Android’s New Sound Notifications Alert You to Critical Noises You May Not Hear

A dog barking, and a notification on a phone alerting to the bark.

Every day we’re bombarded by noise grabbing for our attention, from the sound of the dishwasher barking to a dog barking. If you’re wearing headphones or have hearing loss, you may miss the critical noises, like a smoke alarm. Android’s new Sound Notifications seek to solve that problem.

Sound Notifications is a new Android feature that works through push notifications. Using a series of algorithms, your Android phone can identify “critical noises’ including sirens, a baby’s cry, a knock at the door, water running, and smoke and fire alarms.

When your phone detects a critical noise, it’ll send you a notification to let you know what it heard. If you have a Wear OS watch, it can send the notification there too.

A Wear OS watch with a notification about water running.

Just knowing the dog is barking isn’t helpful without context, though, and to help with that, Google also developed a TimeLine view. When you get a notification, you can pull up the TimeLine view to see if anything else came before the event. That way, you can find out that someone knocked at the door, causing the dog to bark.

Sound Notifications expand Google’s Live Transcribe features, which can detect 30 sound events and provide real-time captions for a better picture of overall sound awareness.

Due to the potential battery drain of running microphones constantly, the Sound Notification feature is off by default. You can access it now, though if you don’t see it yet, you can try installing Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications from the Google Play store.

Source: Google