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Google introduces apps to assist the hard of hearing wherever they go

 

Agence France-Presse

San Francisco, United States  /  Wed, February 6, 2019  /  01:04 pm
Google introduces apps to assist the hard of hearing wherever they go

Google has announced two new Android applications that can make audio content more accessible in real-time. (AFP/Alain Jocard)

Google has announced two new Android applications ― Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier ― that can make audio content more accessible in real-time.

On Monday, Google introduced two new mobile applications for Android users designed to assist the hard of hearing wherever and whenever they are in need of audio support (and Wi-Fi is available): Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier.

The first is one that “takes real-world speech and turns it into real-time captions using just the phone's microphone,” allowing those who are deaf or hard of hearing to “hear” and understand what is being said without relying on another person.

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In addition to being available in over 70 languages and dialects, it also “enables two-way conversation via a type-back keyboard for users who can't or don't want to speak, and connects with external microphones to improve transcription accuracy.” To use the feature, it can be enabled in a device's Accessibility Settings and then activated via the accessibility button in the navigation bar.

The second application, Sound Amplifier, can be used with wired headphones to increase and modify environmental sounds to better hear. Soft sounds can be increased without “over-boosting” loud sounds, and background noises can be reduced using a series of sliders and switches.

As of Monday, live Transcribe began rolling out to a limited number of worldwide Android users in a beta form via the Play Store while Pixel 3 users will have the feature (as well as the second app) pre-installed on their devices. Sound Amplifier, on the other hand, is already available on the Play Store for Android 9 Pie users.