How to Get Live Subtitles on Your FaceTime Calls


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Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Have you ever wanted live subtitles during your FaceTime calls? Navi, a companion app for FaceTime, lets you add it on your iPhone, iPad, and your Mac, too. The app makes clever use of Apple’s SharePlay feature to show you live subtitles during your video calls with your friends, yet another good reason to use FaceTime.

For people with hearing difficulties, live subtitles during calls can be a game-changer. Similarly, people who find it difficult to follow spoken English (like non-native English speakers) will find this subtitle feature really helpful. We tried using Navi to call our friends and found that the app works fairly well both on the iPhone and on Mac.

How to generate live subtitles during FaceTime calls

To start, open Navi and make a FaceTime audio or video call. On Mac, you can click the captions icon in FaceTime to enable Navi’s subtitles. On iPhone, you can use SharePlay to make the most of Navi. Remember that you need to update to iOS 15.1 or newer versions to be able to use SharePlay.

The quality of subtitles is fairly good as long as you’re using standard English phrases and not mixing languages. That makes it good enough for most people. Non-native English speakers may notice that their accents reduce the accuracy of Navi’s subtitles, but it’s still just about good enough to be usable.

The app is free to download and its live subtitles feature was free to use at the time of writing, but that could change later. We were unable to test the live translation feature for any friends or family members who speak any of the non-English languages that Navi supports, but you can give it a shot and see if it’s good enough to converse with your international friends. It’s worth remembering that Navi only translates subtitles into the language of your choice, so it’s not like the Universal Translator from Star Trek.

Live translation is a paid feature of Navi, which costs $3.99 for up to 100,000 characters and $14.99 for up to 250,000 characters. You can buy more translation tokens if you cross these character limits.

 



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