How to set up and use live captions in iOS 16

It’s a sad fact of life that many people have disabilities that prevent them from fully enjoying things that perfectly healthy people can enjoy. But one of the great things about technology is that adjustments can easily be made to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, to level the playing field, so to speak. One of these features is live subtitles. Here we explain what Live Captions in iOS 16 is all about and how to set it up and use it.

Continue reading: How to change iPhone wallpaper on iOS 16


To set up live captions on iOS 16, go to Settings > Accessibility > Live Captions (Beta). A small audio player-like interface will now appear at the bottom of the screen, listening for audio. When it hears something, it transcribes the audio onto the screen. Live captions also work for FaceTime and other video calling apps. It should be emphasized that since this is a beta product, the transcription quality isn’t all that great at the moment.


What are live subtitles in iOS 16 and how do they work?

ios16 live subtitles

Obviously, if you are deaf or hard of hearing, making phone calls and video calls will be a very stressful task for you. Instead of constantly asking the other person to repeat themselves, you can turn on live captions instead. Not to be confused with closed captions, live captions place a small audio player-like interface at the bottom of your screen and listen for audio in the immediate vicinity. It will then transcribe that audio and display it on screen for you.

To make it work with regular phone calls, put the call on speaker so Live Captions can hear it. The feature is also built into FaceTime and virtually every other app on your phone that makes noise. However, enabling live subtitles means you always have the audio speaker at the bottom of your screen. But if you have hearing problems, you probably won’t mind, and you can also minimize it to the corner of the iPhone screen.

Don’t forget the beta tag as well – currently transcriptions are a bit back and forth. As it currently only supports US English, other English dialects or languages ​​will not really work.

How to Enable Live Subtitles in iOS 16

To enable live captions, go to Settings > Accessibility > Live Captions (Beta).

ios option for live subtitles

If you don’t see it, your phone’s primary language is probably not set to US English. You would have to do that first Settings > General > Language & Region > Preferred Languages. Beat add language and select American English).

ios change primary language

Turn the feature back on in live subtitles. Below is a section called Live subtitles in the app, where you can enable live captions for specific apps only. At the moment, only FaceTime is on this list.

Turn on ios 16 live subtitles

The live subtitles player will now appear at the bottom of your screen. You can minimize it with the left-pointing arrow. Also note that live captions are muted by default. To unmute, tap the microphone icon.

ios 16 listen live subtitles

Mark O’Neill / Android Authority

How to change the text size of live subtitles

The plain text should be fine for the vast majority of people. But if you also have vision problems, you might want to adjust the text size a bit. To do this, go back to the live captions settings screen and tap Looks. The two options above are what you need to focus on.

Text size of live subtitles for iOS

In addition to enabling bold text, you can also type text size and use the slider below to enlarge the text to the size you want.

ios16 live subtitles optimize font size

How to change the text and background color of live subtitles

ios 16 live subtitles change color

If you go back Looks Submenu you can also change the color of the text and background.

frequently asked Questions

First of all, your phone must be at least iPhone 11. Older models are not supported. Secondly, live captions are only supported if your phone’s primary language is US English. How to set up and use live captions in iOS 16

Chris Barrese

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