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Google Duo prepping caption support for incoming video and audio messages

Google Duo appears to be preparing to add support for live text captions for incoming video and audio messages on mobile devices.

If you weren’t already aware, Google Duo can do more than just make video calls. You can send and receive video and audio messages. Video messages have been available for a couple of years now, while audio messages are a little more recent — having been added shortly after.

The upcoming feature was unearthed by Jane Manchun Wong, who is well-known for her code digging within many of the most popular apps on your smartphone. She shared a screenshot of the upcoming transcription (or captions) option within Google Duo for messages sent or received within the video messaging app.

If you have a Pixel 4, 3, or 3a, you’ll probably be wondering why this is a big deal — as you can simply enable global Live Captions to get the same effect. However, this new caption toggle for Google Duo means that more devices will be able to utilize the impressive live transcription tech we’ve seen on the Pixel devices since Android 10 dropped.

The toggle hints that audio will be sent directly to Google to be transcribed off-device, rather than on-device — like on recent Pixels. This does mean that you’ll likely need an internet connection for the transcription service to work, although it’s not clear.

Despite the discovery, we have no details on just when this feature could come to Duo. Wong didn’t actually specify which OS version this screengrab was from, either. One would expect the feature to come to Android first before heading to iOS, but again, we simply don’t know at this stage.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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