10 January 2020
Among numerous handy software features, Recorder and Screen Attention are two of the unique and very useful Pixel 4 software features. The first one is an audio recorder app with AI capabilities for real-time transcription and as for the second one, it prevents the phone display from turning off when the user is looking at it. Both of these are Pixel 4 exclusive features for now but at least one of them is expanding to older models.
Google has officially confirmed that it has plans to bring the Pixel 4 Recorder app to older generation Pixel devices. The confirmation was given by a Google employee in response to a Reddit thread. The thread was started by a user who was disappointed that the new Recorder app was not compatible with his Pixel 3 XL and his wife's Pixel 2 devices. The employee replied, "We plan to roll it out to older Pixel devices in a future software update".
He did not go into details of the plans which means we don't know whether the backporting will be made available for all Pixels including the original ones. It is also unknown exactly when we should expect the update to land but even the usual confirmation response is a sign of good things.
But when it comes to Pixel 4's Screen Attention feature, Google has made it clear that it has no intention of bringing the feature to older Pixels for now. It means the feature will not be expanded but "for now" suggests that things might change later. Since the feature makes use of the front-facing camera, Google will not have to worry about the hardware compatibility aspect which is another good thing for users hoping for the feature to arrive on their older devices.
- The Google Pixel 4 is available at Amazon Marketplace for $ 599.
- The Google Pixel 4 XL is available at Amazon for $ 789.