Google Chrome now offers live captions for videos and more on your Mac

The Dock on Mac
The Dock on Mac (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Google Chrome now supports live captions on macOS.
  • Users can enjoy live captions when watching videos and listening to audio.

Google Chrome has a new update out that will allow users to enjoy live captions when watching videos and listening to audio via the browser. You'll need Google Chrome 89 to enjoy the new feature.

First spied by XDA Developers, the feature was announced way back in 2019 and has since come to Pixel phones. But the important accessibility feature is now part of the Chome app's feature set, too.

Google first showcased its amazing Live Caption accessibility feature at Google I/0 2019. The feature was first rolled out to the Pixel phones with Android 10 update and subsequently arrived on many non-Pixel phones, including the Galaxy S20 series, OnePlus 8 series, OnePlus Nord, and more. As the name implies, Live Caption provides real-time captions for audio playing on your device. It works with videos, podcasts, and even phone calls. This comes really handy if you have a hearing impairment or want to watch a video with audio turned off.Although the feature has so far remained exclusive to Android phones, we know Google has been working on bringing it to the Chrome browser on the desktop for some time now. And today, it's finally going live for users on the stable Chrome 89.

Users can find the new options in Chrome's accessibility settings, with a toggle doing the heavy lifting. You can also then customize the size and style of the text that will be generated, too. You'll probably need a great monitor for your Mac if you want to make reading those captions as easy as possible, though.

Live Caption. Automatically creates captions for English audio and video. Audio and captions never leave your device.

Existing Chrome users will see the update available to them now while everyone else can head to the Google Chrome website to download. Make sure you have Chrome set as your default browser if you're going to take advantage of this new feature as well.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.