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What is Google Live Caption and how does it work?

Those of you who are hearing-impaired or love to watch videos with captions on will enjoy Google’s new Live Caption feature now rolling out.

What is Google Live Caption?

At Google I/O in May 2019, Google introduced a new automatic captioning system called Live Caption.

The idea is it’ll automatically serve up captions in real-time for all audio on your mobile device (excluding voice and video calls). It’s an accessibility feature for the 466 million people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. But it can also come in handy for people who are on a loud commuter train, for instance, or trying not to wake a baby while they’re listening to a podcast. 

How does Google Live Caption work?

Live Caption works entirely on your Android mobile device, so data or a Wi-Fi connection is not required. To enable Live Caption, you’ll see a prompt that pops up after you press the volume button on your device. Simply tap that prompt. You can then drag the Live Caption text that appears around on your screen, or you can expand with a double-tap it to see more text. Easy peasy.

Keep in mind transcriptions might have inaccuracies if the sound quality isn’t great, but Google promises to keep improving the tech.

Which languages does Live Caption support?

Live Caption supports English, but Google said there are plans to support more languages “in the near future”.

Which devices offer Live Caption?

Live Caption is now available on Pixel 4.

It will roll out to Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL later this year, and Google said it is “working closely with other Android phone manufacturers to make it more widely available in the coming year”. 


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