Over the last decade, hearing aids have become so much more than just necessary medical devices that help the hard-of-hearing navigate the world of sound. In addition to these crucial and often life-changing capabilities, hearing aids can also act as the perfect Bluetooth in-ear buds for calls and music nowadays, 100% adjusted to fit your ears and your hearing loss.
While many manufacturers already support Bluetooth streaming on Android, one of the most innovative hearing aid companies is now jumping on board with an initially small selection of Android phones — Whisper.
OxygenOS Beta 5 and Beta 15 have started rolling out for the OnePlus 7T and 7 series, respectively, delivering a handful of new features, the latest security patches, some updated branding, and a pile of smaller fixes. Among the headlining changes are a "notification bar" shortcut for Dark Mode, tweaks to the default dialer app's interface to surface frequently called contacts, and Bluetooth hearing aid support, plus the latest patches. Note: Although the changelog claims that this update brings back the one-handed mode that OnePlus has been testing since the beginning of the year, the company says that is incorrect, and the feature is not included in this build.
Bluetooth audio accessories market kicked into high gear as headphone jacks began disappearing, and soon got flooded with more options than ever. While the Bluetooth 5.0 standard brought significant functional improvements even to the cheapest earbuds, the Bluetooth SIG wants to make further strides with LE Audio. The upcoming wireless standard will keep power consumption in check using a new lower-power codec, while also adding multi-stream audio and native support for hearing aids.
There's one area where Apple has always led the way when it comes to the never-ending conflict between its and Google's mobile operating systems: accessibility. While the Cupertino company already has been supporting direct Bluetooth streaming to hearing devices from many different manufacturers for a long time, Google is only now introducing a similar feature with Android 10. In cooperation with GN Hearing and Cochlear, the company has just announced the first hearing devices to support low-energy Bluetooth streaming on the new OS.