Sound recognition is cool now. First Apple and now Google, have added the sound recognition feature that allows smartphones to detect certain sounds around you and trigger a notification for you. Apple added this in the iOS 14 update released for iPhone users last month, and now Google is rolling out a similar feature set for Android devices. The way this feature works is that your phone’s microphone listens in and detects any specific sounds that you may have chosen, and sends you alerts that these have been heard in the vicinity. Great for those who may have hearing disabilities or simply need to be alerted to a specific sound that they may have otherwise missed.
For instance, the sounds that can be detected include sirens, car horn, doorbell, door knock, running water, a crying baby or someone shouting. On the iPhone, this is available in Settings -> Accessibility -> Sound Recognition. On Android, this can be found in Settings -> Accessibility -> Sound Notifications. As with Android, things aren’t always as simple as they seem. If you do not see this option in the accessibility menu on your Android phone, you will need to download and update the Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications apps from the Google Play Store and then follow the process mentioned above to enable this option.
The sound recognition for iPhone will also give you notifications on a paired Apple Watch while the sound notifications for Android share the same alerts on Wear OS based smartwatches as well. For all those who may be a bit worried about privacy, considering the microphone in your phone is always on the listening mode, you may feel a bit at ease with the fact that the processing for these sounds is done on the device itself, on the iPhone and Android phones. The complex machine learning algorithms process the sound on the device itself, which means these will work seamlessly even on devices that may not be connected to Wi-Fi or 4G at that point of time.