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Sprint on Tuesday announced the availability of a new accessibility feature aimed at helping iPad and iPhone owners on that network with hearing loss better use their devices.
Partnering with Raketu Communications, Sprint has developed Wireless CapTel for installation on the phones and tablets of the hearing-impaired. Wireless CapTel allows users to read conversations with real-time word-for-word captions displayed on the screen of their phone.
Users download the Wireless CapTel app from the iTunes App Store. The app is free with an Everything Data plan on Sprint.
After installation of the app, calls to the device will automatically connect to the CapTel service when an outgoing call is made. The service listens to what the caller on the other end says and automatically transcribes that into text the user can read.
The service does require that users give out the special number that routes calls through CapTel in order to have all calls transcribed.
Wireless CapTel is a Sprint-exclusive feature, and the carrier is rolling it out for some Android devices as well. Nonetheless, accessibility has long been a point of emphasis for Apple with its iOS devices. The Cupertino company earned praise from Stevie Wonder in 2011 for its efforts at making sure the visually impaired could use its devices.