Thursday, May 23, 2013

Google makes Android easier to use for visually-impaired users with TalkBack and BrailleBack

by Aditya Thawardas on 

brailleGoogle has made some great enhancements to the Android platform with the goal of making their devices more user friendly to people with blindness or low-visibility. Google engineers have simplified the process for developers to augment their code to let Android use its accessibility features for these users. These accessibility features utilize either TalkBack (a spoken feedback system), or enable connected devices which give a blind person a legible description of the display to read using BrailleBack (a Braille emulator). TalkBack is already implemented in Android, while BrailleBack is available in the Play Store.

These features were put on display at an “Enabling Blind and Low-Vision Accessibility on Android” presentation at Google I/O. Developers were explained how to optimize their applications to take advantage of Android’s accessibility tools.
Mobile Accessibility by a Spanish company called Codefactory has already been assisting blind users for a while by using a simplified audio-based user interface. Their developers say that Android’s new enhancements will allow the company to work on new features for the service.
It’s really great to see support being improved for the visually-impaired community. There’s no reason everyone shouldn’t be able to experience how great Android is.