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.



Help! I need a speech-to-text converter for an answerphone

The landline’s answerphone is flashing. I cannot retrieve the message because I cannot hear the words. Ah, well…will have to ask my son to come round and listen for me, or go and ask a neighbour to help. Just an everyanswerphone flashingday problem for deafened folk like me.

But surely there must be a technological way round this? If an answerphone message can be accessed remotely on a linked phone line, e.g. a mobile, then surely the words spoken could be converted into text and displayed on the screen of that mobile. That would solve the problem. Or is this but a dream?

So here is a challenge for web developers out there: to invent an app that could be downloaded on to a mobile phone and linked with the user’s landline. This dream app would be able to convert speech – any speech – to text. I could then read the words on the screen of my mobile. Job done.

But this dream speech-to-text converter could be useful to the wider community as well. If you are in a busy environment, it would be better to read the words of a voice message on screen rather than try to listen.

I suspect developers will say that the stumbling block is that speech-to-text converting software has to be trained to understand the voice of the user. But, of course, a message could be left by anyone, and all voices are different.

But surely there is a way round this problem?  I post in hope.


Using NGT Lite with a landline

There are corded landlines in this house, so the phones (which used to include my dear old Uniphone), are tethered to the wall. Yes, I know, having corded phones is yet another example of not moving with the times.

As I would be using NGT Lite with a laptop computer (or, possibly) a tablet, a corded

Panasonic KX-TG6811 handset


telephone was not going to be much good. So, I decided to get a cordless phone to use with NGT. I chose a Panasonic because the specs looked good and it is a reliable brand.  But attempting to set up the cordless phone was, for me, time-consuming, because I was not familiar with the jargon. Still, eventually managed it! And, you know, it is really quite easy after all.

Setting up this phone was a further reminder that I was ‘out of the loop’. For over 21 years I had been using a Uniphone (which I now see was very basic). For 13 years before that, I had had to ask someone to make a telephone call on my behalf, because there was no text relay service available. That must get me back to 1982 and the last regular telephone I could use – it had a dial (Yes, one of those!) and was mounted on the wall in the hall.

Well, in future, I am going to keep up with developments in telecommunications.