We asked deaf young people to review apps useful for them. Here's what they thought...
With the videomail.io website you can send short videos directly from your webcam by email, useful if you want to send a message in BSL.
Available free at videomail.io
Ages: 11–14, 15–18, 19–25
Reviewed by Frankie (18) who is profoundly deaf and uses BSL.
"The Videomail website is for BSL users who aren’t confident using English to communicate. So what does it do? It allows a BSL user to record themselves signing using a webcam, then they can send it to the receiver of their choice by putting in their email address.
It’s useful for many different situations – for example emailing people about jobs, volunteering, interviews, applications, surveys and everyday conversation too. However it’s only useful if the receiver understands BSL as well.
The website is free to access and the name is easy to remember. I found it easy to use and the FAQ section is easy to understand too, which is important. It’s useful as it can be used for anything and sent to anyone. The sender doesn’t have to be deaf to use it and a deaf person can request this as a method of contact if they want to (again, depending on whether the other person understands BSL).
However some downsides are that the quality of the video depends on the quality of your webcam and the video can’t be more than three minutes long."
By: Levire UG (haftungsbeschränkt) & Co. KG
Available free on iOS
Ages: 15–18, 19–25
Reviewed by Liam (20) who is mildly deaf.
"Sleeping on a train isn’t without its risks. It’s possible I could end up in Brighton instead of London, snore, or fall asleep on the person next to me as they read the Evening Standard.
Cue WakeMeHere Lite. Using GPS, the app wakes you up when you enter a certain radius. So, as your train approaches your destination, you get a discreet vibration in your pocket alerting you. Sounds promising, right?
Yet I was a bit disappointed when I tried it out on my way to work recently. A simplistic design meant setting up an alarm was somewhat straightforward, but as this is the free version of the WakeMeHere Lite app it comes with adverts, long videos for mobile games that reminded me why I deleted Candy Crush from my iPhone. Changing an alarm meant deactivating it and watching yet another advert afterwards.
The search function doesn’t recognise station names so you need to take care in typing in the exact address, or choosing it on the map, and setting a wide enough radius. If you just enter a street name, but no exact address, the app may not go off, which is quite alarming – pun intended."
NGT allows deaf users to communicate over the phone via a text relay assistant, who can either type out spoken messages or speak typed messages.
For full details of how to use the NGT app, watch our ‘Introducing Next Generation Text’ video.
Available from Apple App Store, Google Play Store and www.ngts.org.uk
Ages: 15–18 and 19–25
Reviewed by Jake (22), who is severely deaf and wears hearing aids.
“I recently started using the NGT Lite app. I mainly use it to book appointments with audiology or other healthcare professionals or for booking the cinema or shows. I feel comfortable knowing I haven’t missed any information. Before using NGT Lite, I avoided using the phone and relied on my friends and family to relay information which made me feel dependent.
The phone and desktop apps are easy and quick to use and set-up. I tend to use it through the computer so I can type quicker than on my phone. NGT phone calls are included in my call bundle, but do check with your own telephone service provider.
If I were to describe NGT Lite in one word, it would be ‘convenient’. It’s handy to have on my phone for those quick day-to-day calls. However I’d still rather use Skype or FaceTime for more personal and memorable conversations with family and friends.”