A year ago, Google introduced two accessibility apps for Android: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier. As the name implies, the first one lets deaf and hard-of-hearing people use their phones to instantly transcribe any conversation around them and read it on their screen. The app has now been updated to v3.0 and gained two new features: Custom words and Vibrate when name is spoken.
After teasing it earlier this year, Google is now rolling out real-time translation transcriptions in the Google Translate app for Android. The feature will be delivered as part of an app update, which also brings a slight tweak to the app's interface and will be landing over the "next few days." It will work in any combination of eight currently supported languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, and Spanish.
Live Caption, which was first introduced during Google I/O 2019 as a Pixel 4 exclusive, is a game-changing addition to the suite of accessibility features built into Android 10. Using Live Caption allows those with deafness or other hearing disabilities to follow along with video content, while Android generates captions in real-time. It appears that the feature may be getting ready to make the leap from smartphones to computers as work is underway to bring the feature to Chrome, according to a new code commit to the Chromium Gerrit.
Back in May, at Google I/O 2019, the company showed off a nifty new feature called Live Caption that would be able to transcribe content from media playback in near-real-time. We initially expected that it could land with Android 10, especially given the official Android site shows off the feature, but it's still missing as of today. However, based on some leaked APKs the folks at XDA Developers were able to get their hands on, it might debut on the upcoming Pixel 4. In fact, they even got it working on a Pixel 2 XL, and here's what it looks like in action:
The Google Podcasts app is putting AI-generated episode transcriptions into good use with a couple of new features — one of them is live right now. Plus, we look over a useful timer for people who go to sleep with podcasts and a sorting button that's been long overdue.
Yesterday, Google opened the doors to a new beta channel for its Phone app. For those joining the beta releases, there's already a fresh update to v19 waiting for them to play with. There are a lot of changes coming through in this round, including some updates to the UI, an option to filter spam calls, and much more. If you want to get your hands on the latest version, but aren't quite ready to join the beta, grab the apk from the APK Mirror link below.
The Google Phone app already has a dedicated visual voicemail tab that allows users to listen to and delete voicemails quickly. It's a huge improvement over the clunky voicemail dialing we used to have to endure. However, some T-Mobile users, myself included, are now seeing transcriptions by Google there as well, making the process even easier. This capability was added to the Phone app back in November.
A new version of Allo is rolling out just in time for the holidays. If you're thinking about singing Christmas carols or wishing somebody a happy new year, things are going to get a little more interesting thanks to the latest update. Your audio messages will now be automatically transcribed to text, so people can decide when to listen and have some idea of what they're going to be hearing. There's also a clue that may suggest threaded conversations will be supported. We're still poking around for other changes, but let us know in the comments if you stumble across anything else.
Google began rolling out version 23 of Allo yesterday. No feature changes have jumped out at us yet, but there's plenty of material for a teardown. There are more details about the upcoming camera effects for selfies and selfie clips, a new type of attachment, custom support for contact cards shared between people, and more.