With Google's New App, Even Blind People Can Text On Smartphones

Dhir Acharya - Apr 11, 2020

With Google's New App, Even Blind People Can Text On Smartphones

Blind and vision-impaired people face a lot of difficulties in their daily lives. But Google is making things easier for them with its new app, TalkBack.

The smartphone is becoming more and more popular for its convenience but they aren't really friendly with a number of people including the blind and people who are vision-impaired because the on-screen keyboard makes it much harder for them to type. Therefore, Google decided to develop a Braille keyboard, dubbed TalkBack, for smartphones to help special users, starting with Android.

Google Braille Keyboard Android
Blind and vision-impaired people have difficulties in typing


This may confuse you a little when you first hear about it. Very simple, the phone screen is divided into 6 zones representing 6 dots in Braille. Users type by touching those zones; different combinations represent different letters or numbers. This will be much easier and familiar for the blind and vision-impaired.

Right now, TalkBack only has English and supports Braille grades 1 and 2 on Android (from 5.0). To use this new feature, go to Settings and turn it on in the accessibility section. Users can switch it on or off like they can do with other international keyboards.

google talkback braille keyboard
Google has integrated Braille keyboard into Android smartphones to help blind and vision-impaired people text

A representative of Google said that it was part of their mission to help more and more people access sources of information so they hoped that this product could give the blind and people with impaired vision more tools and more support.

In the past, since the technology was not developed very much, vision-impaired people had tons of difficulties with reading texts on desktops, navigating directions or recognizing colors. But now, thanks to technological advancements, they just need a smartphone and apps along with other kinds of tools to live, communicate, study and work more easily.

Google TalkBack
How TalkBack works

Google is not the only company working on tools supporting people with poor vision. There are other companies doing it, Apple is an example. Let’s hope that disabled people will get more and more help so they will have more chance to learn, work, and succeed.

>>> Google Unveils Camera Go, A Lightweight Version Of Your Android Camera App


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