When Google launched Live Transcribe last February, it was an extremely important accessibility feature for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and still is. The function transcribes the spoken word almost automatically in real time in up to 70 different languages.
Now, Google is expanding Live Transcribe with two new features. The first is important to extend it as an accessibility tool: "sound events". In about a month, the transcripts will be able to display text for things like "the dog is barking or when someone is knocking on your door," says Google. . It will also have indicators for things like call phones, laughter, cars or music. When one of these things happens, a small indicator will appear at the bottom of the screen, as you can see below:
The second new feature takes Live Transcribe out of the scope of accessibility and makes it potentially more useful for people who are not deaf or hard of hearing. Google will allow users to save transcripts live for up to three days. Google suggests that it would be useful for "journalists who capture interviews or students who take class notes". Those transcripts are stored locally on the phone.
As a journalist who spends a significant amount of money on transcription services such as Otter.ai and Rev .com, I would like to agree, but those services provide what will most likely be transcription applications with all the functions that can be saved audio and offer transcriptions that highlight the words as the audio is played. I'll have to try the new feature on Android before I'm willing to trust it.
When Google launched Live Transcribe for the first time, it specifically chose not to include the ability to save transcripts. . He said the reason was that he kept the feature "simple and easy to use", although I think he could also have taken into account possible concerns about privacy.
Google also said that although Live Transcribe requires an Internet connection to work, neither the audio nor the transcripts are stored on their servers. However, the sound event function works locally and does not require an Internet connection.
Live Transcribe is now available for most Android phones. Once you have downloaded it, turn it on in the Accessibility settings. New features will be available "next month," says Google.