This is a post about the best deaf apps.
That is, the most useful, popular and widely-used apps by d/Deaf people. This post is US-focused, and covers only iPhone apps.
Best Communication Apps
- Glide: for texting and talking.
- P3 Mobile: for texting, talking and relay services. Includes ASL and clear-speech relays.
- Google Voice: for transcribing messages (speech to text).
- Hamilton CapTel: for captions during the phone conversation
- Sorenson Buzzcards: d/Deaf create flashcards for communication with the hearing. Flashcards can be saved.
- FaceTime: visual calling
Best In-Person Communication Apps
- Speak4Me: text-to-speech
- Sorenson Buzzcards: create flashcards to communicate with non-ASL users
- Text to Speech!: text-to-speech
- iSpeech: text-to-speech
- Subtitles Viewer LIVE!: live speech-to-captions (caption real-time, live conversations)
- Earfy: live speech-to-captions (caption real-time, live conversations)
- Dragon Anywhere: dictation application that can be used by us deaf with hearing – have the hearing person speak and it will automatically caption what they are saying (if it is said clearly enough)
Best Apps for Learning ASL
- ASL Dictionary: comprehensive ASL dictionary with videos of more than 5,000 signs
- The ASL App: a hip app designed by Deaf ASL users to teach ASL (the one that Nyle is in!)
- Signing Savvy: learn ASL and join in conversations and more with the membership site
- SignSchool: vocabulary builder, dictionary
- YouTube: subscribe to Deaf YouTubers, search for classes. Download them through YouTube Red.
- Marlee Signs: learn ASL with Marlee Matlin
- ASL Translator: type in the English and get the ASL translation
- ASL Dictionary: over 5,000 signs, multiple ways to sign the same word and does not require internet
(note: don’t miss my post on 8 Sites to Learn ASL Online)
Best Alarm or Notification Apps
- Alarm Clock with FlashLights: alarm clock with flashing lights (and music)
- Alarmed Reminders + Timers: integrates with iPhone native Reminder app
- Loud Alarm Clock Best and Loudest Alarms 2: for people who need something REALLY loud (with no hearing neighbors, haha)
AND: here’s how to set your flash alerts on your phone, which works for phone calls, messages AND your morning alarm clock instead of sound
The Best Deaf Apps
There are many apps for the deaf available, and many more that may not have been created specifically for us but are useful (like Dragon Anywhere).
While that is great, I look forward to more apps being developed, covering a greater range of what would be useful to us (I’m thinking kitchen integrations and home appliance alerts in particular).
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.