Android’s new sound notifications can let you know when your dog is barking

Android phones can now notify you when they detect certain sounds, which could notify people who are deaf or hard of hearing about important sounds nearby.



a close up of a light


© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge


If you turn on the feature, called Sound Notifications, you can have your Android phone inform you about some sounds via a push notification, a flash from your camera light, or by making your phone vibrate. Other devices support Sound Notifications as well, including Wear OS devices, which can send Sound Notifications via text notifications with vibrations. And they work entirely offline, according to Google.

Google says Sound Notifications can listen for ten different noises:

  • Smoke and fire alarms
  • Sirens
  • Shouting
  • Baby sounds
  • Doorbell ringing
  • Knocking
  • Dog barking
  • Appliance beeping
  • Water running
  • Landline phone ringing

Sound Notifications are already installed on Pixel phones and “select other Android phones” and can be turned on from the accessibility

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Google on Thursday announced a new Android accessibility feature called Sound Notifications. In a blog post co-written by artificial intelligence product manager Sagar Savla and accessibility product manager Sharlene Yuan, the company said Sound Notifications is designed to alert users with hearing loss when various sounds occur, such as when a kitchen appliance beeps or water runs. Google cited a World Health Organization statistic that some 466 million people worldwide, 34 million of which are children, have “disabling hearing loss.”

Sound Notifications are meant to “make important and critical household sounds more accessible with push notifications, a flash from your camera light, or vibrations” on Android and Wear OS devices, according to Google. They also note the feature has relevance beyond hearing loss; it can be beneficial to those who are temporarily disabled due to injury, or even simply wearing earplugs or headphones.

Google says Sound Notifications was

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