My recent post The Next Best Thing in Speech to Text Apps generated much discussion. Many people were excited by Google’s Live Transcribe technology — the accuracy and speed of the captioning is notable — but the fact that it is only available on Android devices was a source of frustration. One highly motivated individual in my local NYC hearing loss community found an inexpensive solution to the Android problem that is worth sharing.
She purchased a cheap Android phone at Best Buy leaving it inactivated for cell and data service, downloaded the Live Transcribe App from the Google Play store, and now uses the phone as her own personal captioning device! Brilliant!
I quickly followed suit, as did several others in my local hearing loss community. You can see the phone she purchased here on the Best Buy website. At the time of this writing, the price for the “Activate Later” phone was $59.99.
An Android phone works differently from an iPhone — swipe up to open the lock screen — but I quickly caught on and easily set up the device. You will need to sign in to your Gmail account or create a new one in order to use the Google Play store, but if you buy the phone in a physical store, ask the salesperson to help you set it up and you may be able to skip that step.
To avoid complicating my current email set-up, I created a new Gmail account for the sole purpose of accessing the Google Play store on this device. The phone is so small and light, I have been carrying it with me in my purse everywhere I go so I can use it for captioning help any place there is WiFi.
There may be other inexpensive Android devices available in different markets. Check out your local electronics store to assess your options, or shop online. If you are interested in using Google’s Live Transcribe but, like me, didn’t want to swap out your iPhone, this might be just the solution for you.
Readers, would you purchase an additional device to use solely for captioning?