Unlike Chat, the transition to Hangouts Meet has been less controversial for Google. The Android client is now adding support for live captions, while it’s easier to enable the feature on the web client.

Powered by Google’s speech recognition technology, automatic live captions in Hangouts Meet debuted at Cloud Next 2019 in April. It’s ideal for those who are hearing impaired and non-native language participants, as well as noisy rooms.

On Android, there is a new “CC” button next to the overflow menu in the top-right corner. Captions appear at the bottom of the current video window in black bubbles with white text. Meanwhile, in the web and on Chromebase for meetings devices, the feature can now be enabled by a “Turn on captions” button in the bottom bar.

Full instructions are as follows:

  • On Android: Tap the closed captions button on the top right of the Meet app when you are in a meeting. (Note that this button is only shown here for English language users. It can be found in the triple-dot menu for all other languages.
  • On the web and on Chromebase for meetings touchscreen devices: Tap the captions button at the bottom right of your screen. (Note that this button is only shown here for English language users. It can be found in the triple-dot menu for all other languages.)
  • On devices with a Mimo touchscreen: Tap the captions option in the right-hand panel. (Note that this is only shown here for English language users. It can be found under Settings for all other languages.)

At the moment, this feature is only available in English, while Google is working to bring it to Meet for iOS. Captions are only visible on your device, and have to be enabled for each user. Additionally, live captions do not appear in post-meeting recordings. Google is rolling out Hangouts Meet live captions starting today on Android.


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