Success! I have found a simple and reasonably accurate speech-to-text converter that I

SpeechNotes Icon

Speechnotes logo, from Google Play Store – with my thanks to Speechnotes and to Google Play

can use with my Android mobile phone (a Moto G5) to ‘read’ a message left on the landline answerphone. It’s called SpeechNotes, which is available from the Google Play Store. It’s free, with the option of upgrading to the premium version.

Here’s how I use it:

  1. Open SpeechNotes on the mobile
  2. Press ‘play’ on the answerphone and hold the mobile close so that the receiver faces the source of sound.
  3. When the recorded message has finished (or, at least, when I think it has!), turn the mobile screen so that I can read it. And there, my friends, are the words of the message.

To date, I have tried it only once, and it was a nuisance/marketing message of no importance in itself, but a breakthrough for me when I read these words on the mobile screen:

Message 10: UK major banks are offering start your claim now

I got the gist of the message, and that was the important thing. I ‘shared’ it to OneNote, so that I had a record, and then deleted the message on the answerphone. You can ‘share’ your notes by email, text message, or a notepad like OneNote.

Useful links: SpeechNotes on Google PlaySpeechnotes website

SpeechNotes was developed as an aid to dictating or writing notes. I have now tried its note-writing capability and can report that it is excellent and very accurate. (You just have to remember to speak the punctuation marks.)

In my view, this app has tremendous potential for speech-to-text conversion for anyone who is as deaf as I am. I hope you will find it useful too.



Success: I have an Android phone that works with NGTLite

NGT Lite open on Moto G5_annotatedI now have a Moto G5, with the Android operating system (v7, Nougat), which I am using with GiffGaff (a mobile network that in fact runs on the O2 network). The app and the phone work beautifully.

I have rung friends, rung family, and rung organisations. And it works! Folk who know me are taken quite by surprise, because they do not expect to hear my voice on a mobile.

It is quite amazing to be able to use a phone ‘almost’ normally. Liberation!


After a time of change beyond belief, I am only now returning to this blog that I set up so enthusiastically in January. My intention remains to share ways of coping with profound deafness and to explore the comparatively new Text Relay Service [Next Generation Text Service], which is delivered via the NGT Lite app.

But since those early days my life has changed. In February my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he died just four short weeks later. I nursed him at home until almost the end. I knew that I might need to call an ambulance. But using NGT Lite with a laptop can be a bit ‘clunky’ – for one thing, you have to boot up before you can start. This takes time, and it also means that it is difficult for other folk to ring me. The obvious solution was to get a mobile phone that was compatible with the app. Alas, it did not occur to me that my mobile network would cause insurmountable problems.

I got a small Android phone, downloaded the NGT Lite app and tried to set it up and tried to make a call. But it just would not work with my then network (Talk Mobile). After several web ‘chats’ with their Customer Service folk, it emerged that calls made via the app were blocked, because they needed an access code (18001 to call someone who is hearing, 18000 to call the emergency services) in front of the regular number. Their system classified these access codes as a premium service. I would therefore be expected to pay a premium rate. I queried this:

“What?” I said, “even to call an ambulance?”

“Yes, Jill,” I was told, and fobbed off with words to the effect that as it was a service ‘bought in’ the customer would be expected to pay to make any call via NGT. As far as they were concerned, that was that. I declined to pay a premium rate for phone calls of any kind and returned the phone to them.

My husband’s condition worsened by the day. When finally an ambulance was needed, a Hospicare nurse was in the house and made all the arrangements – he was admitted to a hospice, where he died just 30 hours later.

Now, nearly three months after his passing, I have changed network and have an Android phone that works. (Better late than never, one could say?) And it is my intention to make sure that all mobile networks that operate in the UK know about the Next Generation Text Service and offer it on equal terms as regular  ‘hearing’ use of a telephone. Calls made via the NGT Lite app should be part of the ‘inclusive minutes’ in a contract. I hope that might be my husband’s legacy so that no one else is ever told to pay a premium rate to call an ambulance.