Android’s real-time captioning could be coming to Chrome

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Android’s real-time captioning feature, Live Caption, could be coming to Google’s Chrome browser on computers and to Chrome OS, as spotted by TechDows (via 9to5Google). In the latest Canary release of Chrome, there’s a way to access a new “Live Caption” toggle in the browser’s accessibility settings.

However, in a few minutes of testing, I wasn’t able to get Live Captions to work at all. I switched the Live Caption toggle on, but whenever I navigated to YouTube or Twitch to see captions on a video, the browser immediately crashed. That’s not too surprising, though — Canary is Google’s updated-nightly version of Chrome intended only for developers, and the company even warns that the browser “can be unstable.”

If you want to try to test Live Caption on Chrome for yourself, though, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the latest version of Chrome Canary.
  2. Open it up and enter chrome://flags in the address bar.
  3. On the Flags page, scroll down to “Live Captions” and click the drop-down, and select “Enabled.”
  4. Then go to Chrome’s settings menu, type “accessibility” into the settings search bar, and click the toggle in the Live Caption item that appears.

If you want to try a stable version of Live Caption, the feature is available now in Android 10 on Pixel 4, 3A, 3, and 2 phones, as well as “selected other Android phones,” according to Google. My colleague Dieter Bohn was impressed with Live Caption when he got to try it out last year, and you can get an idea of how it works on Android phones in this promotional video from Google.

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