How To: Enable System-Wide Subtitles & Get Closed Captions for Any App on Your Galaxy S20

Enable System-Wide Subtitles & Get Closed Captions for Any App on Your Galaxy S20

When it's hard to hear what's being said, subtitles give you clarity where audio falls short. Thanks to Android 10, your Galaxy S20 now lets you enable a live transcription of your phone's internal audio stream, meaning you can get closed captions in virtually any app — even if the app doesn't otherwise support them.

This works for video games, social media apps like Twitter, streaming services like Netflix, and many more. The feature can even be enabled on the fly, which makes it a handy option when compared to the clunky native closed caption functionality in apps like YouTube.

Enabling 'Live Caption'

You can access this feature in your Settings menu, but it's better to enable the Live Caption tile in your Quick Settings menu so you can quickly turn captions on when you need them.

So swipe down twice from the top of any screen to open the Quick Settings panel in full. From there, tap the three-dot menu button along the right edge just above all the toggles, then choose "Button order" from the menu. Now, simply drag and drop the "Live Caption" tile to your desired location, and tap "Done" on the bottom right.

Now, just tap on the tile to instantly enable Live Caption to display captions for media — be it YouTube videos, clips shared by loved ones via Samsung Messages, short previews for apps and games on the Play Store, and more. Text is right on the mark for the most part, and it can even detect pauses and varying tones for accurate punctuation.

For legal reasons, Live Caption cannot function in calling apps of any kind. Since there's software analyzing the audio stream, it's technically recording the call, which is illegal in most jurisdictions unless the other party consents or is made aware. Though, it's worth noting that the transcription takes place entirely on-device and recordings are not stored.

So for example, the feature can't caption live video calls in apps like Google Duo, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, but it works for non-live content in the same apps, such as shared recorded clips and other media files.

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Cover image and GIF by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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