Google continues to expand the functionality of their excellent accessibility apps for people with hearing loss.
If you use a Pixel or Android device, we encourage you to read on and learn how you can access real-time captions and use your phone to enhance hearing and your connection to the world around you.
Live Caption automatically captions speech on your device. You can use it on media like videos, podcasts, phone calls, video calls, and audio messages. Note that some of these steps work only on Android 10 and up.
How to configure Live Caption on your device
Live Transcribe provides free, real-time, speech-to-text captions for everyday in-person conversations right on your Android phone. It supports more than 80 languages and dialects. There are other features like typeback that allows you to type the text directly into a box and show to your conversation partner, custom words that allows you to customize your name or any special terms that aren’t recognized by Google’s dictionary, and more.
To get started, go to your Android device, open Settings > Accessibility and look for Live Transcribe to open the app. If you can’t find it, you can download it from Play Store directly.
Sound Notifications uses on-device machine learning technology to notify you through haptics, flashing lights, and phone notifications when there are important sounds around you (e.g., fire/smoke alarms, doorbell ringing, baby sounds). You can also access a timeline view up to 12 hours to see sounds that happened while you were sleeping or focusing on something else. The feature is compatible with WearOS and other smartwatch devices.
To get started, go to your Android device, open Settings > Accessibility and look for Sound Notifications to open the app. If you can’t find it, you can download Live Transcribe from Play Store directly and open Sound Notifications.
Hearing Aid Streaming
Android 11 brings default hearing aid support to Android. Connecting and streaming support is built directly into Android (no need for dongle) with low latency connection and longer battery life.
To get started, go to your Android device, open Settings > Accessibility and look for Hearing Aids. Please check with your audiologist to make sure your hearing aids support Android direct streaming.
Sound Amplifier enhances audio from your Android device, using headphones to improve listening clarity. Use Sound Amplifier to filter, augment, and amplify sounds around you and on your device. Sound Amplifier increases important sounds, like conversations, without over-boosting distracting noises. With two simple sliders, you can quickly customize sound enhancement and reduce background noise. You can also use it as a remote microphone if you pair your phone with wireless headphones.
To get started, go to your Android device, open Settings > Accessibility and look for Sound Amplifier to open the app. If you can’t find it, you can download it from Play Store directly.
We're Here to Help
We hope you found this informative and that you'll give these apps a try. They can make a real difference in your ability to hear, communicate and be safe.
If you have questions or need some assistance in using these apps, or any other kind of assistive listening and alerting technology, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're happy to answer your questions and, if you'd like, set up an in-office or virtual visit.
Hope we can connect again soon!