you're looking at a transcript and then tap on the overflow (three-dot) menu. Once you've selected the correct account and accepted the permission, a new doc will be generated with your transcript with the same title as your Recorder entry (mine was just the default one the app gave it, but if you change the name first, it'll save it as such in Docs). You can find out more about how to use the app on the Pixel Support site.
Version 1.2.312645208 of the Google Recorder app is rolling out to compatible Pixels (2, 3, 3a, and 4) via the Play Store, although the Assistant integration is Pixel 4-exclusive for now. If you haven't received it yet you can grab it from APK Mirror.