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How to use real-time text on macOS and iOS

Earlier today, Apple released iOS 12.1.1 and macOS Mojave 10.14.2. iOS 12.1.1 adds new features like new haptic touch features…

Earlier today, Apple released iOS 12.1.1 and macOS Mojave 10.14.2. iOS 12.1.1 adds new features like new haptic touch features on iPhone XR and enhanced eSIM support. The update also provides support for the real-time protocol (RTT) for Wi-Fi calls, while MacOS 10.14.2 brings it to Mac.

What does it really mean? Read on to find out.

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Real-time text has been supported on iOS since 11.2, but today, Apple has been supporting Wi-Fi calls. This means that when you add a Wi-Fi call from your iPad, Mac or iPod touch, you have the ability to use the RTT to communicate.

What is RTT?

Real-time text is an accessibility standard that allows users to communicate in literally real-time. This means that when you write a message, the other user can see that message. Instead of the usual type indicator platforms like iMessage support, RTT displays the text of the message as you compose it.

This feature is designed for users who hear or have other disabilities that pose challenges for traditional audio calls.

How to describe the functionality of RealTimeText.org:

Real -Time Text transfers text while it is written or created, with characters sent immediately (within a fraction of a second) once written and immediately displayed to the recipient (s). This means that the recipient can read the newly created text while the sender is still writing it. In this way, real-time text has the same conversationality and interactivity as voice.

How to use CAT:

On iOS, you can set real-time text by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings> General> Availability> RTT / TTY.
  2. Enable the RTT / TTY software. Once enabled, you’ll see a new  Status bar icon icon in the status bar.
  3. Enable “Send Immediately” to get the characters you send.

Here’s how to make a voice call on iOS:

  1. Open the phone app
  2. Navigate to the contact of the person you want to call
  3. Select the option “Voice call” or “Voice call”
  4. When the call is connected, select RTT

Meanwhile, the setting of RTT on Mac is as follows:

  1. Open System Preferences app
  2. Click Availability
  3. Select RTT in the sidebar
  4. Select the box next to “Enable RTT”
  5. Enable “Send Immediately” to get characters sent as you type.

Here’s how to make a RTT conversation on macOS:

  1. ] Use either the FaceTime app or Contacts app to find the person you want to call
  2. In the apps app, click the radio icon next to the number
    1. Or in FaceTime, click the audio button, then select “RTT Call” or “RTT Relay Call”
  3. When the call is answered, tap RTT to begin communicating via text.

Apple describes more information about RTT on its website. Read about iOS support here and MacOS support here. Overall, it is an incredibly useful technique for those who need it. Look at it in action in our hands-on video below:


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