5 amazing things your phone can do that you may not know about


June 16, 2023 | 2.50pm

Remember when a cell phone was for calls and a round or two of Snake? Today’s phones have pro-grade cameras, PDF scanners, and even car keys.

There’s so much more your phone can do. Many of these features are found in the accessibility settings. The developers make them for people who need extra assistance using their phones, but they’re useful for just about anyone.

1. Add subtitles to your video calls, podcasts or phone calls

Your phone contains many secret features that can be unlocked with simple settings changes.
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Not all video chatting takes place in a quiet space, or perhaps your hearing isn’t great. No problem. You can get real-time subtitles on video chats, podcasts, calls, music and videos.

On the iPhone:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Subtitles and subtitles.
  • Flip the switch next to Subtitles and SDH to ON position.

To turn on live captions on your Android phone:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Subtitle preferences.
  • Faucet Show captions to turn it on.

2. Translate a conversation in real time

Despite my promise to myself every year to learn a new language, it never happens. Next time you meet someone you’re having trouble communicating with, get out your phone to help. No, you don’t have to pay anything to complete it.

On the iPhone:

  • Open the Translate app. Comes pre-installed.
  • Click the arrows next to the two languages ​​to choose the languages ​​you want to translate between.
  • Tap one of the languages to start typing or use the microphone to speak. NOTE: The input language icon is displayed next to the translated language.
  • To change the input language, tap the other language.
  • Both languages ​​display what you say or type on your phone.

On Android, download the Google Translate app. It’s free.

  • Open the app.
  • Faucet Conversation and allow the app to record audio.
  • To select Car. As you talk to each other, your phone will display translations.
  • You can tap the Speaker icon to make your phone read translations aloud.

3. Alerts you if the dog is barking, a child is crying or if the glass just broke

Set your phone to alert you when it hears certain sounds, like alarms or dogs barking.
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Depending on your hearing and the layout of your home, some sounds may overwhelm you. Your phone can help. You shouldn’t rely on this to watch a child or keep your pet safe, but it’s a nice fallback when needed.

To turn on sound recognition on your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Sound recognitionthen turn on Audio recognition by sliding the toggle right.
  • Faucet You play and turn on the sounds you want your phone to recognize.

To turn on sound notifications on your Android phone:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Sound notifications.
  • Faucet Open Sound NotificationsThen Turn on. You will need to allow permission to record audio.
  • Click the gear icon. You can choose which sounds you want to be notified about and how.

4. Act as makeshift hearing aids

Live Listen is meant for the hearing-impaired, and you can set it up if you have a pair of AirPods or Powerbeats Pro wireless headphones paired with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

The range of AirPods combined with Live Listen is debated, but the consensus is around 50 feet. Hearing conversations through walls is possible at closer distances, but the quality may decrease depending on the material of the walls. No, I’m not encouraging you to browse.

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First, add the mode to Control Center:

  • Go to Settingsthen tap Control Center.
  • Scroll down until you get to Hearing and tap the green + sign.
  • Tap the back key to save the settings.

To use live listen:

  • Open the Control Center and tap the ear icon.
  • Click the Listen live icon.
  • Place your device in front of the audio source you want to hear.

When everything is set up correctly, you’ll see audio levels from the headphones as a conversation takes place.

Android’s Audio Amplifier feature works in a similar way.

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio amplifier.
  • Choose Open Audio Amplifier. From here, you can add the icon to your app list if you like.
  • Choose whether you want to amplify the sound coming from the microphone or the media playing on your phone.
  • Plug in your headphones and follow the onscreen instructions.

5. Read or describe what is happening on the screen

You can touch an item on the screen and hear it read or described aloud. You can also do it with the full screen. To turn on Spoken Content on your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Spoken content.
  • Activate Speak selection to get a Speak button when you highlight text.
  • Activate Speak screen. Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen to hear what’s on the screen.

Android phones can do this too. Even more interesting, you can point the camera at a text or image and hear it read or described aloud. To activate Select to Speak:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Select to speak.
  • Tour ON the Select to Speak link. Note: You will need to give him full control of your device.
  • Click the shortcut on the screen to use it.

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