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Google’s Live Transcribe will turn your Android phone into a second pair of ears

Google has announced some exciting updates to its speech-to-text-app, Live Transcribe, to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

1.8 billion Android devices will get to take advantage of the new Live Transcribe features, which according to Google will help to “bridge the connection between the deaf and the hearing” through real-time transcriptions of day-to-day conversations.

Related: Best smartphone

Updates include a feature that will show sound effects as well as speech. Your Android will now be able to tell you when your dog is yapping or someone is knocking on the door.

This is a huge step forward in accessibility, offering insight into what going out outside of your conversation.

There will also be an option to copy and save transcripts and store them directly on your device. This functionality is designed to help not only people with hearing difficulties, but those learning a second language, journalists recording interviews and even students taking lecture notes.

The update is due to hit Android devices next month, and Google say it’s planning to continue releasing features aimed at promoting accessibility and improving the Android experience for users with disabilities.

Live Transcribe was unveiled back in February, and currently allows users to watch their conversations on a screen as they are transcribed in real time.

Live Transcribe does require an internet access to transcribe speech. This is because the app relies on the Google Cloud speech API to do the work. It would be nice to see Google remove this barrier in the future to allow people to use these new features in more diverse environments.

Related: Best Android phones

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) takes place on the third Thursday of every May and exists to get people thinking about what they can do to promote digital access and inclusion in web, software and mobile for those with disabilities.

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