Google research is working on several things that I believe can have significant impact in the lives of a blind and/or visually impaired individual. Does that mean I think everyone should run out and get an Android device? Uh… No, not yet, at any rate. Android isn’t for everyone, in spite of the claims from Google. That being said, there are some amazing tools that can help.
A while back, I posted an article on Lookout. This is a fantastic app that can greatly help someone read and ID things around them.
Today I’ll be showing you an app by Google LLC called Recorder. This app allows you to record audio, then turn that audio directly into searchable, transcribed text. Now don’t you wish you’d had such a handy app when you were in school? Currently, this app is only available for Android devices. Before I go any further, I will share the app description from Google. The description is a bit sparse, so I will talk afterward about the app in a bit more detail. Now here’s Google!
Google Recorder Description
Recorder brings the power of search to audio recording. Meetings, lectures, band practices, family memories — anything you want to save and listen to later. Recorder automatically transcribes and labels what you record so you can easily find the parts that matter to you.
Using Google Recorder
Once you Download Google Recorder and allow the app to use the Microphone, and also optionally location services so that it knows where you made a recording, you can begin.
To start recording, just find the record button toward the bottom center of the screen. Google Recorder will begin recording, and if you have vision, you will notice a transcription begin. If you use TalkBack, you can also locate this transcription, but it will interfere with the recording unless you either pause the recording first, or use headphones.
Once you stop recording, you can go into more options. From this area, you have the ability to see the transcription, search for text, share a recording to various places, and of course delete a recording.
I have been playing with the recorder app for a bit now. I find it very interesting that Google can detect things like laughter and clapping, and of course all of those swear words that we all secretly love to say. I find that having the audio and text transcription together really helps me locate items of interest later. This is because each phrase that is transcribed has a time index, so if something isn’t clear via the text transcripts, you can jump to that same time in the audio file. I also find this app to be handy for taking down short bits of info such as a phone number. The app may have difficulty transcribing challenging items such as foreign names or email addresses, but that’s what the audio is for.
I hope anyone else out there using an Android phone will find this app as useful as I have.