Google’s already brought powerful voice control to Android, letting users interact with apps and system settings with just a few spoken commands. And while that may work really well when you want Google to set a timer, or help your draft a text message, voice control runs out of steam when you bring in random apps for which voice support was never designed. At least, that used to be the case, but now Google’s inviting users to test out its new Voice Access system that brings voice control to all corners of Android.
Voice Access lets users who can’t normally interact with a touch screen to still navigate though Android and its apps. Users issue voice commands to scroll around the screen, launch apps, and interact with on-screen elements. To accomplish that latter task, elements such as buttons and links appear with numbers next to them, so users can say “tap 11” rather than “tap that icon that kinda looks like a lightning bolt.”
Users interested in trying out Voice Access are invited to register for the beta and install the still-in-testing Voice Access app.
In other accessibility news, Google’s released a new app-scanner for devs that lets them optimize UI design for maximum usability (warning about things like low-contrast fonts that might make text hard to read), and made information about vision settings a key part of the Android N setup process.