Google’s always tinkering away at something, but the latest round of rumoured features hint that native call recording and real-time translations are on the way. Oh, and it looks like both features will also allow for transcriptions, too.
Two weeks ago, the Google Phone 43 release contained code that hinted at the ability to record phone calls. Now it looks like the Google Phone 44 release also contains code that indicates you can transcribe recorded calls as well. The code was initially spotted by XDA Developers, which was able to activate and test the feature.
Call recording, while immensely useful, introduces some tricky legalities—think about any time you call customer service and that automated voice informs you that your call may be recorded. According to XDA Developers, it appears the new call recording feature will include a pop-up disclaimer indicating callers may need to obtain permission to record calls. An automated voice will also reportedly announce whenever recordings have begun or ended. As for transcription, 9to5 Google spotted a single line of code that hints that recorded calls could then be used to create transcriptions.
You can watch a video of the new call recording feature from 9to5 Google below.
Google first introduced its live transcription tech via the Recorder app back when it announced the Pixel 4 last spring. While it’s not perfect—mumbling or using a lot of slang or jargon can trip it up—it’s a handy tool for anyone who’s ever had to sit through long calls, lectures, meetings, or interviews.
In that vein, earlier this week, Google also gave a demo of a live, nearly real-time translation transcriptions for its Google Translate app. The feature is still in the works and will likely require an internet connection to start, but you’ll supposedly be able to record audio in one language and watch it be translated and transcribed in another.
The Verge notes the feature won’t work with audio files initially—it’ll require live audio. There’s no concrete timeline for when we might see this feature, other than a vague ‘sometime in the future.’ Still, the feature could be a lifesaver when travelling to a country where you’ll probably butcher the local tongue no matter how many Duolingo sessions you complete ahead of time. While Google Translate is notorious for some off-kilter translations, it’s decent at basic phrases you might need to get around.