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New technology: live captions from Apple

Thanks to volunteer Rosie Wolf who recently tried out the new app Navi for us and our beneficiaries. Rosie says:

‘I contacted the customer service people and they told me: “It requires an iPhone, iPad with iOS 15 or newer or a Mac with macOS Monterey. Those are quite new, but iPhones released in the last four years should be able to run it.”  However, my husband and I have newer phones and we have had a quick look.

‘It will only work on FaceTime calls, incoming or outgoing, and both parties have to have downloaded the Navi app, which was easy to do from the Apple store.  The subtitles work quite well as long as everybody speaks distinctly and slowly, otherwise you get the usual rubbish translation.

‘It might take a bit of practice for non-tech savvy people to master.  I managed it in the end and I am certainly not technical and need to be shown things several times. There is hope for all of us who struggle that these things will be more widely available in the near future.’

Staff member and assistive technology expert Craig Fisher confirmed that this is looking like the way forward for Apple users:

‘I have not used the app, but it certainly looks interesting (I’m not an Apple user for the most part). However, I do believe that Apple is finally building something like this into the phones and iPads later this year, something akin to Google Live Transcribe which will caption all audio on the device.

‘So I reckon that long term, that will be the solution to hold out for on Apple devices, rather than a separate app – see’