Internet giant Google has announced new features on some of its products -- Chrome OS, Google Docs and Android OS, to make them more user-friendly in a move to include more users.
“It’s so important to build tools to make technology accessible to everyone,” the company wrote in a blog post. “From people with visual impairments who need screen readers or larger text, to people with motor restrictions that prevent them from interacting with a touch screen, to people with hearing impairments who cannot hear their device’s sounds,” it added.
Here are some of the few features that you will love:
Google has now made the new Accessibility Scanner available to its developers. With the help of the new tool, developers can test their own applications for accessibility and in turn will get suggestions from it on making it better by tweaking things like larger buttons and increasing contrast between texts for users with visual impairments among other playarounds. You can even download the application from the Google Play Store to see whether the apps you’ve installed on your device meet the accessibility criteria.
Google also announced Vision Settings for Android N. Users who are on the developer build of the latest OS can access this feature. “A few weeks ago we announced a preview of Android N for developers,” Google wrote.
“Putting Vision Settings front and centre means someone with a visual impairment can independently set up their own device and activate the features they need, right from the start,” it added.
Last but not the least was developments on the Voice side. The new feature called Voice Access Beta will allow users with difficulty touching a touchscreen to control their Android device with just their voice. “We recently launched Voice Access Beta, an app that allows people who have difficulty manipulating a touch screen due to paralysis, tremor, temporary injury or other reasons to control their Android devices by voice. For example, you can say “open Chrome” or “go home” to navigate around the phone, or interact with the screen by saying “click next” or “scroll down,” it said. You can sign up for the beta here, but it’s currently at full capacity.
The improvement to the Chromebook OS is also releated to people with visual impairments and Google said that it was aimed at making readability better on the OS. “Chromebook users can now opt into the ChromeVox Next Beta to see what’s up and coming with Chrome’s built-in screen reader. The new version include a simplified keyboard shortcut model, a new caption panel to display speech and Braille output, and a new set of navigation sounds. You can install it and try it out for yourself here,” it said. You can install it and try it out for yourself here.
Google Docs - Edit documents with your voice
Sounds too good to be true? Well, now you can try out the new typing, editing, and voice formatting abilities for Google Docs. This makes it easier for those who can’t use a touchscreen to edit documents, but it’s also useful if you’re particularly keen on dictation to pen your prose.
“Google Docs now allows typing, editing and formatting using voice commands—for example, “copy” or “insert table”—making it easier for people who can’t use a touchscreen to edit documents. We’ve also continued to work closely with Freedom Scientific, a leading provider of assistive technology products, to improve the Google Docs and Drive experience with the JAWS screen reader,” it wrote.