What is RTT calling on android?

If you are wondering what is rtt calling on android, let me make it clear to you RTT stands for Real-Time Text, this is a feature developed to over the inabilities of TTY technology, this feature enables the users to send text messages without having to click the send button, as soon as you type them. This technology has been developed and implemented to help people who are deaf, blind, or having a speech-related issue and also for some users in case of an emergency. To use this feature one needs to have a wireless handset, which could be an iPhone, iPad, Android, or Tablet. Devices that use IP-based technologies and rely on data communication networks support the RTT feature. 

This feature helps people with issues to communicate over the phone without having to spend money on external devices to contact people. The FCC informed all the wireless device manufacturing companies on December 31, 2017, to make devices and networks that support the RTT calls. Many companies have also developed RTT applications that support RTT calling and plug-in settings that would enable RTT calling on the phones. 

The FCC mandated that at least one handset that would support the RTT calling should be offered by the manufacturing companies. They have also released the deadline as June 30, 2021. By that time, every wireless device manufacturing company along with the resellers must provide wireless devices that support real-time texting. Let us try to know more about how the RTT will enhance the user experience for people with some issues using assistive phone technology.

What is an RTT call?

The thing you need to know before RTT is TTY technology or Teletypewriter devices. This technology was initially used to send typed messages across phone lines, this tech was used on landlines.

But due to the rapid growth in technology, wireless gadgets have occupied the place of landlines and TTY tech became old and no one was interested in using such technology. As voice communication shifted towards wireless handsets, text messages have become a new medium of communication, this is when the FCC stepped in and introduced the Real-Time Text technology.

What is RTT calling on android
What is RTT calling on android?

How does RTT work?

RTT is an assistive technology feature, using which one can send a text in real-time from a handset. The recipient can see what you are typing in real-time and can respond to that text in a real message. In other text and messaging apps, when you are typing the messages you see the “typing…” prompt on the screen, but in the case of RTT, the recipient can see and text you back in duplex mode as the message is being written. 

If a user is using the real-time text feature, he does not need to hit the send button as the other SMS, chat, and other types of text-based messages. The message we are typing is instantly displayed on the screen, giving mobile users with disabilities a more effective, easy, and independent way of communication.

Texting while Calling

If a user has enabled the RTT on his phone, he can type the messages while he is on the call with the recipient, and the texts stream on the screen parallelly with the speech during the phone call. This action takes place in duplex mode, that is both the users can type the messages simultaneously, whereas, in the TTY tech, the caller and the recipient have to take turns to send the messages, since they are sent over the wired device like captioned telephony. The other major advantage is we can only use one language when it comes to TTY, whereas RTT offers a wide range of languages due to the keyboard incorporation, emojis, and characters.

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The features of RTT calling are improving as the tech is becoming more flexible, we can call other wireless phone users including fellow RTT and TTY users, irrespective of the network they are using. We can also contact the emergency and health services using this feature. We will now discuss how to implement this feature on different Android phones.

Implementation of RTT on Android

To do this, your android mobile should support version 9 or above. In some cases, even if you have Android version 9 on your phone, you may not be able to place the call, since some companies are yet to make RTT calling compatible with all wireless mobile phones. Let us look at the steps to enable the RTT calling on Android and how to use it.

To Turn on RTT

  • Open the Phone app on your Android Mobile.
  • Tap on the three dots to access the app settings.
  • Click on accessibility.
  • To enable the Real-Time Text (RTT) settings, tap on Real-Time Text (RTT), this action will turn on the feature.
  • To switch between the voice and RTT calling in between the call duration, we need to make the RTT calling icon visible. Tap on visible during a call.
  • To allow the incoming RTT calls from other users but to hide the calling button, enable the “Not Visible.”
  • If you want RTT calling to be active always, click on “Always Visible.”

As All the devices are not compatible with the RTT call, the older versions have the TTY feature, let us see how to enable this feature.

  • Open the Phone app on your Android Mobile.
  • Tap on the three dots to access the app settings.
  • Click on accessibility.
  • In the options, there will be multiple ways of using the TTY mode, let us go through them one by one.
  • If you want to stick to the normal calling with no text support, click on “TTY Off.
  • To enable the TTY for both users, tap on “TTY Full.”
  • To listen to the text sent by another person aloud, and to send the text from your phone, enable the “TTY HCO.”
  • To use the voice to text and to listen to the text sent by the receiver aloud, click on “TTY VCO.”

The features of the call include a normal voice calling and switching between the voice and RTT calling in between. Let us now see how to make a call and access the RTT feature and switch in between the voice and RTT calls.

Make a call with RTT

The RTT calling option is only available if you enable the “Always Visible” in the Phone app settings.

