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Android’s Live Caption feature reportedly coming soon to phone calls

Android’s Live Caption feature, which was introduced by Google on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL with Android 10, will reportedly soon work on phone calls, according to code discovered on the mobile operating system.

Live Caption, first revealed at Google I/O 2019, uses Google’s speech recognition to provide captions for almost any form of content with audio, with just one tap on the volume rocker. However, it does not currently support phone calls and video chats, even after the feature was eventually added to older Pixel devices, as well as OnePlus and Samsung smartphones.

It appears that Google is finally expanding Live Caption’s capabilities, according to code discovered in the Android 11 Developer Preview for the Pixel 4 by XDA Developers.

The code revealed strings on the activation of Live Caption over a phone call. It also shows that enabling the feature will alert everyone on the phone call that what they are saying will be transcribed. “Hi, the person you’re about to speak with has call captions turned on. They’ll see captions of what you say to help them listen along,” says the audio file that will be played.

The discovery hints at the possibility of Live Caption for phone calls arriving in Android 11, which is expected to roll out within the third quarter of the year. However, there is always the chance that Google may pull the feature from the public release, possibly pushing it back to future updates for the mobile operating system.

How to activate Live Caption

For owners of Android smartphones that currently support the Live Caption feature, it is activated by playing the video, podcast, or other content that a person wants to have transcribed.

After pressing the volume up or down button, an icon will appear below the volume controls. Tapping it will make the Live Caption box appear on the screen. If the icon does not show up, the feature may be activated by going to the Sound menu under Settings, and turning on the Live Caption option.

Live Caption does not require an internet connection as the feature is processed within smartphones, with recordings not saved or archived in any way.

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