Google's Sound Amplifier takes sound picked up by your phone's microphones and pipes it directly into your earbuds. It's a great idea, but its utility has historically been limited by the app only working with wired headsets. Version 3.0, rolling out now, lifts that restriction, finally letting users listen through Bluetooth headphones.
Google is working on making Android as inclusive as possible, only recently updating features like Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier. Along with announcing the improvements to these accessibility functions, the company has also shared that it's launching a new app called Action Blocks. The app is targeted at people with cognitive disabilities, but it certainly looks like it can be useful for anybody. It lets you create single-tap actions for Google Assistant in the form of widgets instead of having to say them over and over.
People who rely on wheelchairs, rollators, or other mobility aids know how frustrating it is to deal with raised steps and narrow spaces in restaurants in shops. It also can be inconvenient or downright impossible to look up accessibility information for many public areas. So, in light of today being Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Google Maps is officially introducing a new mode highlighting accessible places on the app.
A year ago, Google introduced two accessibility apps for Android: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier. As the name implies, the first one lets deaf and hard-of-hearing people use their phones to instantly transcribe any conversation around them and read it on their screen. The app has now been updated to v3.0 and gained two new features: Custom words and Vibrate when name is spoken.
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Live Caption, which was first introduced during Google I/O 2019 as a Pixel 4 exclusive, is a game-changing addition to the suite of accessibility features built into Android 10. Using Live Caption allows those with deafness or other hearing disabilities to follow along with video content, while Android generates captions in real-time. It appears that the feature may be getting ready to make the leap from smartphones to computers as work is underway to bring the feature to Chrome, according to a new code commit to the Chromium Gerrit.
We've got a couple of quick new features to run through on the YouTube Android app that will hopefully make sorting your subscriptions out easier as well as help you better control your playback experience. Let's get to it.
The first developer preview of Android 11 is here, and even though it's just the first of many pre-release builds, there are still a ton of new features and changes. We've already written dedicated posts for most of the visible updates in Android 11 — you can see all of our coverage here — but there are also some smaller tweaks that aren't quite substantial enough for several paragraphs of explanations.
Bluetooth audio accessories market kicked into high gear as headphone jacks began disappearing, and soon got flooded with more options than ever. While the Bluetooth 5.0 standard brought significant functional improvements even to the cheapest earbuds, the Bluetooth SIG wants to make further strides with LE Audio. The upcoming wireless standard will keep power consumption in check using a new lower-power codec, while also adding multi-stream audio and native support for hearing aids.
Earlier this week, YouTube introduced several new features to its app with the hopes of making it more accessible and easier to use. The most noteworthy addition was that viewers can now use voice search when casting the YouTube app to their smart TV.
It looks like yet another app is taking advantage of the Pixel 4’s face unlock technology. This time, it’s the popular file-syncing storage app, Box. The latest update for the software allows the Pixel 4 — and other supported devices — to unlock the app using facial recognition.