Enhanced Recorder App and Gemini Nano: Key Highlights of Google's June Pixel Feature Drop

Google Pixel smartphones received several new features as part of the June Pixel Feature Drop rolled out earlier this week. One key upgrade is an improved Recorder app featuring a new shortcut on the home screen. This app can utilize Google's Gemini Nano small language model (SLM) on devices like the Pixel 8 and the recently introduced Pixel 8a.

Recorder App on Google Pixel
Google unveiled novel capabilities for smartphones in a blog post from the beginning of the week. 9to5Google noticed a new shortcut for the Recorder app, depicted as a red circle on a white background, complementing the larger floating action button (FAB). This Record shortcut can now be added to the home screen for quick access to initiating a recording.

This feature is believed to enhance the live transcription capabilities by providing quick access. According to the publication, it is available with version 4.2.20240502.639621645 of the Recorder app on Pixel phones. However, Gadgets 360 staff members were unable to verify its availability.

Besides the new shortcut, Google also announced that the Gemini Nano, its SLM designed for on-device tasks, is coming to other handsets in the Pixel 8 series. Although the flagship Pixel 8 Pro was already equipped with it, the Pixel 8 and 8a will now also benefit. The SLM is available for download through the developer options in the Pixel's settings and is approximately 1GB in size.

Consequently, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a can now offer “more detailed, downloadable summaries” through the Summarize feature in the Recorder app. Moreover, Pixel 8 Pro users can take advantage of speaker labels in conversational transcripts.

Google Gemini Nano Comes to Google Messages
In the June Pixel Feature Drop, Google also introduced a faster way for users to engage in conversations with Gemini within the Messages app. Although a similar functionality previously existed, it required a couple of steps before initiating a conversation.

With the update, a Gemini FAB appears above the start chat icon. This feature was said to have been noticed during an APK teardown of the Google Messages app version messages.android_20240610_01_RC00.