How to activate instant subtitles in Android 10 - The Happy Android

With the launch of Android 10 In mid-September 2019 we were finally able to find out what would be the new features introduced in the most recent iteration of Google's operating system. One of the most useful and palpable at first glance is the integration of a new functionality called "instant captions”.

This is a most interesting feature: a utility capable of generate subtitles automatically for any video or audio that we play from the phone, whether on YouTube, on Spotify, on a web page or in the music player of the terminal. The truth is that the current state of the application is far from what they wanted to sell us back in September, although it is still a very practical tool that is quite worth it. In any case, let's first see how it works, and then we'll get the hang of it ...

How to enable automatic subtitles in Android 10

The official name of the application is "Live Caption" Or what is the same, "Instant Subtitles”, And it is available by pressing any of the volume buttons of our device with Android 10.

When we do this we will see how an icon in the shape of a text card appears right next to the volume bar. If we click on it, the instant subtitles will be activated and a message will appear in the notification bar of the terminal.

By clicking on the notification bar we will access the settings menu of the tool, from where we can hide the bad words, show sound labels (laughter, applause) and make a couple more settings.

Once this is done, the only thing left is to play any multimedia content, be it a song, an audio track or a video, from any source / application, so that the utility generates the subtitles automatically.

One of the great benefits of instant captions is that does not require an internet connection, and therefore, we can use it in airplane mode or in areas where there is no coverage of any kind. Another positive point derived from this is that the entire transcription process is carried out within the phone itself, so no information is sent to Google (or at least this is what they assure us in the application settings).

This all sounds great, where is the problem then?

Basically, the idea of ​​Google is to offer us a tool with which we can watch videos or movies in silence, and that it is also much more comfortable for us to listen to voice notes, even with the volume at zero.

The concept is very good, but from the outset the first stone we find when activating instant subtitles is that for now only recognizes English. Therefore, if we want to silently watch videos in Spanish, or transcribe voice notes from a non-Anglo-Saxon friend, we will be left with the desire since the utility does not subtitle Spanish. To all this we must also add that the application seems to have all the problems in the world to transcribe songs (although this I do not know if it is just my problem or it is something general).

When we want to subtitle songs, it only shows the message «MUSIC».

To be completely honest, we must admit that it is a feature that can come in handy at certain times, especially if we are fluent in English and are in the habit of consuming audiovisual content in that language.

In addition, we have been able to verify that the tool works perfectly both in multimedia applications and in web browsers and other types of environments, with a quality in the transcription of the most remarkable. However, it is true that for the Spanish-speaking community it is a bit "lame." What do you think of this new functionality in Android 10?

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