Google Announces New Android Device Accessibility Features


To honor Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), Google released a number of accessibility products and feature enhancements on Thursday.

The purpose of the day is to spread awareness of digital accessibility, which states that people with “a disability must be able to experience web-based services, content, and other digital products with the same successful outcome as those without disabilities.” The IT behemoth from Mountain View, California claimed that the features and products unveiled were created by and for individuals with impairments.

Live Captions is one of the newly added features and improvements that has been made generally available. More people may now create in-the-moment captions using Live Captions on Google Meet, Android, and Chrome.

Users will be able to type responses during live captioned calls, which will then be read aloud to the other caller. The business is also trialing an Android tablet “caption box” feature.

To upgrade the Lookout app, which was released in 2019 and helps the community of people with visual impairments by enabling users to contribute alt text to photographs, the business merged AI and DeepMind. Whether or not alt texts and captions are present in the source content, the Image Q&A feature will be able to describe the photographs.

With the Lookout update, users may now type or use voice commands to request more details about a picture. The function is also being tested by a small group of members of the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB), and Google intends to make it generally available by the end of the year.

With the most recent update, Chrome for Android can now identify errors in URLs and provide pertinent suggestions. This feature is already accessible on Chrome for desktop users, and it will progressively become available to Android users over the coming several months. Google TalkBack will soon receive an update, while Chrome for Android will work to make handling tabs simpler for those with disabilities.

A wheelchair accessibility upgrade was also made to Google Maps, increasing the prominence of the wheelchair accessibility icon by default. Google is working with local experts, business owners, and the Maps community globally to further improve this function. A speedier and more dependable text-to-speech functionality that will be a part of Wear OS 4, which was unveiled at the Google I/O 2023 event, is also included in the latest updates.

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