In June this year, we learned that Google was working on a new “Live Translate” feature for Pixel phones. We spotted mentions of the feature in an APK teardown of Android 12 Beta 2’s SettingsIntelligence app, but the new strings didn’t highlight exactly what it would do. However, we now have more information about the upcoming “Live Translate” feature, thanks to Google’s recent Pixel 6 teaser.
As per the teaser, the Google Pixel 6 series will come with the new “Live Translate” feature that will take the existing transcription feature on Pixel phones to the next level. According to The Washington Post, the feature will let you “generate live, translated captions when you are watching — or listening to — content in another language.”
Dieter Bohn from The Verge got a chance to experience the feature in action and reported that “the Pixel’s on-device auto-caption feature appeared to be a little faster and more accurate — and was even able to translate from French to English in real time from a playing video.” As you’d expect, the feature utilizes the new Tensor chip to handle translations locally without requiring an internet connection. Google’s hardware chief, Rick Osterloh, also told The Verge that the Tensor chip allows the Pixel 6 phones to run “data-center quality models” for the feature.
The Tensor chip on the upcoming Google Pixel 6 series facilitates a host of other features too. As we reported in our previous coverage, it allows Google to run its computational photography models to improve the Pixel 6’s video performance, offer more layers of hardware security, and enable a host of other on-device AI features. To learn more about the Pixel 6 series and everything we know about the devices so far, check out this post.
The Google Pixel 6 series will debut this fall, though Google hasn’t specified exactly when they’ll launch the two phones. The launch will likely happen in mid-October, and we expect to learn more about new features, specifications, pricing, and availability in the weeks leading up to the launch.