Apple adds live captions to iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Apple on Tuesday announced live captions are coming to iPhone, iPad, and Mac coming later this year. Meant primarily for the deaf and hard of hearing community — but, of course, anyone can use the feature — users will be able to follow along more easily with any audio content — whether they are on a phone or FaceTime call, using a video conferencing or social media app, streaming media content, or having a conversation with someone next to them.

Live Captions in FaceTime
Live Captions in FaceTime

Users will also be able to adjust font size for ease of reading. Live Captions in FaceTime attribute auto-transcribed dialogue to call participants, so group video calls will become even more convenient for users with hearing disabilities. When Live Captions are used for calls on Mac, users will have the option to type a response and have it spoken aloud in real time to others who are part of the conversation. And because Live Captions are generated on device, user information stays private and secure.

Lauren Feiner for CNBC:

It means people who are hard of hearing, or anyone who wants to watch a video with the volume off, will see text at the bottom of the screen that they can read along with. Apple said it can be used on streaming services, FaceTime calls and other video conferencing apps.

Apple also introduced a new Door Detection feature that can help blind or low-vision iPhone or iPad users find doors if they’re unfamiliar with the area. The tool can also describe whether the door is open or closed and whether it can be opened by pushing, pulling or turning a knob. It uses lidar technology and machine learning to operate. Lidar is available on iPhone Pro and iPad Pro models.

MacDailyNews Note: Read more about Apple’s forthcoming slew of accessibility features for iPhone, iPad, and Mac here.

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11 Comments

    1. Google’s Live Caption tech introduced in 2019 is probably the closest to what you want right now. It automatically captions speech on your device for media like videos, podcasts, phone calls, video calls, and audio messages. At present it supports English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, & Spanish. And all of it done offline on your Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and select Android devices, . https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/9350862?hl=en

      1. Google supports 2 of its own devices only sold in the low hundreds of thousands. Plus a very select few others sold in similarly pitiful numbers.

        Apple supports hundreds of millions of devices in one go. If that’s not GoogleBS, nothing is.

          1. Sorry, what? Samsung’s “flagship” S sales grow smaller each year, that’s why Samsung is so keen on its A series devices. Just because Samsung’s S series are part of the select group is meant to sound impressive, but in reality it isn’t.

    2. Probably when the technology gets to an accuracy level Apple is happier with. Pretty basic really, Apple doesn’t do anything until it is happy. Sometimes, as with Apple Maps, that’s premature, but that’s rare.

      They also said they were sick and tired of the BS emanating from AppleBS and this was also a factor, mainly because they don’t take fools lightly and AppleBS is a certified F-class fool.

      But they also said they aren’t petty about such things and despite AppleBS being a dweeb of Androidesque proportions, the feature was on the drawing board for definitive future release.

  1. That Door Detection feature is probably a test run for Apple’s future glasses. I can’t imagine a blind person using one hand for a cane and holding an iPhone in another just to detect a door and having to then free up one hand to open the door.

  2. For over 4 years I have repeatedly asked Apple app development teams and even Tim Cook himself to add captioning to FaceTime so that I could communicate with my 104 year old father from thousands of miles away. Alas, the feature has come too late for me and my father as he is now in an assisted living facility that doesn’t have internet access for residents. Damn. This has been a trivially simple feature that could have been added years and years ago.

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