Google+ Hangouts Get Closed Captioning

You can read a transcript of what’s going on in a Google+ Hangout in real-time — Closed Captioning, essentially — thanks to a new app released Thursday called Hangout Captions.

The app provides a transcript of a Hangout that can be read by those who are deaf or have trouble hearing, allowing them to participate in the conversation as well.

“By adding the +Hangout Captions app, you can either connect live text from a professional transcriptionist to your Hangout, or type right into a text box yourself to transcribe a Hangout for your friends,”  Naomi Black, technical program manager for accessibility engineering wrote in a post on Google+.

“Right now, we only support professional transcription through StreamText and our ‘do-it-yourself’ Basic Transcription. This is an early look at the app so you can tell us what you think.”

In late May, Google added the ability to add captions to videos uploaded to Google+.

Hangout Captions are available now via the app’s website. Using the app requires you to not only install the app but also grant it some access to your Google+ account.

Once installed, however, you’ll be able to use the service whenever you’re involved in a Google + Hangout.

You’ll only be able to see a transcription in the Hangout Captions side panel when someone in the Hangout is providing the transcription; either through live stenography (CART or palantype) or by simply typing into the app. Live transcription isn’t automatic.

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