Google Pixel Live Caption feature gets support for video and voice calls

Google's Live Caption feature is getting a big expansion, building upon its existing video and audio captioning to include another useful feature — video and voice call captions. With this new capability, users will be able to read captions generated for their ongoing conversations, helping the user follow the conversation without having to turn up the audio in a situation where it may not be appropriate. Only certain devices have access to this feature, however.

Not familiar with Google's Live Caption feature? Check out the video below to see how it works. Put simply, Live Caption uses machine learning to determine what is being said in real-time, presenting the audio as captions not unlike what you see when watching YouTube videos. The feature can be used to read the audio of videos you can't watch with the sound turned up, as well as with podcasts and more.

The newly introduced Google Pixel 4a smartphone features the Live Caption feature, of course — this functionality was first introduced with the Pixel 2 and works with the other Pixel smartphone models released since then. In a new blog post about the Pixel 4a today, Google revealed that Live Caption can now automatically caption video and voice calls in addition to its existing functionality.

The feature has launched with the Pixel 4a, a model that is obviously a sequel to the Pixel 3a, but it will also be made available to owners of the Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and Pixel 4 phone models through an update. If you own one of these devices but aren't familiar with Live Caption, you can learn everything you need to know about it — including how to turn on Live Caption — in the related Google Support document.

Once enabled, users have a certain degree of control over the captions, including the ability to reposition where the captioning box appears, hiding captions, and turning the feature off. As well, users can choose to hide profanity and sound labels for things like laughter.