  • Open the Phone app on your mobile.
  • Deciding who to call:
    1. Enter the mobile number of the person you want to call, using the Dialpad.
    2. If it is a saved number, go to contacts and select it.
    3. If it is a recent call, search for the number in recent calls.
    4. To select a number from the speed dial, tap on Favorites.
  • To invite the recipient to onboard the RTT call, tap on the RTT icon, the T symbol with lines drawn from it, when the phone rings the invitation is present on his screen.
  • After the recipient answers the phone call, you can see a text field on your screen, and start typing in it, to send and receive the texts. The text you are typing is simultaneously visible to the recipient.
  • To end the conversation, tap on End call. If the screen is minimized during the call, drag the maximize screen, at the bottom of the screen.
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Switching from a voice call to RTT during the call

  • Tap on the RTT call icon during the call.
  • This action pops up a keyboard and starts typing using the text messages to let the other user know about the feature.
  • Switching is only possible if you choose either “Always Visible” or “Visible during Call” in the phone app settings.

Additional RTT call features

There are some additional features you can use to enhance the calling experience while using the RTT feature.

  • To Switch in between the voice call and RTT call, tap on Switch to Voice Call in the More options.
  • To hold the phone call, tap on hold.
  • To merge two calls, click on merge call.
  • We can either merge two RTT calls or a voice call with the RTT call.

Tips and points to keep in mind while using the RTT call

  1. RTT feature enables the real-time texting option, if you are texting on the screen using the keyboard, the text appears to the recipient in real time, he is simultaneously viewing the text as you type it.
  2. The Opposite person can switch to the RTT call, even if you have selected the “Not Visible” option.
  3. The RTT calls capture your audio while you turn it on, if you wish to mute the recording, tap mute.
  4. Just like normal conference calls, we can make multiple calls at the same time.
  5. The RTT icon is always visible for the emergency contacts, even if you selected the “Not Visible” option, you can see the icon as soon as your network provider recognizes it as an emergency contact.
  6. RTT is unavailable if you are roaming abroad.

If you are calling an RTT call on android with a TTY user, you need to be aware that all these features are not available, there are only a limited set of features you can see. Moreover, the users need to take turns sending and receiving the texts if they are using the different features. 

In some cases, you might not connect with the TTY users due to the incompatibility of both technologies. All the RTT users can use the same numbers to send and receive the calls for voice and RTT calling, with the rates being the same as the standard calls. 

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Additional Elements and Future of RTT calls

The FCC is trying to integrate as many as features to enhance this feature to improve the calling experience for people with disabilities and in emergency situations. The service providers and manufacturers are trying to make them capable of using advanced technologies.

The features like knowing if the other user is busy on the other call, audio recognition and text, call indicators to know the state of the call, etc. There have also been attempts made to make the RTT calls real-time voice communications. The other features the FCC is trying to add to this format are:

  • More control settings like adjusting the color, size, and font of the text.
  • Features like Caller ID, Conference calls, call transferring, and full duplex voice response systems.
  • Making wireless devices more compatible by adding the pre-installed features by default.
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These are some of the things which answer the question of what is RTT calling on Android, there were many other developments in this sector recently, which contribute to enhancing this feature overall. If you found this article helpful, share it with your friends and family, and share your feedback about the article. For more Android tips and tricks, browse TrickyFreaky.


Why is RTT better than TTY?

RTT is real-time text and TTY stands for TeleTypeWriters, there is a huge difference when it comes to both technologies, RTT can operate in the full duplex mode, whereas TTY does not. Full Duplex mode means both the persons involved in the calling can simultaneously text or communicate with each other, but this advantage is not with the TTY, if a user is sending a message, the opposite person has to wait until the message is received and then only he can reply or text back to the other person. RTT leads the race by many miles due to its advanced features, which not only make the tech better but also enhance the user experience to a greater extent.

How does RTT enhance the user experience?

RTT is a real-time text technology, which is helpful for people with disabilities to help them communicate with other users. When it comes to enhancing the user experience, RTT not only works in the full-duplex mode but the recent developments in the tech allow the users to add colors, emojis, and additional features while they are on the call. If you are deaf or cannot talk the only way you can communicate on a handset is by either using text or video call, we can see what the opposite person is texting in real-time, which improves the communication gap between people. We can also leverage this technology under emergency conditions, we can use voice controls to access the emergency numbers on the phone, and our network providers along with the handset manufacturers pre install the numbers onto our phone, where we can use them.

How do I turn of RTT on Android Phones?

We can use the parent controls to disable the RTT feature on Android mobiles.The first thing we need to do is disable SMS messaging for the device. To do this, go to “Manage Devices” section and in the “Messaging” tab, click on “Disable SMS Messaging” option. Now to turn off the RTT, open the settings and navigate to the General settings. Tap on the “Accessibility” and move to the “Hearing” section. In this section, we can see all the features of RTT, depending on your requirements you can change the settings of the RTT calling. To completely turn off the RTT, switch off the toggle button and choose the manual option for RTT outgoing calls. This feature is exclusively for people with disabilities and in some cases of emergency, so turning it off won’t make a huge difference.

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