Android Accessibility Features And Apps For Hearing Disabilities

Picture of an Android phone with app icons

Android Accessibility Features And Apps For Hearing Disabilities

About 130 million Americans use Android phones every day, but they might not know about the accessibility features and apps it has. Android phones have built-in features that are designed to help users with disabilities and the company has created apps to help with any accessibility issues users may run into. Android’s features and apps can help people with different types of disabilities, but they offer some that are specifically for hearing disabilities. Around 5.9% of American adults have a hearing disability, so these features and apps are crucial.

Live Transcribe

Two Android phones with text. With new sound events, Live Transcribe just doesn’t transcribe speech-- it can tell you whether a dog is barking, someone is whistling and more. Now you can easily save transcripts and copy the text to use in other apps.

Live transcribe is an app that transcribes your conversation in real time. As you and the other person (or people) are talking, the words will pop up on your Android, so you can see exactly what they’re saying. It can be used when you’re talking on the phone, on a video call, or in person. The app is a breakthrough for individuals with hearing disabilities since it allows them to communicate more easily with loved ones and anyone they come into contact with. This is especially important for workers with hearing disabilities so they can communicate better with co-workers.

Live Caption

Three Android phones. First with an illustration and a caption. Second has a text message conversation with captions. Third is a picture of a woman holding a cookie with a caption.

Live caption is similar to live transcribe, but it transcribes videos and other media instead of conversations. According to Android, “With a single tap, Live Caption automatically captions videos, podcasts and audio messages—even stuff you record yourself. Without ever needing Wi-Fi or cell phone data.” This is another app that’s important for disabled workers so they can always understand everything that’s in an audio message, video, or media they need for work.

Sound Amplifier

Android phone with audio adjustment sliders

Sound amplifier allows you to get rid of background noise and adjust the sound exactly to how you need it. It can help with listening to videos or music, but it’s the most beneficial for phone and video calls, especially since background noise can make it difficult to hear someone’s voice on the phone. According to Android, “With Sound Amplifier, your phone can boost sound, filter background noise, and fine tune to how you hear best. Whether you’re watching TV or talking in a busy room—just plug in your headphones.”

Mono Audio

Picture of Android Settings

Mono audio isn’t an app, but it’s a setting that can help anyone with a hearing disability. It allows you to route both stereo channels to one channel, so all of the sound is goingthrough one earbud when you’re using headphones. To be able to do this, go into your phone’s settings, tap accessibility, and then tap mono audio to enable it. This is helpful for Android users who have hearing loss in only one ear or more in one ear than the other.

Hearing Aid Support

Picture of two girls. One is holding a phone and wearing a hearing aid

Hearing aid support was first introduced to Android users with the Android 10 and is now available with the newer versions too. It’s a built-in feature that allows you to connect your hearing aids to your phone just like you would with bluetooth headphones. To connect your hearing aids, go to your phone’s settings, tap connected devices, tap pair new device, and then choose your hearing aid from the list of devices. This makes it a lot easier for users with hearing disabilities so they don’t have to worry about being able to use headphones.