Google has been working on “Ease of Access” lately. The search engine giant has launched two new apps meant for people with hearing problems. Surprisingly, the apps work differently for different levels of hearing impairment. The apps centralize on the goal of helping these kinds of people in utilizing their smartphones while participating in a conversation. The apps also try to reduce their dependence on hearing aids.
Touted as Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, both the assistive apps are now available for all Android smartphone users.
People with critical hearing impairment can use Live Transcribe as a transcription tool whereas Sound Amplifier, as the name goes, amplifies the sound for better quality and loudness aiming partial hearing impairment.
As for the status of the two new Google apps are concerned, the Live Transcribe app is under development but is available on early access. It can be downloaded by people at their own risk who seek to test it and give feedback for further refining. Whereas, the Sound Amplifier is available on Google Play Store as a stable android app.
Google’s Live Transcribe App
The core functionality of the Live Transcribe app centralizes on people with very severe hearing impairment or deaf. The advanced speech recognition technology used in the app works exceptionally well while real-time speech into text conversion.
Not only that, the Live Transcribe app has support for over 70 languages and dialects. According to Google, all the transcribed languages are downloaded on the smartphone itself instead of Google servers to let users feel secure about their privacy. The app also supports bilingual conversations (which usually people use while speaking) and comes with a haptic feedback support system to alert users.
Live Transcribe is compatible with all Android users running Lollipop or later. It has been under development in collaboration with a recognized institution for hearing impairment research, Gallaudet University. Notably, this app’s live transcription comes as an inbuilt feature in Google Pixel 3 and it can be activated by enabling ‘Live Transcript’ available in the accessibility settings. You can download the app on other devices as a beta tester from the Play Store.
Google’s Sound Amplifier App
The second app released from Google is meant for people with partial hearing issues. As the name Sound Amplifier suggests, this app amplifies the output sound for people with partial hearing impairment. Apart from that, the app also allows users to adjust audio boost intensity, tweak the left and right headphone settings, control noise reduction, and fine-tune the audio quality. Sound Amplifier can be downloaded from the Play Store coming at a small size of 3.1MB. Once downloaded, the app goes into settings of the device, accessible through Settings > Accessibility > Sound Amplifier > Use Service.