These days, iOS and Android have more in common as mobile operating systems than they have differences. Of course, you could argue all day long about which one does this more, but the fact remains that both borrow features from each other. Luckily, this results in both Apple and Google pushing to outdo each other with each iteration of their respective operating systems, a move that benefits us – the users – by providing us with choices and ways that our devices make our lives better.
As someone who is #TeamPixel and #TeamChromeOS through and through (but also uses Windows and macOS as needed for certain tasks), you won’t see me writing any Apple vs. Google hate articles. That said, I think it’s cool and newsworthy when Apple implements a feature that is a major part of the Android experience, especially an accessibility feature that helps so many. I am, of course, referring to Live Caption.
Live Caption was introduced with the launch of the Pixel 4 as an exclusive feature but was later released to other Android phones and permeated into other parts of the ecosystem, such as Chrome and Live Translate. They are super helpful for those in a noisy environment, trying to keep the volume down, or are part of the 5% of the population who are deaf or hard of hearing. Now, it has crossed over to the “light side” as Apple has announced that Live Captions are coming to iPhone, iPad, and Mac later this year.
Apple’s version of the feature is very similar to Google’s in that it presents a floating text bubble with auto-transcribed speech coming from media apps on your phone. This process happens completely on-device, ensuring that there are no privacy concerns. Furthermore, users have the option to type a response and have it spoken aloud in real-time.
As I said before, I am a fan of helpful features making their way across different ecosystems, as long as they are implemented the right way and result in quality-of-life improvements. I am proud of Google for setting the bar this time when it comes to implementing accessibility features that everyone should take advantage of, not just Google fans.