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How to use your smartphone to cope with hearing loss

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How to use your smartphone to cope with hearing loss

MFi hearing devices usually have additional settings (depends on manufacturer) and can be configured from the Control Center (with Hearing added) or via the Accessibility shortcut, which you can activate and configure in Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility shortcut.

To use headphones with Android phones, pair them like any other Bluetooth device by going to Settings > Connected devices and Pair new device. You may also have the option to pair Settings > Accessibility > Hearing devices and Pair new device.

Additional features vary depending on the phone manufacturer. Look for hearing aid compatibility (HAC) to see what your phone supports. For example, here is the Google Pixel hearing aid compatibility page. Some headphones can now stream music and podcasts directly to the headphones from Android phones, but it’s wise to check compatibility before purchasing.

When using headphones with Pixel phones, you should also open the Phone app, tap the three vertical dots to Menu at the top right and tap Settings > Accessibility to alternate Earphones in.

If you don’t have a hearing aid yet but think you might need one, read our guide on how to buy a hearing aid. We also have a guide on how to stream audio to hearing aids and cochlear implants.

How to use real-time text with your phone

Some people may prefer to type responses into a call, and you can do that with the real-time text (RTT) feature. Unfortunately, availability depends on your region and carrier. If there is no RTT option, you likely have teletypewriter (TTY) support. (RTT is more advanced and can stream audio as you type.)

On Android phones, open the Phone app, tap the three vertical dots to Menu at the top right and tap Settings > Accessibility light RTT either TTY. If you choose Always visibleYou can tap the RTT icon (a capital T) after dialing someone to start an RTT call, and you can tap to start it during a call.

To review call transcripts on Android, open the app on your phone and tap Recent, choose the call you want and then Call details > View transcript.

For iPhone, you can activate RTT or TTY on Settings > Accessibility and you can select Answer all calls as RTT/TTY. You can also choose RTT/TTY call when you call someone and tap the RTT/TTY icon (looks like a landline) to answer a call or switch to text during a call.

To review call transcripts on iPhone, open the Phone app and tap Recent, so he Yo next to the call. You’ll see the RTT/TTY icon next to calls with transcripts in your call history.

Why some Android accessibility features are built into Pixels

You may be wondering why some hearing accessibility features are built into Google’s Pixel phones but offered as separate apps for other Android devices. Angana Ghosh, director of product management for input and accessibility at Google, says this allows the accessibility team to try new things on the Pixel, where Google designs the hardware, especially since some phones may not be capable of the same level of processing. on the device. .

Keeping certain features as standalone apps also allows for regular updates so other Android phones can benefit from the latest developments without needing firmware updates, which are typically less frequent on non-Pixel phones.


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