Google intros a pair of Android accessibility features for people with hearing loss


I wonder if a possible important difference (at least for some folks) is that with the Live Transcribe app, Google promises it’s not making use of the information whereas perhaps the same does not hold true for Google Translator. Also, Live Transcribe supports external mics for better transcription. Haven’t checked if that’s possible for Google Translate.



CNET was right… If they’d put up the link to the Beta (although you can get it via the Play Store, too).



It might be helpful if people would include phone and OS when dealing with new apps. I have Nokia 6.1 with Android 9 and January update. I had no problem finding Live Transcribe in Play Store although it did say it was beta. Works fine. Missed first word once. Sound Amplifier was harder to find in Playstore. I saw another app by that name and had to scroll down aways before finding it. It did not claim to be beta. Installed fine. Haven’t tried it yet.



Our own David Copithorne put his own spin on it. Feedback welcome! Google Gets Serious About Hearing Loss Help with Sound Amplifier and Live Transcribe



I set Live Transcribe to transcribe Mandarin. Wife spoke to it in Mandarin and she said that Live Transcribe did an excellent job in outputting the appropriate Chinese characters. More impressive is that we were jabbering back and forth in English. Live Transcribe, although set to Mandarin, pretty accurately output in English what was spoken in English at the same time - although it seems like speakers quickly interrupting each other increases the error rate, perhaps because the software does not get a long enough pause between breaths to do its thing. Very impressive, though.

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Live Transcribe is available on Google Play Store today for those who requested to join the BETA. An additional limited quantity available to anyone who wants until gone. I works with 70 languages and works great in my limited trials. It is fast, about real time on my Pixel, anyway. You can download it from this link.



Live Transcribe is a game changer. I have a lot of trouble hearing people speaking on microphones (it distorts and is hard to pull out the words). At a recent kung-fu movie screening where the movie was being introduced, i just set this going on my lap and it picked up everything he was saying, with minimal lag. It’s not perfect but what a handy feature this is. Thanks, Google and your scientists!


Revisiting My Issues with microphone and severe hearing loss Resounds? Phonaks. Multi mic? Roger pen?

I agree. It’s a game changer. I have Live Transcribe appearing as an App on my Galaxy S7. I used it at a lecture last week and it was pretty impressive. Not perfect, but the fact that it can go back and fix errors based on context, that’s huge. Closed Captions on live TV are probably worse on average I’d say.

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Oh, I think it would be nice to have a “Save As…” to save the result as a text file. And Maybe even an “Open…” option to open an audio recording to transcribe.

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New features for Live Transcribe released. Works well using Pixel3XL microphone or ConnectClip mic.

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Thanks for linking to the update.

You said it works well with ConnectClip mic. Does the ConnectClip have to be activated separately (somewhere in the phone menu) to work this way?



On further testing the ConnectClip does not work as well picking up nearby voices when I am wearing it as the phone microphone does. The CC mic appears to be designed to pick up the voice of the wearer preferentially. This on the basis of minimal testing. Of course if you were at a presentation or meeting and gave the CC to the presenter to wear or placed it nearby that should work well.

I will be using this at doctor’s appointments next week. I have difficulty with word recognition in that setting.

Once the CC is paired/connected you can select it as the source in the Live Transcribe settings.



Might be that my home router is going south or that something funny has happened to my Galaxy Note 8 after updating to Android Pie. But now I find Live Transcribe works great via cellular data but doesn’t work when I’m on my home Wi-Fi LAN (and it’s supposed to work off-line!). I have the same problem with the MS Outlook Android mail client although Gmail works great for the same account.

On the account, MS Support for the Outlook app claims it has something to do with the battery optimization settings in Android Pie and that I should turn off all such optimization settings for the app - but that doesn’t fix my problem. Another MS Support person says it’s a known issue and MS is working on a fix.

Haven’t tried changing Android Pie battery optimization settings for Live Transcribe yet but if anyone has encountered a similar problem for Live Transcribe used in Android Pie and overcome it, I’d love to know how you fixed it, since it might solve my problem, too. For the problem, just turning off and turning on Wi-Fi after trying to sync by pulling down on the screen, then pulling down again, establishes a working sync, strangely enough.



I did not know this. I thought local transcription was coming in Android Q with optimization of the size of language recognition packs. The article link below says Live Transcribe works offline but in the context of Android Q.

In airplane mode the Live Transcribe app tells me “App is offline. You will see sound events but not transcription.”

I have not yet encountered a problem using Live Transcription when on several different WiFi networks. The LT app indicates “optimizing battery use”.

Edit: Current info on the technology.

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Looks like I misspoke in my frustration of not getting Live Transcribe to work over home Wi-Fi LAN. Live Transcribe does require an Internet connection (Live Caption does not).

I also should reread my older posts.

So I had the Wi-Fi connecting problem well before Android Pie, even when back on Android Oreo. Must be something in my home network settings. My router is from 2014 with latest firmware update in August, 2017. But the same trick described above about toggling Wi-Fi for the Outlook app also works for Live Transcribe. Launch Live Transcribe on home Wi-Fi. Doesn’t work. Toggle Wi-Fi off and on again. Works. No connection to cellular data needed to “prime” if Wi-Fi just toggled.



I see a similar situation sometimes when trying to make WiFi calls with no cell signal. Try call and it fails; trigger WiFi off/on and call connects.