Google's Live Caption feature yet to support more languages on eligible Pixel phones over a year later
Back in May 2019, Google introduced a new automatic captioning system called Live Caption at Google I/O. The feature is meant to automatically display captions in real-time for all audio on your mobile device.
And while the feature was originally designed for people with hearing impairments, it has also come in handy in situations where dialog is just not audible enough. Like for example, if you are in a loud, crowded environment.
But perhaps the best part about it all is the fact that the captioning happens completely on-device, without using any network resources, thus preserving privacy and lowering latency.
Anyway, Google had initially launched Live Caption with support for English alone and a promise for more languages in the near future.
The company had also stated that it was “working closely with other Android phone manufacturers to make it more widely available in the coming year”. At launch, the feature only supported the Google Pixel 2 and newer devices.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Google has still not fulfilled either of the above promises. And many users are quite bummed about it.
It is also worth mentioning here that as pointed by the above user, Google Meet added a bunch of new languages last month to its built-in live captioning feature even as Live Caption still lacks support.
This comes while Live Caption on the Google Pixels has barely received any new feature additions since launch. Due to this, many are now beginning to wonder if Google has abandoned the project altogether.
Moreover, while this may sound pretty far-fetched, almost everyone is aware of the fact that Google is no stranger when it comes to abandoning new and innovative features, services, or even entire apps.
A good assessment of this can be derived from the Killed by Google site which is the creation of a clever developer and is aimed at humorously listing all of the company’s discontinued products in one place.
And given Live Caption’s stagnation, one can’t help but think if the feature’s time has come to be a part of the same digital graveyard in which the likes of Google Play Music and Google+ are buried in.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here though.
If Google Meet can have new languages added to it, then so can Google Live Caption. We are hopeful that it is only a matter of time before the company adds support for more languages to Live Caption as well.
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