Live Captions are a very useful feature for any device. As an accessibility feature, live captions are a must-have when viewing or listening to content on your laptop, TV or smartphone. Outside of those with accessibility needs, live captions can be useful when you’re in noisy environments or you want to consume some content without disturbing everyone around you.
Many Android media apps already have closed captions or live captions built in but what about when you’re viewing content on the web? Thankfully, Chrome and most Chromium-based browsers already have a solution for that. Nearly three years ago, Chrome added a Live Caption feature that is capable of creating and displaying captions from any audio source you play from the web.
Since Live Captions are an integrated part of the Chrome browser, that means that they are also built into the Chrome operating system, a.k.a. ChromeOS. Unfortunately, the caption feature is still restricted to the Chrome browser but that could very well change in the near future. A new flag has just appeared in the Canary channel of ChromeOS which should expand the feature to Android apps and the Linux environment on ChromeOS.
System Live Caption
Enables the live caption feature for non-Chrome (e.g. Android, linux) audio. – ChromeOS
At this point, enabling the flag does nothing which isn’t a surprise. The repository work was first discovered by Chrome Story just over a week ago which means it is still in the early stages of development. Regardless, this will be yet-another small but powerful enhancement to ChromeOS and its expanding ecosystem. With more companies leveraging the Linux environment and more consumers adopting ChromeOS, having live captions available from any and all applications will make for any even more well-rounded operating system. We’ll keep an eye out for updates to this feature and let you know when it’s ready for general use.