Have You Tried Apple’s Live Captions?

For years I carried a spare Android phone in my purse so I could access its excellent auto-caption capability—at first via an app called Live Transcribe but later it was incorporated into the operating system. I always wondered when Apple would catch up, and it finally has, recently launching Live Captions (Beta) in iOS 16.

An excerpt from my article on this topic is below. Read the full post at FindHearing on HHTM.

Apple’s Live Captions Still in Beta

Like Android’s Live Transcribe, Live Captions provides auto-captioning for any audio content. This includes FaceTime calls, streaming video, or in-person conversations. So far, it is only available in English. When not in use, it retreats to the background, residing on the screen as a small circle you can move around with your finger to keep it out of the way. To use captioning, click on the circle and it will expand to a rectangle that displays a few lines of text. Expand it again to fill the full screen with text.

Performance is Mixed

I tried Live Captions in a variety of settings and so far, the performance has been mixed compared to other speech-to-text solutions I have used. Live Captions had particular trouble decoding speech in background noise, but this is the case for most speech-to-text applications. I expect the accuracy and synchronicity will improve over time.

On FaceTime calls, the captions worked well, but only appeared when my conversation partner spoke which I found confusing since most captioning programs show all spoken speech.

Activating Live Caption is Easy

For more on how to activate Live Captions, continue reading on HHTM.

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4 thoughts on “Have You Tried Apple’s Live Captions?

  1. I was amazed to find it on my new iPhone 14 and put it to use immediately. Not 100% sold on it. Sometimes it works great and other it just stops and I have to restart it again and works if it wants to. Not 100% satisfied, but better then nothing. Does not work for agents located in India.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of "We Hear You," an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, "Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss," (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Still a work in progress for sure! I expect it will only get better over time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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