October 24, 2020

Live Transcribe update adds — wait, did I leave the bathtub running?


Google introduced new features to help hearing-impaired people last year, including the Live Transcribe app, which turns speech into easily readable text. The app gained new capabilities back in May, and now it’s getting even smarter and more helpful thanks to new sound notifications that alert users about things like crying babies or barking dogs.

The Live Transcribe app utilizes your phone’s microphone to recognize ten different noises like fire alarms, appliances beeping, and knocking at doors. It’s kind of similar to the functionality that rolled out on the Pixel Buds earlier this year. This new feature sends push notifications when critical sounds are detected nearby. It can also flash the camera light or vibrate the phone to quickly call attention to the alert. Since it’s made possible through machine learning, it works completely offline and doesn’t require sending any data to Google.

In the Timeline view, users can look through a sound history of the past several hours to get more of a sense for what types of noises preceded different events, which could be helpful. It shows when and for how long a sound occurred. And in an unexpected turn of events, Google actually remembered that Wear OS exists, and when a noise is picked up by the Live Transcribe app, it can buzz your wrist.

The Timeline view shows exactly when specific sounds occured.

To enable Sound Notifications, head to Settings->Accessibility->Sound Notifications and enable the toggle. And if you don’t use a Pixel phone with the app preinstalled, you’ll need to download the Live Transcribe app from APK Mirror or the Play Store first.

Live Transcribe
Live Transcribe

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