You’re speaking with other people in a video or audio call on your iPhone or iPad, and you want to make sure you catch every word said by another person. With iOS/iPadOS 16, you can turn on Live Captions to view the text of the conversation.
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Accessible during a regular phone call as well as in FaceTime and other VoIP apps, the new Live Captions feature is available in English on the iPhone 11 and later, the Pad mini (5th generation and later), iPad (8th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (all generations) and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later). Here’s how it works.
What you’ll need to enable Live Captions
First, make sure you’ve updated your device to the latest OS version: Go to Settings, select General and then select Software Update. You’ll be told that your OS is up to date or prompted to download and install the latest update.
How to set up Live Captions
To enable Live Captions, go to Settings, select Accessibility and then select Live Captions (Beta). Turn on the switch for Live Captions. To use captions during a FaceTime call, turn on the switch for Live Captions in FaceTime (Figure A).
The Listening window appears at the bottom of the screen. You can drag the window around the screen if you need to move it.
Tap the window to display a top row of icons, tap the double arrow to enlarge the window to a full screen, tap the same button to shrink it back and tap the left arrow to shrink the window into a small icon (Figure B).
Next, tap Appearance. You can choose the format, size, text color and background color of the captions (Figure C).
How to place a phone call with Live Captions
With Live Captions enabled, try placing a regular phone call to someone. As each person on the call speaks, the live caption appears on the screen.
Tap the double-arrow to switch to full-screen mode if you need to see an entire section of the conversation (Figure D).
How to place a FaceTime call with Live Captions
Make sure the Live Captions feature is on, then place a video call to someone via FaceTime. The Live Captions appear as each person speaks (Figure E).
How to manually activate Live Captions
Finally, you can manually trigger the Live Captions for any type of audio or video conversation. Make sure you can see the row of icons on the Live Captions window, then tap the microphone icon and then start speaking. If you need to pause the captions, tap the pause icon. Tap the microphone icon to resume (Figure F).