picture of the google recorder app audio note

Earlier this year Google launched a number of hardware devices alongside new apps and additional features to existing applications. One new app is called the Google Recorder but it is only available on the Pixel 4 right now. Thankfully though, we can manually install this on any Android 9.0+ smartphone out there (including older Pixel devices as well).

One of the reasons why I moved away from iOS was because software features were being exclusive to new hardware. Sadly, this still happens with Android but at least we have more control over the OS. An example of this is getting the new Astrophotography Mode working on older Pixel smartphones.

Today I want to show you how to get the new Google Recorder installed on those Pixels as well.

Not only that, but it looks like the Google Recorder application will work on any Android 9.0+ smartphone. I’ve seen it work flawlessly on the Pixel 1, Pixel 2, and Pixel 3 series devices, and other community members have shown it to work on other devices as well (including the Huawei Mate 20 Lite, Moto X4, and more).

If we go to the Google Play Store app page though, it shows it is not currently compatible with your smartphone. Like I mentioned before though, we have much more control over the operating system here and can easily sideload that APK file.

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Install the Google Recorder App on All Android 9.0+ Smartphones

  1. Download the Google Recorder APK file


  2. Sideload the Recorder app from Chrome or a File Manager

    Click here to learn how to sideload an APK file.

  3. Open the Recorder application


  4. Grant the app access to your microphone


  5. Then begin recording audio notes to be transcribed

If you have sideloaded another APK file in the past then there aren’t any surprises here. We only need to find a legit source for the APK and we can do that on the APK Mirror website. This is run by the folks over at Android Police right now and they do a good job at making sure it’s the same version that is available from the Play Store.

Be careful when downloading APK files from untrusted sources though. I only recommend APK Mirror because I know the people behind it. Other application repository websites out there may be as reliable but I personally can’t recommend them as I am not familiar enough to trust them.

Once you have the APK downloaded, all you have to do is sideload it and open it up.

picture of recorder app playback

Installing the Google Recorder on non-Pixel Smartphones

As mentioned, it works when you install the application on other smartphones as well. It doesn’t have to be just a Google Pixel smartphone. It can be one from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, and others. The only way to know if it works on your device is by downloading the APK file and trying to install it.

You will be prompted to grant the Google Recorder application access to your microphone (for obvious reasons).

Once that has been granted, you can then begin taking audio notes right then and there. You’ll see a visual representation of your audio note recording as shown above, but you can also tap the Transcribe button and see a live transcription of the audio note. It’s actually quite impressive and you can watch this happen in the video above.


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