Two new apps that will cater to the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing were launched on Monday by Google. Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier have been designed specifically to run on the Android OS. Both features will come preinstalled on Pixel 3 phones in Accessibility Settings and will also be available in the Google Play Store for other phones as well.
“Today, we’re introducing two new apps for Android designed to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier.”
Live Transcript according to a post made by Google, is an app that automatically transcribes speech in near-real time. It works by allowing people to communicate in peculiar situations where communications would be difficult.
Sound Amplifier, the second app launched alongside Live Transcript by Google, is designed for people with hearing loss. It allows users to tweak sound settings to improve the quality of your hearing ability. You could call it a hearing aid, just that it works on your Android device.
While Sound Amplifier is now officially available on the Play Store, Live Transcript is still only available as a limited beta. Though, officially available, people interested in using Sound Amplifier must have Android 9 Pie running on their device to be able to access the new app. This could hinder the spread of the app as not every device runs on the new Android OS from Google.
“With Sound Amplifier, audio is more clear and easier to hear. You can use Sound Amplifier on your Android smartphone with wired headphones to filter, augment and amplify the sounds in your environment. It works by increasing quiet sounds, while not over-boosting loud sounds. You can customize sound enhancement settings and apply noise reduction to minimize distracting background noise with simple sliders and toggles.”
Live Transcribe has a higher potential of hitting the ground running of the two apps launched by Google. Available in over 70 languages and dialect, the app it works by writing out what it hears in large, easy-to-read texts. As a matter of fact, Google deserves kudos for designing an app that easily understands some context and also punctuations while hearing.
“Live Transcribe has the potential to give people who are deaf or hard of hearing greater independence in their everyday interactions.”
You can set a primary and a secondary language, and easily toggle between them with a quick tap. Google basically wants an app that is pretty simple for people to use, and in that regard it has not failed. Apparently for privacy reasons, the app will not be storing audio or transcriptions on its servers.
Video Credit: https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/accessibility/making-audio-more-accessible-two-new-apps/
According to the World Health Organization, there will be 900 million people with hearing loss by the year 2055. Google sees the launch of the two new apps as its own way of helping people with such problems to communicate better.