by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
January 27, 2013
If you have a hearing loss or are deaf, there are a number of cell phone apps that will let you effectively use your cell phone to communicate better. Note: to use these, you must have a smart phone.
At present there are 33 of these apps that you can view and download here. Twenty-eight of these are free (or have free versions), one is $0.99 and one is $1.99 so they sure won’t break the bank.
Below are 10 of these apps so you can get an idea of how useful they could be to you in various situations.
IP-Relay: IP-Relay from Purple Communications lets you make and receive text relay calls. These calls are free and do not count against your monthly phone minutes. For iPhone and Android phones.
ntouch: Get video relay service on the go with ntouch. This app from Sorenson Communications turns your Smartphone into an instant videophone. For iPhone and Android phones.
Clear Captions: Like closed captions on your TV, ClearCaptions on your phone calls lets you hear and read what’s being said, eliminating the frustration of hearing on the phone. Instead of asking people to repeat themselves, or guessing what was said, you can read the person’s words while you listen on the call. For iPhone and Android phones.
Skype: Video call and instant message anyone on Skype for free. For iPhone and Android phones. Also works on Mac and PC computers.
Closed Capp: Caption your face-to-face conversations. Speech is enlarged to screen. Closed Capp uses voice recognition software. Have the person speak into your phone and the words they say are transcribed live on the screen of your phone. For Android phones.
ConvoMobile: Enjoy video chat wherever you’re comfortable. ConvoMobile lets you call any videophone and features one-click Video Relay calling. It’s also has a 911 hot button. For iPhone and Android phones.
Dragon Dictate: Dragon Dictate changes voice to captioned text. This allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. For iPhones.
Hamilton Mobile CapTel: See exactly what is being said to you on every call with Hamilton Mobile CapTel. This app translates your caller’s words into text captions. For iPhone and Android phones.
CaptionFish: CaptionFish is a captioned-movies search engine that shares information about open captioned, Rear Window captioned, foreign/subtitled, and descriptively narrated movies showings in the United States. CaptionFish also features streaming captioned trailers that allow you to enjoy previews of current and upcoming movies. For iPhones. [Note: Captionfish is shutting down on December 31, 2014. ]
Vibe: Feel who’s calling and texting you with Vibe, This app uses vibration patterns to help you ID callers. Pick a contact and set or create a unique vibration pattern for them—it’s that easy. For Android phones.