Tips for Using Your Smartphone (iPhone, Android) to Manage Hearing Loss

Android, Coping, Iphone, Smartphone, Tags: Hearing Loss, Tips

Hearing loss is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. Fortunately, advancements in technology have led to the development of hearing devices that can greatly improve the quality of life for those with hearing impairments. One type of hearing device that has gained popularity in recent years is the MFi (Made for iPhone) hearing device.

MFi hearing devices are specifically designed to work seamlessly with iPhones and other Apple devices. They offer a range of additional settings that can be configured through the Control Center or the Accessibility shortcut. By going to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut, users can turn on and configure the various settings available for their MFi hearing device.

But what about Android phone users? Can they also use hearing aids with their devices? The answer is yes. Android phones can be paired with hearing aids just like any other Bluetooth device. Users can go to Settings > Connected Devices and Pair New Device to connect their hearing aids to their Android phones. Additionally, some Android devices also have a Hearing Devices option in the Accessibility settings, which allows for easy pairing of hearing aids.

It’s important to note that the additional features offered by MFi hearing devices may vary depending on the phone manufacturer. For example, Google Pixel phones have their own hearing aid compatibility page where users can check what features are supported by their phone. Some hearing aids can even stream music and podcasts directly from Android phones, but it’s always a good idea to check compatibility before making a purchase.

For users with Pixel phones, there is an additional step to enable hearing aids. They need to open the Phone app, tap the three vertical dots for Menu at the top right, and then go to Settings > Accessibility to toggle Hearing Aids on. This ensures that the phone is optimized for use with hearing aids.

If you don’t yet have a hearing aid but think you might need one, it’s important to do some research before making a purchase. Consider factors such as your specific hearing needs, budget, and the features offered by different hearing aids. There are many guides available online to help you make an informed decision.

In addition to hearing aids, there are other accessibility features available on smartphones that can assist those with hearing impairments. One such feature is real-time text (RTT), which allows users to type their responses during a call. This can be particularly useful for individuals who prefer to communicate through text rather than speech.

To enable RTT on Android phones, users can go to the Phone app, tap the three vertical dots for Menu, and then go to Settings > Accessibility. From there, they can turn on RTT or TTY (Teletype) support. RTT is more advanced as it can transmit audio as you type, whereas TTY is a more traditional text-based system. Once enabled, users can tap the RTT icon (a capital T) after dialing someone to start an RTT call. They can also launch it during a call by tapping the icon.

On iPhones, users can enable RTT or TTY by going to Settings > Accessibility. They can also select “Answer All Calls as RTT/TTY” to ensure that all incoming calls are in RTT/TTY format. During a call, users can tap the RTT/TTY icon (looks like a landline phone) to answer a call or switch to text.

To access transcripts of calls on both Android and iPhone, users can go to the Phone app and tap on the call details or the “i” next to the call. They will be able to see the transcript of the call, making it easier to review important information.

You may be wondering why some accessibility features are exclusive to Google’s Pixel phones while others are available on all Android devices. According to Angana Ghosh, director of product management for input and accessibility at Google, this is because the accessibility team at Google is able to try new things on Pixel phones, where they have full control over the hardware and software. Some features may require specialized on-device processing that may not be possible on all Android devices. By keeping certain features as stand-alone apps, the accessibility team can also provide regular updates to all Android users without requiring firmware updates.

In conclusion, hearing aids and other accessibility features have made a significant impact on the lives of individuals with hearing impairments. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone, there are options available to help improve your hearing experience. It’s important to do your research and choose a hearing device that suits your specific needs. Additionally, exploring the various accessibility features on your smartphone can open up new possibilities for communication and connectivity.

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