Google's Recorder app has quickly become one of the best voice note recorders, thanks to instant transcription, handy editing and trimming, and Assistant integration. However, the app was only able to record audio coming into the phone's microphone, rendering it useless for anyone who often wears Bluetooth headphones and walks around leaving their phone at their desk or in their pocket. With the latest update, Recorder is now able to detect and switch to an external mic, including a Bluetooth headset.
Version 2.1 of Recorder adds a new Microphone setting that lets you pick between two options: Auto-detect which switches automatically to connected mics (wired or Bluetooth), and Always use phone mic which forces the app to only catch audio from the device's mic. In my experience, phone mics are usually better at picking up audio and offer a higher quality and better clarity than headsets, especially compared to true wireless buds (which are further away from your mouth), so the phone-only option can come in handy if you notice a quality drop when using a Bluetooth set.
Left: Recorder 2.0. Middle & Right: Recorder 2.1 adds a new "Microphone" setting.
When making a new recording, you'll see an indicator at the bottom of the screen that shows which audio is being saved. In the first screenshot, I had it on auto, so it was using my Sennheiser CX 400 BT buds. In the second, even though I was connected over Bluetooth to my buds, I forced it to use the phone's mic and it did so.
Mic indicator while recording audio.
This ability has the potential to be even more handy when combined with Assistant commands, letting you simply trigger Assistant on your headset, then say "start a voice recording," and start talking without ever picking up your phone. In reality though, I found out that I had to unlock my phone for Recorder to start saving a note, and that really slows down the process. Hopefully this requirement will be removed later.
This seems to be the only change affecting Recorder v2.1. (The ability to back up to Google Drive is still not live in the app.) If you want to give the new mic recording setting a go, you need to update to the latest version of Recorder, which is slowly rolling out on the Play Store. It's also available as a bundle on APK Mirror but you may encounter an error while installing it, even with the APK Mirror app. If so, you need to follow this workaround to install it.