Google announces Android Nougat with new accessibility features

Thursday, 14 July 2016 16:17pm

Google has officially launched its new version of Android 7.0 Nougat which will feature a number of significant accessibility additions and improvements.

Android robot waving and standing on a pile of nougat

Vision Settings

The most significant improvement is the inclusion of Vision Settings.  This lets people control settings like magnification, font size, display size and Talkback when setting up a new Android device. While some manufacturers such as Samsung already provide a similar feature, the inclusion of Vision Settings will ensure that all Android users of Nougat and later will be able to easily enable key access functionality as soon as their smartphone or tablet is turned on for the first time.

Voice Access

For people with a mobility impairment, Google has updated its VoiceAccess app that allows for more functionality using voice commands. The app 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’. Instructions on how to download and install the app are now available.Additional information can be found in the Media Access Australia Voice Access news item.

Google Docs

In addition, Google has provided some updates to its Google Docs cloud-based application software by improving its compatibility with screen readers such as JAWS and verbal commands for people that mobility impairment. There have also been significant updates to speech functionality in its Chromebook range of affordable laptop computers.

Detailed information on the accessibility features contained in Android-based devices can be found in the Digital Technology section of the Media Access Australia website.


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