Google is bringing native hearing aid support to Android

Google is bringing native hearing aid support to Android
Providing a robust set of accessibility features is an increasingly bigger focus for developers. According to the World Health Organization, around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, with the number expected to soar up to 900 million by 2050. This is a serious issue that software engineers need to tackle, in order to make their products accessible to as many people as possible.

This is why Google has now announced that it would bring native hearing aid to Android. The Internet search giant has partnered up with Danish hearing aid manufacturer GN Hearing to create a Bluetooth, low-energy hearing aid spec aid spec for Android smartphone. Called Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids, or ASHA in short, it uses Bluetooth Low Energy Connection-Oriented Channels to allow streaming from the phone to a connected Bluetooth hearing aid device, providing while providing a high-quality, low-latency audio experience with minimal impact on battery life.

GN Hearing is naturally the first hearing aid manufacturer to employ the new spec. Following the Google partnership announcement, the Danish manufacturer revealed that users of the ReSound LiNX Quattro and Beltone Amaze hearing aids will be able to use the feature following an OTA update.

source: Google

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3 Comments

1. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Android didn't have this support yet? I believe iOS had this since iOS7. Really surprised to see Android didn't support it yet

2. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

iPhones use "Hearing Aid Compatibility" or HAC, this is totally different. From Apple regarding HAC - "Hearing-aid compatibility ratings aren't a guarantee that a particular hearing aid works well with a particular phone. Some hearing aids might work well with phones that do not meet the FCC requirements for Hearing Aid Compatibility. To ensure that a particular hearing aid works well with a particular phone, use them together before purchasing." "GN Hearing is naturally the first hearing aid manufacturer to employ the new spec." Also since this company is the first to employ this not sure how Apple could have been already using it? But maybe there's something else Apple has been using, not sure. Either way I'm glad they're all added something like this since I'll probably need one one day.

3. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Apple has the made for iPhone certificate since the iPhone 4s I believe. While I am not sure this means iOS would support hearing aids integrated into the OS or still needs an app for every brand. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201466 And in the end it doesn't matter who was first, I am glad both companies try to support these kinds of things. I know my dad will be glad they do.

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