As part of today's Pixel 4a festivities, Google has also announced a new feature that's coming to older Pixels as well. Remember Google's Live Caption feature that transcribes speech in real-time, on-device, for things like videos? Well, Live Caption will now also work for video and voice calls — more useful than ever in these socially distant times.

Originally a Pixel 4-exclusive, Live Caption eventually made its way to the Pixel 3, 3a, and even the Pixel 2, as well as a handful of third-party devices. If you haven't used it, it's pretty great, transcribing the spoken words in content like YouTube or video messages. It's great for accessibility, but it's also useful if you're just stuck in a noisy environment, or don't want to bother the folks around you.

According to Google, the feature will now also caption voice and video calls on the Pixel 2, 3, 3a, 4, and 4a. While you still might have to verbally talk back to folks on the other end of the line (or screen), it should make things a little easier the next time you're stuck on a family video call in an unavoidably noisy spot.

Google hasn't published a full list of compatible video calling apps, and we aren't sure if it even is limited to certain specific services or not, but given this is Google, I'd expect it should work with first-party services like Duo and the built-in Phone app at a minimum, and almost certainly more apps and services should work. Just remember, it's still English-only. The mechanism of the rollout isn't stated, but given the timing, it could be either part of this month's patches, a server-side change, or even an app update.

Pixel 4 has it now

After being inaugurated on the 4a, we're now seeing the feature go live with XDA-Developer's Mishaal Rahman reporting it on his Pixel 4 and one of our tipsters having it on his Pixel 3 XL as seen below in this screenshot.

More updates to come as reports arrive.

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  • Ibrahim