Google launches Beta Voice Access app

Accessibility app is finally available for Android users

Google has launched a beta version of its hands-free Voice Access service.

The feature enables users to control their phone from anywhere on the device, unlike many other accessibility apps. The app can be used to navigate through the contents of a phone, using phrases such as "open Chrome" or "go home".

Google recently posted in a blog about how they felt this app will be relevant for their users.

"We recently launched Voice Access Beta, an app that 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," said Eve Andersson, manager of Accessibility Engineering at Google.

The app can also assign numbers to commands, which can be used to open an app such as Youtube or typing specific letters of the alphabet. Although the app is aimed at creating a more usable interface for those who may suffer from disabilities, its features could largely be used for those who simply seek convenience.

For users who'd like to download the app, it is currently required that they sign up for Google's testing program. Although it recently it has become evident that Google is no longer accepting more users into the beta phase for this app (as you can see if you click on the link).

Google also released Accessibility Scanner, an app that aims to aid developers in enhancing their apps accessibility. The tool recommends developers to use larger text sizes and to create apps with contrasting backgrounds and text colors.

Eve Andersson, Manager, Accessibility Engineering

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