The Pixel 3a was already one of my beloved phones of the year, but now (together with the standard Pixel 3) it’s improving: Google is porting over the Pixel 4’s Live Caption feature to both types of the Pixel 3.
Google’s Live Captions feature, which was publicized in May and available only for the fourth-gen Pixels, is now rolling out to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3A.
As the name implies, the Live Captions feature provides real-time captioning for the video and audio played on your device.
Live Captions work even without an active Internet connection, and all the processing is done on-device, so the captions remain private.
With Live Caption, Pixel 3 owners will be able to just tap a button under their phone’s volume slider to promptly add captions to nearly any video or spoken audio playing on their phone. However, the Live Caption doesn’t work on phone and video calls.
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This marks Live Caption an immensely significant tool for people who have hearing disabilities. It also offers a handy solution for circumstances when you may not be able to increase the volume on your phone or having difficulty following parts of the dialog, or for non-native talkers trying to learn a new language.
Because all the speech processing occurs on device, Live Captions still functions even if the phone isn’t connected to the internet. And in situation the caption box ever gets in the way, you can swiftly move it wherever you like by pulling it around with your finger. Regrettably, Live Caption presently only supports English; however Google says it plans to expand the feature to more languages in the upcoming days.
The upgrade for Live Caption on the Pixel 3/3a follows the latest move by Google that added the Pixel 4’s Astrophotography mode to previous Pixels. Google has also promised to bring the Pixel 4’s Voice Recorder app (which sports Google Live Transcribe feature) to older Pixel phones, Pixel 3 owners should have no less than one more useful software upgrade moved their way.
Google is expanding Live Caption to the Pixel 3 and 3a starting today, so if you haven’t gotten the upgrade yet, keep checking back during the week until it reaches your device.