Ever press a button without knowing what it exactly does? Maybe some of the icons aren't exactly self-explanatory. Google Photos has had a few of those for a while. Well, the cavalry's just come in and they're bringing in labels.
Live Caption is one of the most underrated features to come to Android in years. Whether you're hard of hearing, deaf, in a loud environment, or forget to bring your headphones, it automatically transcribes any audio coming from your phone for you. We long knew that Live Caption is on its way to Chrome as well, and you could even activate it via a flag in Chrome 88 already. And today, Google has announced that the feature is now available for everyone.
Even if you don't use them often, accessibility options are some of the most important settings on your phone. Google has baked in plenty of features to help those with disabilities use Android, but over time, the accessibility menu has become cluttered and hard to navigate. On Android 12 DP2, however, Google has shuffled a few key controls to make it a lot easier to find exactly what you're looking for.
Later this year, Zoom plans to make a live AI-based transcription feature available to everyone — paid account or otherwise. If you'd rather not wait for the handy accessibility feature freebie, you can also request access to it early.
Google is always working on improving its Android apps and the operating system itself, heavily relying on public a/b tests that appear on some people's phones but not on others. But every once in a while, the company takes the time to announce some features formally, and today is another one of those days. Google is making a whole slew of known tests and a few brand-new changes official.
XDA is on a roll, detailing a whole slew of features that might come to Android 12, supposedly codenamed Snow Cone. The latest code the publication dug up points at a Google-made "Game Mode" and an accessibility option allowing the visually impaired to reduce bright colors.
One of the coolest things about technology is the myriad of ways in which it can be utilized to assist people with disabilities. Google's newest experimental app allows people who might not be able to speak out loud to express themselves verbally via a surprising method: their eyes. 👀
We aren't at the point yet where every Android phone is able to transcribe voice calls in real time, but what Google is doing with its video chat service Duo is a good first step: the app is now enabling captions for recorded voice and video messages.
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.
Android is doing its darndest to become a better OS update by update — even beyond the actual OS upgrades. New pushes to Google Play Services and apps will improve how people reach emergency services, get them to bed, and bring the world clearer and closer to those with vision loss.