While digital assistants like Google Assistant have made your life a bit easier using voice commands, there are still some things that you’ll have to use your fingers to swipe or type. But what about the 62 million people in the US who have motor and mobility impairments but would still like to be connected? Google is now launching a new product called Voice Access which will help people, both those who have impairments and those who just want or need a truly hands-free experience on their Android device.
Through Voice Access, you will be able to navigate through apps, compose, edit, and send texts, and of course, talk to Google Assistant as well. The difference from the other usual voice commands is that it has more fine-grained controls. For example, you can ask it to click buttons and controls on the apps or scroll and navigate the app screens if you are incapable of doing it on your own for one reason or another.
If you want to compose a message, you can start off by saying “Ok Google” then ask it to open your messaging app of choice. You can select the text field by speaking the Voice Access displays and then edit the text if you still need to change things after you ask it to read it back to you. You can also use commands like “delete the line” or “undo” if you want to erase the entire message. Once you’re done, you can say “stop listening”.
This is just one example of granular commands that Voice Access will be able to bring you. While it’s meant of course for those that have mobility issues, it can also be used by those who don’t have a disability but is unable to touch their phone at that moment, like if you’re holding too many things or you’re already lying in bed.
If you’re a person that has accessibility and mobility issues, Google encourages you to help the Central Accessibility team by signing up to participate in future user studies.
October 3, 2018 at 06:01AM