On Ava

Lucas Matney for TechCrunch, on an app that aims to help the deaf and hard-of-hearing partake in group conversations:

The app, formerly known as Transcence, starts with each participant in a conversation downloading the app and setting up a profile. This may seem like a bit of work to get a casual chat going but especially for families or groups of friends, it’s a really simple way to bring everyone into a conversation regardless of their specific hearing abilities.

After getting everyone onboard, people just talk normally near their phones microphone and the speech to text translation is organized into a threaded message for everyone in the group text allowing users who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to have a record of the conversation right in front of them to quickly respond to.

I provide a bit of color in the story.

If Ava catches on, at least on iOS, it'll be yet another compelling reason for someone who's deaf or hard-of-hearing to choose an iPhone. I know of many such folks who have done so because of features like FaceTime and Software TTY, which is new to iOS 10. Software like Ava, coupled with Apple's highly regarded accessibility standard, makes the iPhone an even more inclusive platform.