Accessibility Features On Android
Developed by Google, Android is an operating system that is mostly found on mobile devices with touchscreen capabilities like mobile phones and tablets. Recently, Google has gone a step further to install android in other devices and developed a specialised interface for each of them. Some of these devices include;
- Android TV
- Smart watches
- Android Auto (cars)
Since its launch in September 2008, Android has grown to become a global leader in the Operating Systems industry. In fact, since 2011, Android has been the number one best-selling Operating system in smartphones.
As the Android operating system is widely accepted and used by millions of users across the globe, in order for people of all capabilities to be able to use it, Google has developed Accessibility features on Android. Android Accessibility features enable users to customise their devices by modifying accessibility applications or accessibility settings. This is all aimed at improving the experience when using the device, especially for people with disabilities.
Some of accessibility features on Android are:
This type of capability is made possible via the TalkBack function. In this case, users can interact with their Android devices via spoken feedback and touch. This particular function can describe every action the user does on the device.
Select to Speak
This feature is used when the user wants to limit the spoken feedback to specific items which are selected on the screen.
With voice access, users can control their devices by simply giving spoken commands. This means that you can do a variety of things on your device like open and close applications and write and edit texts without using your hands.
This feature gives the user the ability to interact with his/her device by use of a switch/switches instead of using the touchscreen. This is especially helpful for people with limited mobility.
Display Size and Font Size
This feature enables users to change the size of items on their Android devices. It also enables the users to change the size of the fonts of the texts that are displayed on the screen of their devices.
Contrast and Colour Options
Contrast and colour options allow users to adjust colours or contrasts on their devices. One can use colour inversions, high contrast text or even colour correction.
For users that would like to zoom in on a particular photo, text or item, the magnification feature gives you the ability to do this with ease. In simple terms, this feature acts as a magnifying glass on the user’s screen.
BrailleBack, mostly used by people with visual impairments, enables users to connect braille display to their devices via Bluetooth. This particular feature works hand-in-hand with the TalkBack feature to provide a combined braille and speech experience. In essence, users with visual impairments can interact with their devices with a lot more ease.
This feature enables users to capture speech and display the speech in the form of text.
The sound amplifier feature provides users with the ability to amplify and filter different sounds that may be present in one’s environment. This is particularly important in instances where a user is in a noisy place and wants to capture a specific sound of a person/animal/item.
Real-Time Text During Calls
With Real-time text during calls, users can communicate via texts during a phone call.
Some benefits of Android’s Accessibility features
1. They allow people with certain disabilities to access applications on their phone and the internet with a lot more ease than if they were just using the stock functionality.
2. They give added capabilities to all users in situations where they have limited concentration or are not able to multi-task efficiently, for example, when is driving or carrying an object with two hands.
To access these features just download the Android Accessibility Suite from the Google Play Store.
It is also worth mentioning that there are a vast array of Apps on Android that can change how you use your phone. If you do have a disability it’s worth having a deeper look around the Play Store to find out what’s available for you.