What is the TTY Mode on Cell Phones and How to Use it

TTY stands for teletypewriter and this mode facilitates communication over the phone for people who have hearing and speech difficulties. This technology turns written messages into voice notes and the other way around. In the United States, there are laws that state that the TTY service has to available for free in every state. TTY is also called telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD) or text telephone. It refers to devices that are designed to send text over the phone and it offers the chance to send and receive at the same time. Written communication is very useful for people who have hearing and speech challenges. In order to enable TTY mode, the phone connects to a TTY device that is capable of transcribing written messages into voice notes or voice messages to a written form, depending on what you prefer.

What is TTY?

TTY allows you to type messages that appear on the recipient’s phone screen almost instantly. With the help of this technology, people who can’t hear well or who are unable to speak, can communicate over the phone. Once a TTY device is connected to a mobile phone, it starts to send/receive written messages. In order to enable this type of communication, the sender and the reciepient need to have the TTY mode enabled on their phones.


VCO or Voice Carry Over is a feature intended for people who can talk, but who have hearing impairments. If you are able to talk, but have difficulties with your hearing you would need to receive typed messages and this is what TTY VCO does.


HCO or Hearing Carry Over is an option that works for people who don’t have hearing problems, but who have speech challenges. If you are unable to speak but can listen to your messages, TTY HCO will help because it allows you to send typed messages.

How does TTY work?

There is a keyboard and a screen on a TTY device, but it is worth mentioning that there are two kinds of TTY devices. There is one type that comes with a built-in phone while the other has to be connected to a phone. We will focus on the seconds type. A mobile phone on its own is not a TTY device. The TTY device has to be connected to the mobile phone with a cable. One side of the cable has to be connected to the phone’s headset jack and the other end is connected to the TTY device. The cable serves as an audio-in and audio-out connector. The mobile phone has to be in the TTY mode so that it can work with a TTY device. The messages or voice notes that have to be sent are encoded by the TTY device and then transmitted through a modem. The TTY device of the recipient decodes the messages and shows them on the screen.

Starting TTY on your phone

First you need to find the TTY option in the Settings of your phone and then follow the below steps:

iPhone users

  1. Select the Settings option and then “Phone”.
  2. Move the slider to the On position to enable the TTY mode
  3. Connect the iPhone and the TTY device with an audio jack or adapter. That is all, now you can send/receive messages.

Android LG phone

  1. Go to Settings and choose “System settings”,
  2. Select Call and then you will see the TTY option.
  3. Now you need to select from a list of options that include TTY Off, TTY Full, TTY VCO and TTY HCO. Select the option that suits your needs by switching it on.

Samsung Galaxy

1. Go to Settings, choose My Device.
2. Select Call and look for the TTY Mode.
3. Once the TTY mode is selected, you will be able to select from TTY Off, TTY Full, TTY VCO and TTY HCO.

Protecting your communications

TTY is a very convenient solution for people with hearing or speech difficulties. It makes communication simple and can be used with different apps, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the advantages of the internet when it comes to sending and receiving messages. You may use TTY for instant messaging apps and VoIP services, but since there are always risks to privacy when you are online, it is important that you take the required steps to secure your conversations. This is something that you can do with the help of a VPN. VPN services have many advantages, one of the main ones is that they add security to your internet traffic. If you are using TTY for messages that are transmitted over the internet, you may want to prevent third-parties from monitoring your conversations. VPNs encrypt your data so others won’t be able to see what content you access or what you say to others.

You will find a wide selection of VPN services available, but in order to ensure the security of your chats, we recommend you to choose a well-established VPN from the following list.

NordVPN – NordVPN doesn’t keep any logs and it offers top security features that will keep your conversations protected. They have servers in over 60 countries and are known for their strong commitment to privacy.

ExpressVPN – Fast service, high security and access to servers in over 90 countries. ExpressVPN is a respected name in the industry thanks to its effective performance and advanced technology. No logs of your activities are kept.

IPVanish – IPVanish is in charge of its own network, which allows it to offer fantastic speeds and reliable performance. This provider has servers in over 60 countries and you can always find a good option to connect to. They don’t keep any logs of your online activities.

VyprVPN – VyprVPN also manages its own network of servers and it offers amazing speeds. This makes it a great choice for communication apps. It doesn’t keep logs of your online activities and it has servers in over 70 locations around the world.

Renee Biana

VPN Pick brings you all the latest vpn news, reviews and discounts.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Exclusive Offer: Get a 49% Discount off ExpressVPNGet This Deal