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Google rolls out captions for audio and video messages on Duo

The feature will be available for both Android and iOS devices.

Evgeniia Siiankovskaia via Getty Images

Google has started rolling out a new Duo feature that’ll make it easier to check video and voice messages even in a noisy place. In a tweet, the Made by Google account has revealed that captions have started going live for messages sent on the application. No, the app still won’t be able to transcribe calls in real time, but the new feature could be an especially useful accessibility tool for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

As Android Police notes, Jane Manchun Wong, a discoverer of experimental app features, found a toggle in Message Settings marked "Captions for messages" back in February. The toggle’s explanation said that switching it on will send audio content to Google for transcription but that the company won’t be storing it. When active, the feature will display captions right above the call button near the bottom of the screen.

The publication also confirmed with the tech giant that this isn’t the same technology as Live Captions, which provides onscreen subtitles for any media that plays audio on a Pixel device. That particular tool is capable of real-time transcription for calls on select Pixel phones. This particular caption technology will work even on non-Pixel mobile devices and will be available for both Android and iOS.