The search engine giant first had its plans set on launching the Voice Access app during the Google I/O keynote last year. However, the company changed its mind at the last minute and instead moved on and launched its app a year after. Google’s Voice Access is now available in beta.
As the name implies, Voice Access is an accessibility app that lets anyone control their smartphones using voice commands. Users can now issue commands such as “go home” to return to the home screen, or “open Chrome” to launch the company’s browser.
“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. For example, you can say ‘open Chrome’ or ‘go home’ to navigate around the phone, or interact with the screen by saying ‘click next’ or ‘scroll down’,” wrote Google on its official blog.
Furthermore, Voice Access takes accessibility to the next level. The app can add number overlays on several elements that appear on the display. Think apps, texts, and images with a number above them so users won’t be misfiring launching them as they go. In practice, simply saying the number “16” will launch the Phone app.
Users who are interested in downloading Voice Access can head on to http://g.co/voiceaccess and try out the beta. Users will also be required to enroll in the testing program of the app’s beta version. Afterwards, all it will take is one trip to the Google Play Store and download the app for free.
In other related news, Google now allows typing, editing, and formatting docs using voice commands. Furthermore, the company also released the Accessibility Scanner that will help developers in testing their apps for accessibility.