Accessibility Stories October 8, 2020

Over the years, Google has worked hard to add accessibility features to Android, both to make Android itself more accessible and to use Android’s smarts to make the world more accessible. The latest Android accessibility feature, Sound Notifications, can alert those with hearing loss to any important noises nearby.

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Accessibility Stories May 7, 2019

Google demonstrates Project Euphonia, effort to personally understand the speech-impaired

As in year’s past, the Google I/O 2019 keynote has taken time to focus on Google’s latest accessibility tech. One of this year’s demos, Project Euphonia, is an impressive project designed to let the Google Assistant’s voice recognition understand those with speech impairments.

Accessibility Stories August 16, 2018

Today’s hearing aids increasingly overlap and share the same functionality as Bluetooth headphones. Google is now working to improve the experience on Android with native support through a new direct audio streaming specification coming in a future OS update.

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Accessibility Stories November 13, 2017

News broke over the weekend that Google was instructing Android developers that don’t use Accessibility Services for its intended purpose to strip away that functionality from apps. It has now surfaced that this change is related to a “toast overlay” attack that tricks users into installing malware by masking parts of the interface.

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Accessibility Stories November 12, 2017

To better help users with disabilities, Android has a set of Accessibility Services that developers can use to improve their applications. For some time, though, these services and APIs have been used by some apps (such as LastPass and Tasker) to create unique overlay user interfaces and control functions within other apps.

Now, according to an email from Google, unless developers can describe how the app properly uses the Accessibility Services to help users who are disabled, it will need to remove all requests for accessibility services or it will be taken off of the Play Store

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Accessibility Stories April 5, 2016

Facebook’s Android app will soon be able to identify photo contents and voice descriptions to blind users

At a time when so many Facebook posts comprise a photo and a brief comment, there’s one group of people who get rather left out of the picture: those who are blind and partially sighted. That’s a problem Facebook is determined to fix.

From today, the company’s iOS app uses artificial intelligence to figure out the content of photos, and Apple’s VoiceOver feature to read aloud a description of them – and it says the same functionality will be coming to the Android app.

Accessibility Stories March 24, 2016

Google’s easy to use ‘Accessibility Scanner’ analyzes apps for accessibility issues

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.

Accessibility Stories June 30, 2015

Chrome for Android soon may show you alt-text when you long-press images

The Android version of Google’s Chrome browser has a neat new feature in it, if you’re willing to use a beta build of the mobile browser.

Now when you long-press on an image in the browser, a new menu will appear which includes the alt-text of the image in question. Alt-text, or alternative text, is a way to describe what an image is of in the HTML of the webpage. This is particularly helpful for those with vision impairments, as screen readers which can read webpages out loud are able to tell them what images on the pages they visit are depicting when alt-text is attached.

This new feature, shared on Google+ by none other than Chrome evangelist François Beaufort, could be useful, for example, when viewing any images with writing on them that have been scanned and posted online, where the text on them may be hard to read. Including what they say in the alt-text would make reading old texts easier. Chrome Beta for Android can be downloaded from Google Play.

Accessibility Stories May 8, 2013

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Google has updated its Android Translate app with a new Phrasebook feature to store some translated phrases that users want to keep quickly accessible. Phrasebook can easily sync via your Google Account’s login credentials.

When you’re traveling in another country, you want quick access to your favorite translated phrases—whether it’s “Where can I find a museum?” or “Do you know where the bathroom is?” Google Translate lets you save these translations in your Phrasebook, but you still could not easily access them on the go from your phone or tablet. Starting today, you can automatically sync the phrases in your Phrasebook to your Android device using the Google Translate mobile app, so you can carry your most useful phrases with you wherever you go.

 Additionally, Google has added support for 16 new languages for camera-input translations.

Last but not least, this latest release of Google Translate for Android sees a significant improvement to the camera-input feature. You can now use camera-input to find translations in 16 additional languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Croatian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Latvian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Swedish.

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