Time to Read: 10 minutes
Almost two years after it was released, the myPhonak app has undergone a makeover in the September 2021 update. In this video, Emma discusses the updates, which includes long-awaited fix for the the issue related to programs, tap control sensitivity, as well as introducing regular hearing aid cleaning reminders.
Watch the video or read the transcript below:
Hi there I'm Emma, from Value Hearing. I'm a clinical audiologist and today is just a quick video talking about the new myPhonak update.
MyPhonak is probably one of the most popular apps in the industry. Everyone who has a Phonak Paradise or a Phonak Marvel hearing aid uses the myPhonak app, if they choose to use an app at all.
And it has been a great app for us. It's generally quite easy to use. Most people report that they enjoy using it but, unfortunately, it has had quite a few bugs - some of which really weren't a big deal and were easy to work around, and you may not have even noticed, but there was one bug in it that really frustrated a lot of people.
Problem: Being 'bounced' from your favourite myPhonak app program
Basically with this MyPhonak app, if you're a user of it, you'll realize that one of its main functions is allowing you to change your hearing aid program so that is, perhaps, changing from your automatic program to a special program that your audiologist has programmed for you as an extra manual program.
Or potentially, it's a program that you've created yourself. That was one of the really unique and amazing features of the myPhonak app when it came out - you could actually create your own special programs for different environments yourself.
The app gives you control over things like compression, so allowing you to adjust how the hearing aids treat loud sounds and soft sounds; allowing you to control directionality to a certain extent - how much you want to focus or open up the focus of the hearing aids.
It was allowing you to access noise reduction as well and also allowing you to manipulate bass, mid and treble, and overall volume so it was a really great feature.
You could even name that program anything you liked. You could name it your particular favourite restaurant that you liked, using that program in, or perhaps one specifically for your TV and it was great.
The frustrating thing was that if you were in one of those programs and a Bluetooth event happened, such as a text message, or a phone call, or some push notification came through, the hearing aids would switch over to a Bluetooth streaming program but then they'd go back to the automatic program.
So they'd always be kicking you out off the program that you had selected and going back to the automatic and it's been a bit of a battle for Phonak.
They've been trying to fix this for a long, long time. We were actually expecting this update earlier in 2021, so I think it's been a real challenge for them working with Bluetooth Classic and the hearing aids, trying to figure out a way to fix this issue.
Problem completely fixed for Paradise users
But it has been fixed, essentially fixed.
If you're a Paradise user it's been completely fixed. This means, whether you're in a manual program supplied by your audiologist, or one of your own myPhonak memories that you've created (you can create up to 10 in the new app), you will not have any issues.
Now, if you do get a text message, any sort of Bluetooth event, it will go into that Bluetooth streaming program for a few seconds and then it will go back to the program that it was in before that you had selected. So that issue is over for you guys with Paradise.
Problem essentially fixed for Marvel users
Unfortunately with Marvel it's not completely fixed, but it's not too bad of a situation.
If it is a program that your audiologist has supplied as a manual program that you are in at the time that the Bluetooth event happens, it will go back to that program afterwards. However, if it's in one of your myPhonak memories, unfortunately when the Bluetooth event happens. it will go back to the automatic program.
So that's annoying, it kind of means that for some of you with Marvel, the myPhonak memories has a limited usage.
But it's still not completely redundant because the wonderful thing with the myPhonak memories is, that by creating your own programs, when you then go to see your audiologist they can actually look at what you like, what settings you like in the app on these programs, and recreate it as a manual program in the target software and that will secure that program.
That will mean when you're in that program and a Bluetooth event happens, it won't bounce out of it. So, there is still a reason to use the myPhonak memories.
It's a bit of a shame it wasn't completely fixed for Marvel but it's still pretty much ultimately fixed as best as they could do.
I assume from what they're saying, it was the limitations of the Marvel chip that made it difficult for them to fix it completely with Bluetooth Classic which seems to be quite difficult to work with.
The new updated myPhonak app
Some of the other really cool things with the new myPhonak app you'll notice are a few changes. It looks a little bit nicer and more streamlined. They've changed Autosense OS, the name of your automatic program, just to Automatic.
It just makes it a little bit more simple. They've given you a bit more control. You can now delete programs very easily and you can even delete the manual programs that Phonak supply automatically, such as restaurant and TV.
They have given you control if you have a Paradise hearing aid. You can actually set it up so that you can use the little on board button, the rocker switch, to access your one of your myPhonak memory - so the last one you've used.
Or you can actually go into the app and choose which one you want to have in the manual program.
Now, not everyone likes using the rocker switch, but it can be so handy if you don't have your phone on you for example, or you're in a social situation where getting your phone out might be considered a little rude.
Or you're in a rush, you need it to be done really quickly and not relying on Bluetooth to connect, then the manual program is a great option to have.
It's lovely to give you that extra bit of control.
Create cleaning reminders
The other things that myPhonak has that is quite new, and probably going to be very handy, is actually cleaning reminders for changing your wax filters.
We're able to set that up for you, or you can set it up yourself as regularly as you want - weekly, monthly.
Most people don't need to change them that often, but it's nice to have that little reminder so all-in-all, a really good update.
Additional bug fixes
There were a few other bugs that they fixed.
When we connected your hearing aids to the target software, we actually deleted all your myPhonak memories which was really frustrating.
That will no longer happen.
Just a few other little bugs that affected some people - you may not have even noticed just little glitches in the system - they've completely smoothed out so it will be compatible with all future products, perhaps not straight away but eventually all future products will come onto the myPhonak app.
We're pretty excited that they've fixed these bugs. It's frustrating it's taken so long but it's good to see that we're moving forward.
So, with the updates that we've just spoken about, your app has probably updated itself. If not, go into your App store or your Play store, search for the myPhonak app and you should see a little button to say allows you to update it, if it hasn't been updated already, in order to make full use of the myPhonak updates.
A firmware update is required
You will need to come into the clinic and see us so that you can have your hearing aids updated.
We just need to update the firmware for you for you to be able to access all of these wonderful new fixes that Phonak have supplied.
We can't do it remotely, unfortunately. So when the time is right, definitely make an appointment. Come in we'll update the firmware on your hearing aids and that will allow you to make full use of the myPhonak app.
A change to the program selection screen
You'll notice a change on the program selection screen. That is now on the left hand side. You have a button saying ‘all’, and another button on the right hand side saying ‘push button’.
If you click on ‘all’, it will show you all the available programs that you have to select from. If you click on the right, where it says ‘push button’, this is going to show you all the programs that you have accessed through your multi-function button on the back of the hearing aid.
This will also allow you to see your last myPhonak memory that you've used that is not accessible through that multi-function button.
Tap sensitivity control is in you hands
You're now able to also adjust the sensitivity of tap control between light, medium and firm. Meaning if you're someone, that every time you scratch your head the tap control seems to be going off when you don't want it to, you can adjust it to a firmer response.
If you're someone who finds that you have to knock the hearing aids pretty hard in order to get tap control to work, then you could actually make it lighter.
Any questions, comments or even feedback on the myPhonak app would be greatly appreciated.