After spending some time with Google’s most recent smartphone for the purpose of writing this review of the Pixel 7a, I believe it is safe to state that there is a lot to enjoy about this midrange smartphone. Because of the improvements made to the cameras, the Pixel 7a now ranks among the top smartphones for camera quality.
Google has included premium features like a display that can update itself quickly and support wireless charging. In addition, despite the fact that it is more expensive than the model from the previous year, the Google Pixel 7a can still be purchased for less than $500.
That’s not a problem at all. My favorite feature of the Pixel 7a, though, is an app that has been included in Google’s phones for some time. This app, which has been given a boost now that Google has shifted to its own Tensor chipset as the primary processor in its devices, is my favorite thing about the Pixel 7a.
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I’m referring to the Recorder app, which has been a part of the Pixel lineup ever since the launching of the Pixel 4. Recorder established a name for itself when it was first released with features such as real-time transcription and searchable audio, and the software has only continued to improve since then.
The icing on the cake arrived in the form of a Pixel feature drop in the previous year, which provided users with the capacity to automatically add speaker labels to their transcripts. The Recorder app has the capability to recognize when numerous individuals are talking at the same time and to automatically mark in the transcript who is saying what. (If you go to Google’s website, you can find a detailed explanation of how everything operates, which will open in a separate tab.)
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As part of the launch of the Pixel 7 in the fall of 2018, Google added Speaker Labels to the Recorder app. But any Pixel device that is equipped with a Tensor and is running the most recent version of Recorder will be able to take advantage of the capability. For example, I’ve seen it working on a Pixel 6a that is powered by a Tensor G1 chipset.
Tensor silicon is utilized by the Pixel 7a as well; more specifically, it is the same Tensor G2 that is utilized by the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. This means that the Pixel 7a is capable of doing whatever the aforementioned phones are capable of doing that relies on the machine learning capabilities of Tensor. This includes the ability to record speaker labels in the recorder.
Why Speaker Labels are a Beneficial Aspect of the Recorder
If your line of work is similar to mine and you have to perform a number of interviews, you will find that this is an excellent addition to your toolkit. The recorder is capable of producing a transcript of the interview that you have conducted using Recorder. This eliminates the need for you to keep track of who is speaking at what time or to differentiate between your questions and the responses of others.
However, it is useful in other contexts besides interviews as well. Are you a student that records a significant amount of their professors’ lectures? The recorder is able to transcribe them with ease, making a distinction between when the instructor is speaking and when a student is asking a question. Or, if your job requires you to participate in a number of brainstorming meetings, the Recorder app will transcribe such sessions for you, identifying each of the participants so that you know who to follow up with.
I’m not going to lie and say that Speaker Labels is flawless. After launching the Recorder app on my Pixel 7a, I then had my wife and I read a transcript of the Abbott and Costello Who’s on First routine. This was done so that I could test out the functionality of the feature.
Due to the rapid-fire nature of that exchange, the Recorder’s transcription feature was confused, and as a result, it frequently combined the contributions of multiple speakers. You won’t be able to get a clear transcript out of Recorder if you’re recording a session that has a lot of overlapping cross-talk or interruptions because of the way it works.
On the other hand, and here is where the software really comes into its own, Recorder makes it incredibly easy to tidy things up as you listen back to the recording, which is a huge plus.
Changing the names of Speaker Labels in the Recorder
To begin, there’s the issue of switching around the names of the speakers. People will be identified in Recorder as Speaker 1, Speaker 2, and so on, according to the default settings. To update a Recorder transcript, first, tap the edit icon located at the top of the page, and then tap the name of the person being transcribed. You will notice a pop-up menu that gives you the option to rename the speaker in question. (If Recorder has incorrectly identified the speakers, there is also an option that allows you to exchange one speaker for another.)
Tap the spot in the transcript where Recorder should have identified a new speaker to tidy up the transcript and ensure that the correct person is speaking. You’ll see a pop-up command that says Split From Here; tapping it will create a line break, and from there you can tap on the speaker name to switch who’s speaking.
Even without cleaning up the transcript, having a copy of my recordings that labels the speakers in a clear and concise manner is really convenient. In addition to that, it is an excellent illustration of the kinds of jobs that I feel confident delegating to AI.
The process of reviewing an audio transcript in order to keep track of who is speaking at what time does not require any creativity or inspiration; rather, it is drudge work that should be completed as efficiently and neatly as is humanly feasible. My goal is to have AI take care of the laborious tasks in this area so that I may devote my time and attention to more worthwhile endeavors.
To put it another way, the Speaker Labels feature in Recorder turns an already useful program into an even more effective tool for increasing productivity. And all of this can be found on a phone for a price that is significantly lower than $500.
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