MASTERCLASSING

Google introduces accessibility apps to help the hearing-impaired

Tyrone Stewart

Google Live Transcribe Sound AmplifierGoogle has launched a pair of apps designed to make using a smartphone easier for those that are deaf or hard-of-hearing. One of which turns speech into subtitles and one which makes audio clearer.

The Live Transcribe app can take real-world speech and turn it into real-time captions using the phone’s microphone. It can enable two-way conversation via a type-back keyboard for users who can’t or don’t want to speak, and is available in more than 70 languages and dialects.

The app has begun rolling out in a limited beta to users around the world via Google Play and pre-installed on Pixel 3 devices. Live Transcribe can be enabled in Accessibility Settings and started from the accessibility button on the navigation bar.

With the Sound Amplifier app, audio is made clearer and easier to hear. It can be used on with wired headphones to ‘filter, augment and amplify’ sounds and enables the user to customise their sound enhancement settings.

Sound Amplifier is available on Google Play and supports Android 9 Pie or later, while also coming pre-installed on Pixel 3.

“With both Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, our goal is to help the hundreds of millions of people who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate more clearly,” said Brian Kemler, product manager for Android Accessibility at Google, in a blog post.

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