- Google introduced two new accessibility apps to aid users with hearing loss.
- Live Transcribe is an internet-based transcribing app designed to serve as a portable speech to text solution.
- Sound Amplifier can work as a high-end hearing aid using dynamics processing effect in noisy environments.
Google introduced two new apps – Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, that are focused on helping users with partial or complete hearing loss. The first app, Live Transcribe, is capable of transcribing audio into text on your display. Sound Amplifier is focused on making conversations more audible in noisy environments and requires headphones.
Live Transcribe is very intuitive and comes with haptic feedback to indicate that someone is speaking. It makes users aware of people speaking around them. A loudness meter is also available to notify users if they are in noisy environments and that they need to speak louder to be audible to others. A keyboard shortcut is also available if users are unable to make themselves heard.
Google’s transcriber is capable of understanding the context behind the text and does its job very quickly, and it changes already transcribed words if any changes are needed based on context. The app requires an internet connection and users end up being in poor or no network areas; they will be unable to use the service in any way. The app is capable of transcribing over 70 languages, and more are likely to be added over time.
Sound Amplifier is quite different from Live Transcribe, and Google designed it to serve as a hearing aid of sorts. Users can simply plug in their headphones to their Android device and turn on the app to turn their phones into makeshift hearing aids. The app is capable of reducing background noise and boost voices. While the app will not be very effective in extremely noisy environments, Google promises that it will serve as a decent solution thanks to their “dynamics processing effect.”
Live Transcribe is available on phones that use Lollipop, and above while Sound Amplifier is available only on Android P. Unlike Live Transcribe, Sound Amplifier will not need an internet connection and as sound data is processed by the device. Both apps are available on Google’s Play Store and will come pre-installed in the Pixel 3 and future Pixel devices.