How to turn on Live Captions for FaceTime calls

Turn on Live Captions to see a text transcript of your FaceTime calls.

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The days of struggling to hear what your FaceTime partner is saying are over. This is how you can turn on live captions to read what’s going on.

The new Live Captions feature is new to iOS 16 and takes spoken conversations and displays them in typed text at the bottom of the screen. The feature is useful during FaceTime calls where it can be difficult to hear.

According to Apple, you can use Live Captions for podcasts, video conferences, and in-person conversations. All you need is an iPhone 11 or later, an iPad with at least the A12 Bionic chip, or a Mac with the new Apple Silicon processor.

Live Captions is still a beta feature, which means its functionality is still improving. There will be times when it works intermittently, crashes, or just won’t load. These are normal, you can report them to Apple.

Apple also does not recommend using Live Captions during high-risk situations, such as emergencies.

How to turn on live captions for FaceTime calls

Before using Live Captions, you need to activate the feature in settings. You can do it in two ways: from the Settings app or from the FaceTime app.

  1. Open your Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Accessibility”.
  3. In the “Audition” section, tap “Captions Live (Beta).”
  4. To turn on live captions for all apps, toggle the top button to live captions.
  5. To turn on live captions only for certain apps, find the “Live captions in app” section. Toggle which apps you want to have live captions, like FaceTime.

You can change the appearance of live caption text. Tap “Appearance” and customize the text size, text color, background color, and opacity.

You can follow these steps if you need to quickly turn on Live Captions during a FaceTime call.

  1. Tap the “i” icon in the top right corner.
  2. Tap the “Live Captions (Beta)” button.
  3. Once you select the Live Captions button, a message will appear. Click OK.

To disable the feature, follow the same steps and deselect the “Live Captions (Beta)” button.

Take control of your live captions

Once live captions are active and displaying text, you can control how you view the transcript.

  1. Make the transcription window larger by tapping the outward pointing arrows. To make the window smaller, touch the inward pointing arrows.
  2. You can pause the transcription by tapping the pause button.
  3. Hide the transcription window by tapping the left-pointing arrow.
  4. To restore your transcript after hiding it, tap the button in the speech bubble.

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