Once a Pixel 6 exclusive feature, Google seems to have enabled the flagship’s excellent Assistant voice typing on more Pixel phones.

One of the highlights of the Pixel 6 series is the enhanced Assistant voice typing, which uses the speedy and accurate on-device voice transcription capabilities behind the next-generation Google Assistant. In addition to being shockingly fast, Assistant voice typing is also able to intelligently place punctuation into sentences, making it easier than ever to write a message without using your hands.

Up to this point, though, the feature has been exclusive to the Pixel 6 series with its specialized Google Tensor chip designed to make machine learning powered features like voice typing work faster. However, while the feature was originally in development, it was widely available for those who owned the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5.

With the release of Android 13 Developer Preview 2, Google appears to be loosening the exclusivity on Assistant voice typing, opening it back up to more Pixel phones. Specifically, in our testing we’ve found that both the Pixel 5 and the more recent Pixel 5a are both able to use the new voice input. However, we’ve found that the only slightly older Pixel 4a was still locked out.

If Assistant voice typing has been newly allowed for your device, it should be enabled by default and you’ll see a prompt about the “New!” feature, along the top where suggestions normally are. In side-by-side testing, the Pixel 5a was able to transcribe speech only slightly slower than a Pixel 6 Pro. The advantage was visibly noticeable, but it likely wouldn’t make a tangible difference in real world use. Doubtless, we’ll be doing more testing of the differences in the weeks to come.

If you’re brave enough to have installed Android 13 Developer Preview 2 on your Pixel device, let us know in the comments which device you’re using and whether Google Assistant voice typing has become available to you.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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