What you need to know
- Live Caption will soon work with phone calls.
- Code found in the third Android 11 Developer Preview shows Google is actively working on the feature.
- Turning it on will be accompanied by an automated message informing other participants that the call is being transcribed.
When it launched with Android 10 last year, Live Caption was one of the most exciting new features to come out of the Mountain View giant's labs. Since then, it's been extremely popular with users, and Google has been hard at work expanding its availability. Once a Pixel 4 exclusive, the feature was soon ported to older Pixel devices and is now even available on OnePlus and Samsung phones.
However, one of the most significant limitations of the feature, alongside its sparse availability, has been the inability to use the feature with phone calls and video calls, a natural use case for an audio accessibility feature. Well, Google's finally looking to address that, it seems, as the folks as XDA Developers recently discovered.
Buried within the Android 11 Developer Preview 3 code are references to Live Caption for phone calls. When enabled, the phone call will be interrupted by an automated voice clip informing the call participants that their conversation is being recorded and transcribed. Privacy-conscious users should, however, be comforted by the fact that all the processing is done on-device and so none of the information is sent to Google's servers. The message says:
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.
It's unclear when the feature may go live, but given its inclusion in the latest Developer Preview, we'd assume it's nearly finished and will most likely roll out with Android 11 in Q3 2020.
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