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Google Recorder lands on Pixel 2, but Pixel 1 owners are out of luck

Last month, Google semi-officially confirmed that its excellent Recorder transcription app would be coming to “older Pixel devices in a future software update.” That update has now arrived, and some are going to be left disappointed.

First of all, it’s only officially supported by Google Pixel phones. If you head to the Google Play Store listing, you’ll likely find the words “This app is incompatible with all of your devices” greeting you unless you’re a fully paid-up member of the Google family.

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But even if you do have a Pixel handset, you might still be out of luck. While Recorder can be downloaded by owners of the Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, Pixel 2 and all the XL variants, owners of the original Pixel and Pixel XL have been left out in the cold. 

Android Police notes that this might not be the end of the story though. People with a custom ROM identifying the device as supporting PIXEL_2017_EXPERIENCE are screened as a-okay by the Play Store and allowed to download. 

Even those that aren’t can try sideloading the app, but there’s no guarantee it will work. I just tested version 1.1 on my Samsung Galaxy S10e, and it crashes on startup – perhaps thanks to the Exynos chip being a dead giveaway that it isn’t a Google handset.

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Of course, it’s always possible that Google will make the app available for every phone in time, in the same way it has for its most popular apps. There’s no sign of this happening any time soon, though, and you have to wonder what would be in it for Google. 

It has its own very nifty exclusive for the moment – an app that’s highly adept at transcribing audio in an easily searchable format. Why would it open that up to everyone when it’s a very compelling reason for people to buy Pixel?

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