The best Pixel 4 feature is coming to Chrome soon (report)

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One of the Pixel 4's coolest features is Live Caption, which allows you to add subtitles or closed captions to anything you're watching, even if it didn’t have captions built-in. The only problem is that Live Caption initially required a Pixel handset, but now it’s looking like Google’s bringing this ability to one of its most popular products: its Chrome browser.

Chrome Unboxed (via AndroidCentral) has found a reference to a SODA (Speech On-Device API) on Chromium Gerrit, the site used by Chrome web developers. This wouldn’t necessarily point to Live Captions support on the browser, but the fact that the page includes the phrase: “The design document for the feature is located at: go/chrome-live-captions” is a fairly clear message about what the devs have in mind.

Live Caption has many potential benefits. It can help people who are deaf or hard of hearing enjoy all sorts of content without needing to seek out captioned versions. The feature can also help you keep track of what’s going on in your videos while in a noisy environment. Plus, since the processing is done on-device, it may be more secure than an over-air captioning system.

Live Caption is currently limited to the Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and Pixel 4 (although the feature is coming soon to the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip), and they have to be running Android 10 in order to do so. In addition, Live Caption only works in English, and currently can’t work with music or voice calls.

This feature hasn’t even made it to a developer version of Chrome yet like Chrome Dev or Canary, let alone the stable one that most users have. We may have a while to wait, but the addition of Live Caption could make make one of the best browsers even better.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.