This is a post on FaceTime captions, and a brief tutorial on how to turn on them on. This is updated from March 2022.
Captions are the text in a video that relay what is being said. I am deaf and I lipread, so they are very helpful in supplementing what I miss, either through what I hear (with my hearing aids) or what I see (with lipreading).
Captions also help people who are non-native speakers of English, they help beginning readers, they also simply help clarify content. It’s always a win to have them!
FaceTime Has Captions!
FaceTime, Apple’s native video calling system, has captions now! They have been out for a while now, so they are working as well as they are likely to with current AI technology.
Here’s my Instagram reel about the new FaceTime captions, the rollout, and how to enable them:
How to Enable the New FaceTime Live Captions:
The live captions are pretty easy to enable once you get the hang of it, but it might take a little figuring out. Try it first with a low-stakes call, someone willing to wait while you figure it out!
Here’s how it goes:
- Make the call: call who you want using FaceTime. Note: must be a video call, NOT the audio FaceTime (it won’t work for the audio FaceTime yet)
- When you have the other person there, press the screen to see the controls
- Tap the at the top of the controls, then scroll down to turn on Live Captions
- Tap “Done” at the top right hand corner of the screen to return to the conversation
- The live captions will appear above the video
- Only the other person’s audio is transcribed on your end. In other words, only what the other person says will be captioned, NOT what you say
- Live captions use AI technology. It’s wonky. But still very cool.
- Because it’s wonky, you don’t want to rely on them for emergency situations or very important content that you must get absolutely correct
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.