How to get Google's awesome Recorder app even if you don't have a Pixel smartphone

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Google's Recorder app is pretty awesome: Real-time transcripts of conversations, which we've found to be pretty accurate. It's a real boon for reporters and others who don't want to spend hours transcribing interviews, or paying someone else to do it. It works remarkably well, too, with all of the processing done instantly on the device, rather than being sent to the cloud. 

There's only one catch—the app is only officially available for the Google Pixel 4, Pixel 3 and 3a, and Google Pixel 2

However, XDA devs have devised an unofficial workaround that will let most Android owners install and use the app on their smartphones. Here's where to download the Google Recorder app for Android from XDA.

Before you get too excited, XDA notes that there are a few limitations: It doesn't fully work on all Android phones, and those that it does work on must be running Android 9 Pie or Android 10.

According to XDA, the Recorder app will fully work on the following phones:

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL
  • Huawei and Honor phones
  • LG phones running LG UX 8.0
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • Samsung Galaxy 
  • Sony Xperia

XDA notes that the unofficial Recorder app will only partially work on these phones—you won't be able to view transcriptions after saving:

  • Asus 
  • Oppo 
  • OnePlus

Lastly, XDA notes that the Recorder app won't work at all on Xiaomi phones. Still, from the looks of it, the unofficial version of the Recorder app will work on the majority of smartphone brands, bringing this awesome transcription feature to the masses. 

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.