Including captioning apps in your website, application, or any device is essential for ensuring accessibility to a wide range of audiences. Not only do these apps benefit people with disabilities, but they also enhance the overall experience for all users.
But what exactly is accessibility? It refers to the practice of making information, activities, or environments understandable and usable to all types of people, including those with disabilities.
For instance, consider that you want to watch a movie or web series but cannot listen to sounds or conversations clearly. However, it becomes easier to understand if the captions are displayed at the bottom of the screen for all conversations in a movie or web series. Here, captions serve as a communication tool, allowing people with hearing impairment to watch and understand a movie or web series.
In this article, we have curated a list of some of the best captioning apps you can download on Android and iOS smartphones and easily access multimedia content. Before that, let us shed light on some of the major factors to consider while choosing the captioning app that’s right for you.
Factors to Consider While Choosing the Captioning App
- Platform Compatibility: Check whether your captioning app is compatible with your device. Selecting an app that is compatible with Android, iOS, and the web is better. It becomes easier for you to switch between the devices.
- Accuracy: The accuracy of captions plays a vital role. While some captioning apps provide up to 99% accuracy, some require manual editing for accuracy.
- Ease of Use: The app should have a clean and intuitive interface, and it should be easy to navigate and use.
- Cost: The next important factor to consider is the app’s cost. Some apps offer one-time payment, while some provide subscription-based service. No matter what payment option you choose, make sure that the app offers all essential features.
8 Best Captioning Apps for Android and iOS to Boost Multimedia Accessibility
Now, consider the above factors and choose the best captioning app from the following list.
Compatible with Android and iOS platforms, InnoCaption is a real-time captioning app suitable for the deaf and people who are hard of hearing. The real-time captioning of phone calls allows them to have hassle-free conversations. This mobile app is powered by live stenographers and automated speech recognition technology.
The primary aim of InnoCaption is to empower the deaf and hard-of-hearing community with out-of-the-box technology. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) funds InnoCaption and offers the service at no cost for individuals with hearing loss.
Price: Free for deaf and hard of hearing people
Ava is also a captioning app specially developed for the deaf and people who are hard of hearing. This live captioning app is available separately for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets and Windows and macOS laptops and desktops.
This app uses your device’s microphone to capture a conversation or speech, turn it into text, and display it on the screen. It transcribes any live communication into text with about 5 errors in 100 words, while Ava Scribe provides the highest accuracy possible with just 1 error in 100 words.
Price: Free; the community plan charges $9.99 per month if billed annually
Another free real-time captioning app is CaptionMate, which quickly transcribes both sides of phone call conversations. Like InnoCaption, CaptionMate is funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a government program. It is free for anyone with hearing loss and is available for Android and iOS devices.
CaptionMate is suitable for transcribing any voice quickly, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) technology, whether at work, personal, or school. Besides tablets and smartphones, this app works on desktops and landlines.
Price: Free for deaf and hard of hearing people
Rogervoice is among the best captioning apps that quickly transcribe phone calls and help people with hearing impairment easily understand conversations. “Roger that” refers to “Received” in radio aviation communication. Here, Rogervoice implies receiving voice.
This app is popular as one of the most reliable transcription apps. Live transcriptions enable people with hearing difficulties to enjoy phone calls seamlessly.
Price: Free; the premium plan starts at $5.99/month
Olelo is an easy-to-use live captioning app for Android and iOS devices. It transcribes every word spoken in real-time into accurate captions, allowing people with hearing loss to use their phones effortlessly. As soon as the conversation starts on a call, Olelo transcribes it into text within a second. Hence, people with hearing difficulty can have free-flowing conversations.
Moreover, the official FCC study has rated Olelo as the most accurate captioned call provider. The state-of-the-art speech recognition technology powers the app. It ensures 100% privacy as no transcriptions or assistants are listening to conversations.
If you are a content creator or digital creator, MixCaptions is for you. This caption app automatically transcribes any video into accurate captions, helping you gain more views and engagement rates for your videos.
Mostly, viewers view videos on mute, and captions can help them understand the gist of those videos without turning the volume on. In addition, people with hearing impairment cannot enjoy or understand videos, but captions help them. MixCaptions generates attention-grabbing captions for all your videos, assisting you in building an audience of all kinds.
Price: Free; it also offers a subscription plan, allowing you to transcribe long videos.
Otter is an AI-powered meeting assistant that generates automated meeting notes for Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and many other video conferencing tools. It records audio, writes notes, captures slides, and generates summaries. Whether it is your lecture, meeting, or seminar, Otter transcribes voice conversations in real time.
Besides transcribing meetings and lectures in real time, Otter records and transcribes interviews, podcasts, webinars, and keynotes. It helps the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, ESL learners, and anyone with accessibility needs with live captioning. This app is available on Android, iOS, and web.
Price: Otter offers four different pricing plans:
- Free: Free forever
- Pro: $10/month
- Business: $20/month
- Enterprise: Contact the sales team
Hearing Helper is an iOS-only compatible tool specially developed for hard-of-hearing, deaf, and ESL (English as a Second Language) people. It leverages Apple’s Siri technology to transcribe voice to text, making communication easy for the deaf, HoH, and ESL people. This easy-to-use app works in the background of your conversations and quickly transcribes what is being said.
Captioning Apps Conclusion
While the prevalence of hearing loss among people of all ages is increasing, captioning apps have made it easy for people with hearing difficulties to communicate effectively over the phone in real time.
Captioning apps transcribe any voice into text, enabling people with hearing disabilities to access video content. Besides, these apps improve the overall user experience for all kinds of individuals by converting speech into text.
So, if you find it difficult to understand conversations over the phone, consider using any of the above captioning apps. They offer live captioning by transcribing voice into text, helping you understand what is being said on the other side of the call.
However, it is important to remember that these captioning apps are not replacements for hearing aids or hearing healthcare.
Do you want to boost your experience while watching TV shows or web series? Hearing aids can help you. Check out how on this next article: Make Watching TV With Hearing Aids An Enjoyable Experience.
Florida License: AS-2471 – NPI: 1992749147
Ivonne Baixeras is a Florida-Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist with a track record of almost three decades treating hearing problems in Miami-Dade County and serving the needs of thousands of satisfied patients. Ivonne is a graduate of both Miami-Dade College & Florida International University and worked for many years at the largest national chain of hearing clinics in the US where she's received multiple awards.