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How to get live captions for every podcast you listen to - on whatever app

· By · 1.1 minutes to read

Use Live Caption on some Android phones

On Google Pixel phones and “selected other Android phones”, there’s a tool called Live Caption. It adds an overlay with subtitles from all the audio you play on your phone. You can turn it on by pressing the volume button, and tapping the Live Caption icon. Set it up here.

Use “Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications” on most Android phones

Alternatively, this is a free app from Google available for many Android phones. The difference is that this uses the microphone on your phone to give live captions; if you’re in a quiet room, it’ll do a good job when listening to a podcast on your phone’s speaker, but it won’t be any good in the supermarket queue.

Got an iPhone? Hmm.

While Apple offers a number of accessibility options, live captions is not one of them, and the company does not offer this service.

The 'Live Caption’ service on Google Pixel phones and others, works without an internet connection: so you could buy a cheap, second-hand, phone for that purpose. You’ll need a Google Pixel 2 and above; they’re around US$120 or so on eBay.

James Cridland is the Editor of Podnews, a keynote speaker and consultant. He wrote his first podcast RSS feed in January 2005; and also launched the first live radio streaming app for mobile phones in the same year. He's worked in the audio industry since 1989.

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