From the Google I/O 2019, the only feature that got me really excited was the on-device machine learning. The capability of your device to transcribe text, suggestive smart replies, and generate captions all locally and even get better in time was just an amazing display of AI capabilities. But, unlike every Android product, it is limited to certain or let’s just say the latest Android devices. While the Live Captions are rolling out on the Pixel 3 series as of now, here is how you get it in on any Android device.
We would need a device to be rooted and updated to Android 10
How to Get Live Captions on Any Android Device
Before we begin, we are actually trying to spoof our device to be Pixel 4 for the app. Just to keep things simple, we will bifurcate this How to into 2 parts. The first one is for the older Pixel devices like Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 3, etc. If you own a different Android device than Pixel, move to this part.
On the Pixel device, you would already have Device Personalization Services installed. This app is only Pixel-specific.
Now, we need to replace the Device Personalization app with the Pixel 4’s variant. Download the Pixel variant from this link and install it. Next, move on to the Magisk Manager app and install the module “SQLite for ARM aarch64 devices” from the Downloads section. This module is essential and it is required by the script to open and edit database files.
After the reboot, you would be able to access the “Live Captions” settings under the Accessibility menu. Alternatively, you can directly type “Live Captions” on the Settings search bar and enable it.
If you are on a non-Pixel device, you won’t be able to download and use the Device Personalization Services app. For that, we would need to foremost install the module “SQLite for ARM aarch64 devices” from the Magisk Manager app. Next, reboot the device.
Post the reboot, download and install the Live Caption Non-Pixel module via the Magisk Manager. Next, reboot the device.
Once after the reboot, download and install the Device Personalization Services app. After the install, you would be able to access the “Live Captions” settings under the Accessibility menu. Alternatively, you can directly type “Live Captions” on the Settings search bar and enable it.
Live Caption Customization
The Live Caption works through all the Android apps in case of both audio and video. The only exception is Phone calls. These captions can be quickly turned off through the volume control. When you hit the volume rocker, there is a small keyboard icon at the bottom of the floating bar. Toggling it on/off will enable and disable the Live captions.
You can drag the Live caption and place it anywhere on the screen. You can even double-tap on it to expand the Live captions window.
The Live Caption can also be customized via the Caption preferences menu. Head over to the Settings menu and search “Caption Preferences” on the search bar. Herein, you can change the text size and the caption layout.
As of now, the Live captions only support the English language. As per Google, more language support should be available in the coming days.
As of now, the Live Caption might give you different results based on your accent and speech. However, it is supposed to improve over time. Do keep in mind that the Live Captions take a toll on your battery life since the live transcribing requires huge computing. If you have a device with a feeble battery, consider turning it on only when required.
For more issues or queries regarding this, let me know in the comments below.