One of the best features to come out of Google’s foray into AI is arguably its Live Captions and, as might be expected, those can even be used in its top-rated live video chat app, Google Meet. While the app is primarily aimed at enterprise users — where this may be the most useful — it isn’t limited to those users at all. Anybody can use Google Meet. And anybody can use Live Captions in Google Meet, too.
The only question remaining is how, exactly, those are used. Well, that’s exactly what this guide sets out to explain. So if that’s what you’d like to do, read on.
What is this feature?
Now, the reasons for wanting to turn on Live Captions in Google Meet are all fairly straightforward. Namely, because Live Captions utilize AI to show words on-screen for phrases spoken by speakers in the meeting. And those are fairly accurate captions too, though not perfect.
So turning on Live Captions can be particularly useful for those who might be hard-of-hearing. Or, for another example, for those who are working in a loud environment or on a device that doesn’t have great audio hardware. For instance, if the volume is too quiet or low-quality. Of course, it’s also useful if you don’t happen to have headphones or if the person speaking doesn’t always enunciate well.
In those cases, a combination of listening with Live Captions is almost always helpful. Particularly when coupled with the fact that conversations in Google Meet are, as often as not, centered around specific topics. Making working out meaning in miscaptioned words easier in context.
Here’s how you can enable and use Live Captions in Google Meet
It’s also incredibly useful that Google made it easy to figure out how to turn on and use Live Captions. And that it built the tool to work almost identically regardless of what platform you’re on. So this should work the just about same whether you’re on mobile, desktop, the web, or anywhere else that has Google Meet on offer. Although we’re including images for both in each of our steps and sample images below
- Now, the primary issue with learning to use Live Captions in Google Meet stems from the fact that it isn’t intuitive to set up. At least not on mobile. But also not least of all because you can’t set it up unless you’re actually in a meeting. So, in order to find the feature, you’ll need to start by being in a meeting. Whether that’s one you’ve set up yourself or one you’ve joined that was set up by somebody else doesn’t matter. It will appear in the same places. But it doesn’t appear outside of a meeting. In our sample images, we’ve set up a test meeting to showcase getting to the feature on both mobile and desktop
- Once you’re in a meeting, the process is really very easy. And there are several ways to access it. All of which start the same way, except for one. On desktop, you’ll notice a box-shaped icon denoted with “CC.” A tap or click on that will launch the feature but you’ll need to dive deeper for settings. For the other methods of starting and using Live Caption, you’ll need to first select the three-vertical-dot icon at the bottom right-hand side of the UI — this will be at the bottom center on desktop or the web
- On mobile, at the top right-hand side of that menu, a “Show captions” option will be available” a simple tap on that to get started. On a computer or the web, that option can be found about halfway down the menu
- Conversely, you can also navigate to the “Settings” option instead, as shown in the images below. Then, on either platform, tap on the toggle for “Live captions.” That will be tucked behind another menu on a desktop or the web. Specifically, under the “Captions” option in the left-hand side pane
- To turn Live Captions back off, simply repeat the steps to get to the option and toggle it again
- To adjust language settings, navigate to the Settings menu and then to the captions submenu. The option to adjust language can be found there on both desktop and mobile.