The Top 8 Android Apps for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Thomsen Young compiled a handy list of 8 top Android apps for deaf and hard of hearing consumers:

  • Handcent SMS - An excellent application for managing text message Handcent SMS also has a wide array of customize abilities such as changing your font, color background and how you preferred to be notified.  
  • Purple VRS allows you to make phone and video phone calls. You have the option to be connected to an operator who then reads your messages to the recipient and transcribes their messages back to you. You can also video call your friends/families yourself and communicate via sign and if they’re not there, you can leave a video message in ASL. PurpleMail is a recommended download. No group video yet.
  • Fring: Fring is a free mobile group video call service. Video or audio call other Android devices, iPhones/iPod touches/iPad, or some Nokias and see your friends' real-time status; you can chat with your friends before video-calling them. Fun and easy to use.
  • TED+SUB: You can watch TED talks with subtitles in your language, and you can search using both English and your language. This app also gives you the ability to download TED talks and watch them later without WiFi connection. TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.
  • Speak It: This application talks for you. Write the text and click on the Play button. The program has a TTS engine that will generate voice from the text that your write. With this app you also have the ability to create your own ringtone and alarm, all you have to do is write the text and set it as your ringtone. There's a Home Screen widget that give deaf people more functionality by saving a urgent warning/message on the home screen and all you have to do is take out your phone and press the button.
  • Google Voice: a multi-function application that makes it possible to make free calls using your phone as well as live IM chats from either a WiFi connection or a 3G. Make cheap international calls with your Google number. Send free text messages. Place calls and send text messages showing your Google number. Listen to voicemail or have it transcribe voice mail into text.
  • MoboPlayer: Watch any of your videos on the phone without conversion. Includes popular subtitle formats such as SRT, ASS, and SAA.
  • Swype: This is multi-modal Android input app. It allows you to use the speech recognition (voice to text) from Dragon Naturally speaking. If you’re having a hard time understanding what your friend is saying, they can say it again using this app and bingo, you know exactly what they said. Also, if you’re hard of hearing, you can use it to practice your speech.

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