Even though 2019 is only two months old, there are many new apps available for both Android and Apple devices. From improvements in health to new tech assistants, these apps will be helpful now and into future.
In the healthcare field, Google leads the charge. For the hearing impaired and deaf, Google has introduced two new apps to make communication easier.
Live Transcribe- This app transcribes real-time conversations for users. As people speak, the app picks it up and transcribes it on the screen. There are 70 languages and dialects available for use. Google partnered with Gallaudet University, the premier school for the deaf and hard of hearing to ensure the app could be used every day.
Using Google’s cloud-based speech recognition technology, captions will adjust as the conversation flows. An example on the Live Transcribe page says, “If it seems like someone says New York, but they’re actually talking about Yorkshire terriers, the captions will autocorrect.” Another feature is a keyboard for individuals who cannot or do not want to speak.
Currently, Google is beta testing the app with a limited number of people worldwide. However, if users have a Pixel 3, Live Transcribe is available in the Accessibility settings.
Going beyond beta testing, Live Transcribe would be beneficial in both Android and Apple devices. Along with increasing the number of languages available, the app will have a great future in real-world conversations from the classroom to the coffee shop.
Sound Amplifier- For those hard of hearing, Sound Amplifier filters out the excessive sound. Using headphones to enhance microphone audio, the app allows people to have conversations in loud places by boosting quiet sounds.
A drawback is that in order to do this, the app requires wired headphones to plug into devices. Which wireless users may not find appealing.
Google is leading the charge with these ideas but, both Google and Apple are planning expansions into pairing hearing aids with phones for sound control to avoid use of wired headphones.
What would be interesting is the use of this app in other industries. Reducing loud noises in order to have conversations or to prevent hearing loss would be beneficial to various industries.
When one father saw his children struggling with reading comprehension he used his software development background to create:
WhizRead- Designed to aid in children’s reading comprehension, this app provides interactive and multi-sensory tools for reading passages. For example, WhizRead provides images of words that children might not understand. It can also sound out words and provide definitions.
There are select reading passages uploaded to the app, but teachers can add their own assigned passages as well. Meant to aid not only low-level and advanced readers, the app can also aid children who are learning English as a second language. Currently, it is available as a free download in the Apple store.
The creator of WhizRead hopes to develop an Android and web version of the app. This addition would make it easier to integrate into all classrooms.
Going beyond children, the app would be useful for adult education. For people needing help with reading or learning English, the app would be a useful in-home tool. There is also the opportunity to make this app bilingual to help English-speakers learn a new language and its nuances.
Speaking of making life easier, the next app introduced in 2018, makes a lot of simple everyday tasks easier.
Google Duplex- First created to pair with the in-home Google system, Duplex has recently been available on Pixel devices. This AI system allows users to complete everyday tasks over the phone. Right now, people are mostly using it for scheduling and making appointments.
There is a lot of things Google will be able to do with Duplex in the future. It will expand the use of voice bots beyond ordering materials (like Alexa), and scheduling a family’s reservation.
Rather than managing the day to day personal tasks, AI systems like Duplex may expand into managing business plans or activities.
But stepping away from business, this last app is meant to do a little good in the world.
GetPet- Dubbed the Tinder of pet adopting, this app utilizes the ‘swipe right’ feature to encourage people to adopt a dog. Invented and currently available in Lithuania, the app’s creators saw the need to help a local shelter match dogs to new owners.
Looking to the future, this app would be a creative way to match shelter animals with owners. Moving beyond dogs, the app could match both small and large animals to new owners and alleviate the overcrowding in shelters.
There are many uses for the new apps of 2019, but there will be additional ways to utilize them in the future.