Google has announced two new Android apps today meant for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. The apps – Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier – are meant to break down barriers and make life a little easier for those who are differently-abled.

Google developed Live Transcribe based on the idea of using cloud-based automatic speech recognition to display spoken words on a screen. The app can thus transform real-world speech into real-time captions with just the Android device’s microphone. No special equipment required. This app will thus provide deaf or the hard-of-hearing greater independence in their daily interactions.

The app is available in more than 70 languages and dialects. It also allows for two-way conversation through a type-back keyboard for users who can’t or don’t want to speak. Transcription accuracy can be improved by connecting an external microphone to the device. Users can start using Live Transcribe from today by enabling it in Accessibility Settings and then tapping on the relevant option on the navigation bar. Live Transcribe is initially being rolled out in a limited beta to users worldwide through the Play Store.

The Sound Amplifier app was first announced at Google I/O last year. It makes audio more clear and easier to hear. The app can be used on an Android device with wired headphones to “filter, augment and amplify the sounds in your environment.” The app does that by increasing the quiet sounds and not over-boosting the loud sounds. The sound enhancement settings can be customers and noise reduction can be used to minimize distracting background noise.

Sound Amplifier is available from the Play Store for devices running Android 9 Pie or later. Both apps come pre-installed on the Google Pixel 3.

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