Google is improving accessibility on its Chrome browser, adding its Live Caption feature which was previously available on select Android phones.
XDA Developers reported that the feature, which provides real-time captions for audio playing on devices, will now be available for non-Android smartphones and computers running stable Chrome 89.
The site added that the feature doesn’t always immediately appear for some users, though resetting Chrome usually fixes it.
The feature has been in development since back in June 2020, though XDA Developers said the roll out would still depend on how quickly Google updates its systems.
The feature is tucked away under Settings > Advanced > Accessibility, and toggles off or on.
When activated for the first time, Chrome will need to download some speech recognition files.
According to the Google Support page, Live Caption works for videos, podcasts, phone calls, video calls, audio messages, and “even stuff you record yourself”.
It warns that the feature eats up more battery during calls or when media is playing, and will automatically turn off if the phone is set to battery saver mode.
Some other limitations with Live Caption are that it is currently available for English only, meant for one-on-one calls, and might be unavailable for some services which opt out of sharing their audio stream.
Though Support says the feature doesn’t work on music, a test with music streaming showed it could caption lyrics, albeit slowly and with some degree of error. Instrumentals are captioned as “music”.
Google assures that all audio and captions are processed on the device and are never stored or sent to Google, and it doesn’t use mobile data or an Internet connection.