What is teletypewriter (TTY) on a phone?

Features and use of teletypewriter (TTY) mode on smartphones.

Not all functions of mobile phones are regularly used by their owners. Some of them are so specific that only a limited number of people know about their purpose. One such feature is teletypewriter (TTY mode). We tell you what a teletype is in a phone, what this function is responsible for and how it is used.

Teletypewriter (TTY) mode is one of the phone’s accessibility features that are needed to help people with various physical disabilities. In our case, the emphasis is on people with hearing and speech impairments. Teletype allows people to fully communicate by transforming mobile conversations. This mode works in two directions:

  1. People with speech impairments can enter a text message, which is converted into a voice message and sent to the interlocutor.
  2. For people with hearing impairments, incoming voice messages are converted to text.

Thus, in the phone settings, three options for the included teletype are available:

  1. Full TTY – Both users communicate via text messages.
  2. VCO is a mode for a single hearing impaired user who sends voice messages and receives text messages.
  3. HCO is a mode for a single user with a speech impairment who can receive voice messages but send text messages.

How does the teletype mode work on the phone?

In order for the teletype mode to work, it must not only be enabled in the settings, but also a special device must be connected to it, which will allow you to process messages. The TTY device is connected to the phone with a cable (usually an audio jack). For this mode to work, TTY must also be supported by the mobile operator.

However, this feature is quite expensive, so most operators refuse to support it. In addition, the teletype mode is considered obsolete, since its role has long been played by ordinary SMS messages, as well as instant messengers in which you can enter a voice message and convert it to text.

It is important to know that if the owner of the phone does not use the TTY mode, it should not be left on. Due to TTY being enabled, some other features of the phone, including receiving incoming calls and messages, may not work properly. TTY settings are usually found in the settings for calls (calls) or in the “Accessibility” section.

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