How to activate voice typing for the blind on Android - The Happy Android

Most of us take for granted how easy it is to navigate through a touch screen on a system like Android. We are always worrying about how good the screen looks, and the quantity and quality of the pixels in our terminal, but we rarely stop to think about that other group of people who they also use mobile phones to communicate, work and have fun.

We are talking about people with visual disabilities, a type of user for which Android also has an answer. The proposal of the Google developers is called TalkBack, a functionality that has been implemented for years (since version 4.0 of Android) and that has evolved over time with numerous improvements and updates.

Activate TalkBack or On-Screen Action Voicemail

TalkBack takes care of describe the content of everything we touch on screen and everything that we select or we activate, through voice messages. It also notifies us of the notifications that we are receiving, making use of vibrations and other types of auditory stimuli.

The way of acting is quite well thought out, allowing you to touch anything on the screen to receive a voice prompt, and requesting a double tap to activate / act on what we have touched, or a gesture of discard to move to the next item. In this way, we avoid activating or launching any app by mistake. Well thought!

We have 2 ways to activate TalkBack on an Android device:

When turning on the phone for the first time

If our device is Android 4.1 or higher, we must press with 2 fingers on the screen until the device recognizes the gesture, and follow the TalkBack instructions. In the case of Android 4.0, we must draw a closed rectangle with our fingers, until the system recognizes the gesture, and follow the instructions.

From accessibility settings

If we already have the device up and running, we can also activate TalkBack from the "Settings -> Accessibility”.

As you can see, it is a very simple functionality. A user without visual problems is likely to have never even come across this option, but friends, there it is and it is quite a hoot and a super useful tool that greatly facilitates interaction and the user experience for everyone who cannot be guided solely for what you see on the screen.

Finally, if we have vision problems but just want to see everything a little bigger, we can also activate screen zoom for Android, which we talk about in the following article.

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