Google Chrome’s new Live Caption feature rolls out to transcribe speech in videos
Google first showcased its amazing Live Caption accessibility feature at Google I/0 2019. The feature was first rolled out to the Pixel phones with Android 10 update and subsequently arrived on many non-Pixel phones, including the Galaxy S20 series, OnePlus 8 series, OnePlus Nord, and more. As the name implies, Live Caption provides real-time captions for audio playing on your device. It works with videos, podcasts, and even phone calls. This comes really handy if you have a hearing impairment or want to watch a video with audio turned off.
Although the feature has so far remained exclusive to Android phones, we know Google has been working on bringing it to the Chrome browser on the desktop for some time now. And today, it’s finally going live for users on the stable Chrome 89. We can confirm the Live Caption feature now appears in Settings > Advanced > Accessibility. If you’re on Chrome 89 and aren’t seeing the Live Caption toggle, restarting Chrome should do the trick — that’s how I enabled it.
When you turn on the feature for the first time, Chrome will download some speech recognition files. We tested the feature in YouTube and Disney+ Hotstar, and it seemed to work flawlessly. Captions will appear in a small pop-up window at the bottom of a video, and you can expand the window to fit more text. The best part is that the feature works even if the audio is completely turned off. For now, it only detects and transcribes English-language audio, but hopefully, support for more languages will be added over time. A toggle for Live Caption will show up in the Chrome toolbar, allowing you to quickly turn on/off the feature without having to dig deep into the Settings.
The feature has been in development for Chrome for nearly a year now and started working in Canary builds back in June of 2020. It’s present in all current versions of Chrome, so you only need to wait for Google to flip the switch via server-side.
Thanks to XDA Member Some_Random_Username for the tip!
Update 1: Live Caption rolls out officially today
In a blog post, Google confirmed that it is rolling out its on-device Live Caption feature for Chrome users on desktop. To enable it, go to Settings > Advanced > Accessibility. The feature, as we mentioned before, only supports English but is available globally on the latest version of Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux and will be coming soon to Chrome OS.