For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, iPhone can be a powerful tool for communicating with others. It works with many hearing aids and bluetooth headphones, Live Listen makes it easy to hear people and sounds nearby, and the Messages app makes it easy to chat with other people. However, iOS 14 takes it to a new level that can also benefit users with perfect hearing.
New accessibility features that iOS 14 brings to the iPhone include the ability to recognize people using sign language by FaceTime to make them stand out like everyone else, and the ability to customize the AirPods to tune the headphones to spoken words and specific frequencies to be heard better. Of the nearly 20 new accessibility features, sound recognition is one of the coolest.
Using sound detection, known by Apple as “the intelligence on the device”
With this option enabled, you will know when important ambient noise is occurring in your home, such as B. Fire and smoke alarms, a dog bark, a doorbell, an alarm, a crying baby and much more. You can disable or enable any sound you want. So, if all you want to know is when a device is beeping, you can and won’t get alerts for things like running water.
Step 1: Enable the tone detection function
Open Settings, tap Accessibility, scroll down and tap under Sound Detection Listen Headers near the bottom. By default, it’s off, but just toggle the Sound Detection switch to turn it on. Below that you can see how much memory the function is using and a brief description of how it works.
An important warning is that the feature should not be used in any circumstances where you will be in an emergency or where you could be injured. I’m sure Apple doesn’t want to be held responsible for something that it doesn’t recognize or that you don’t get a warning, but it also just realizes that it’s not working perfectly.
Step 2: Select sounds you want your iPhone to listen to
After the tone detection feature is enabled, you can switch the sounds you want your device to listen to and notify you. Tap “Sounds” for the full list. The 11 sounds you can choose from include:
- Fire alarm)
- Siren (alarms)
- Smoke (alarms)
- Cat (animals)
- Dog (animals)
- domestic appliances
- Car horn (household)
- Doorbell (household)
- Door knocking (household)
- Water running (household)
- Baby cry (people)
Before the stable release of iOS 14, the beta also had “shouting” for the people category, but for some reason removed it when iOS 14 came out for everyone.
When you turn on your first tone, you will be notified that Hey Siri is not available when tone detection is enabled, as both require passive listening from the microphone and cannot be done at the same time. If that sounds like a deal breaker to you, keep in mind that you can also activate Siri using your Home or Side button. If you want a hands-free option, Hey Siri on AirPods will still work in conjunction with sound detection.
Step 3: You will be notified as soon as a tone is detected
After exiting the Settings app, you can continue using your iPhone as usual. The tone detection works in the background, hardly consumes the battery and listens to the noises you have selected.
Every time a sound you’ve turned on is detected, you’ll get a banner notification at the top of your iPhone stating, “A sound has been detected and it may be.” [sound type]. “Even if the same tone is detected within seconds of each other, you will receive individual alerts each time a tone is detected. You can view all tone detection alerts in the notification center.
Step 4: turn off sound detection (if necessary).
If you don’t like Sound Recognition’s alerts or can’t use Hey Siri without AirPods, you can turn the feature off once you’ve turned it on. Go back to Settings -> Accessibility -> Sound Detection and turn it off. However, if you just want to reduce the number of alerts you get to the most useful ones, leave them checked and return to the Sounds menu to turn off any you don’t need.
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