Google has published a new tool to help Android developers improve the user interface and experience of their apps. Accessibility Scanner can analyze any app with an eye towards accessibility issues that might not be a problem for most users but may cause user experience problems for some.

Upon downloading, Accessibility Scanner will add itself as a service in the system-level Accessibility settings. Users will be notified that the app will be able to capture everything displayed on the screen and disable screenlock when in use. Once the setup is complete, a movable floating button with a check mark appears.

Tapping it will make the screenshot animation and noise that users are familiar with. Even for large and complex screens, Accessibility Scanner only takes a few seconds. After finishing, users will be brought to a suggestions page that shows a screenshot with various highlights around elements.

A button on the toolbar shows the full list of suggestions, such as “consider making this clickable item larger” or “consider increasing this item’s text foreground to background contrast ratio,” and a link to the Material Design accessibility guidelines is provided. The app will also list the problematic code. Users can share these results via an email that includes the full list of suggestions and the highlighted screenshot.

The app is available in the Play Store for Android 6.0 devices and above. Google notes that the app is not just meant for developers, but also for regular users who want to suggest improvements.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: