It looks like Google has begun rolling out live caption for phone calls in more of its Pixel phones. This was first revealed in a tweet by Mishaal Rahman.
This is a good news story which the Pixel phones need given reports that the Pixel 5 may be shaping up to be a disappointment.
This feature first arrived with the launch of the Pixel 4a at the start of August. Alongside the Galaxy S20, the Pixel 4a was the only device to offer the live caption feature for calls. This made it all the more impressive when Google first announced this feature would come to Pixel devices as old as the Pixel 2 earlier this month.
Live captions captures audio from your device and runs it through on-device learning models. This works to generate captions from any English-language speech.
It works on a variety of media and calls on the device. This includes third party apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram. It does currently only support English language speech. However, it is still a very useful accessibility feature.
Live captions coming to older Pixel phones
Now that claim is coming to live with Google rolling out live captions older phones. As reported by the XDA Developers reported the feature has finally begun turning up in some devices.
As the below screenshot indicate this feature can be enabled by tapping on the new ‘Caption calls’ option. This is located in withing the Live Caption settings.
Once you have tapped on the 'Caption calls' option a pop up menu arises. This allows you to define when you want this feature to be used. You can choose from, 'off', 'always' and the ability to be asked whenever you are on a call.
Roll out of live captions still unclear
Since this tweet surfaced a number of other Pixel owners have reported this feature arriving on their device. It looks as if it has made it as far back as the Pixel 3XL and the 3a.
However, there this feature may well be on the Pixel 2 as well but we just do not know it yet. This demonstrates the lack of clarity in this roll out.
As with many of these situations of a roll out of a new feature we have little idea of the timescale or order Google plans to do things. Hopefully, this roll out will occur smoothly over a short period of time but for now we will just have to wait.