Google announced ‘Live Caption’ last year as an exclusive feature for some of its Pixel phones. The feature puts subtitles on videos and audio in real-time whenever speech is detected. It eventually made its way to some OnePlus and Samsung devices recently and the search giant is now reportedly working on enabling the useful tool for your phone calls.
A few days back Google released a new developer build for Android 11. The good folks at XDA Developers managed to spot some references that allow users to expand the capability and turn on Live Caption for a phone call. This means that one could get live transcription or ‘subtitles’ of the phone calls that they make. This could be a valuable addition for users who have hearing difficulties or someone who is in a noisy environment.
It is being said that the feature might make its way to the final version of the OS, which means that the finished product could launch with Android 11 later this year.
The feature does sound quite useful, but there will be hurdles. Sure, Google’s language recognition tools are impressive, but how will it handle phone calls in botchy networks, a common issue especially in India. Then there is the issue of privacy, where Live Caption on phone calls would mean the conversation has to be monitored. Now based on the code found in Android 11, the caller at the other end will get a notification that Live Caption has been turned on.
Apart from Live Caption for phone calls, Google is also expected to bring phone call recording built into the default Phone app on Android 11.