Google Chrome's latest feature is a game-changer for video

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Audio player loading…

Google Chrome can now add captions to any video in real time (or very close to it). Live Captions was originally a feature exclusive to the Google Pixel 4, and was later rolled out to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 2.

That's all set to change though, as the tool has now appeared as an experimental option in Chrome Canary (opens in new tab) – a version of the browser that's intended mainly for developers, but is also a great way to try new features before their official release.

YouTube already has its own feature that transcribes speech in real time with pretty accurate results, but Live Captions would be a boon for other sites – and could be a game-changer if it works with video conferencing in your browser.

Speech to text

In our tests the feature didn't seem to be quite ready yet, but some users (opens in new tab) have managed to activate it successfully.

To see if they'll work for you, download and launch Chrome Canary for Windows, macOS or Linux (Live Captions aren't yet available for mobile), then type chrome://flags into the address bar and use the search box at the top to look for 'live captions'.

Click the drop-down menu and select 'Enabled'. Relaunch the browser using the blue button that appears at the bottom right.

Google Live Captions

(Image credit: Google)

Go to chrome://settings/accessibility, find the switch marked 'Live Caption' and toggle it on. If you're lucky, subtitles will now appear automatically whenever you visit a website containing a video with speech.

Via Android Police (opens in new tab)

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)