Technology May 27, 2020
Google launched new accessibility tools for Android users, updates Live Transcribe
Google has launched Android features and apps for people with hearing loss, deafness and cognitive differences. Now it has a new Android app for people with limited mobility. Its called Action Blocks!
From making calls, sending texts, playing videos and controlling devices at home, Action Block promises a whole new world for people with limited mobility. This latest offering from tech giant Google is an Android app that allows users to create customisable home screen buttons.
With these buttons they can create an Action Block for any action that the Google Assistant can perform. All the user has to do is pick an image for the Action Block from their camera or photo gallery, and place it on the home screen for one-touch access.
One tap for multiple talks
Action Blocks is available on the Play Store, and works on Android 5.0 and above.
There are 630 million people in the world today with some kind of cognitive disability. Action Blocks is a new Android app that helps users with cognitive disabilities perform everyday tasks on their Android phones with just a single tap. – Ajit Narayanan, Accessibility Software Engineer, Google
“We developed Action Blocks specifically for people with cognitive decline or age-related cognitive conditions”, adds Patrick CLary, AI and Accessibility Product Manager, Google . “Its really important to engage with the community. We work with people around the area and across the country to understand which use cases and tasks are important for them to complete”.
Action Blocks “reduces multi-tap task interactions into one tap right from your home screen”, posted Android on Twitter.
This is the latest offering after Live Transcribe was launched in 2019 by Google. This is an app that provides real-time, speech-to-text transcriptions of everyday conversations for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Google has added new features to this as well. “Set your phone to vibrate when someone nearby says your name. If you’re looking elsewhere or want to maintain social distance, your phone will let you know when someone is trying to get your attention”, said a Google company statement.
Deaf and hard of hearing users can add custom names or terms for different places and objects not commonly found in the dictionary. This will make it easier to search past conversations. All you have to do is use the search bar to look through past transcriptions.
All you need to do is turn on ‘Saving Transcriptions’ in Settings to use the feature. This will save transcriptionslocally on your device for three days.
Live Transcribe to be available in 70 languages
Google is also planning to expand support for Live Transcribe to 70 languages, including Punjabi. Live Transcribe is pre-installed on Pixel devices and is available on Google Play for devices Android 5.0 and up.
Another update is that Sound Amplifier, a feature that clarifies sounds around us, now works with Bluetooth headphones. Connect the Bluetooth headphones and place your phone close to the source of the sound, like a TV to enable you to hear more clearly.
“On Pixel, now you can also boost the audio from media playing on your device whether you are watching YouTube videos, listening to music, or enjoying a podcast. Sound Amplifier is available on Google Play for devices Android 6.0 and above,” said Google in a press release.
You can download Action Block here.
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