Accessibility is a subject that will affect us all eventually — some of us sooner than others. It's honestly pretty hard to make the topic attractive or marketable compared to Android's bigger, flashier features, But when you're limited from doing something in the "normal" way, accessibility matters a whole lot, and it's also a point of frustration when the very promise of technology is its flexibility and extensibility. To help with that, Google's adding two new features that help those with motor impairments use Android.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pokémon GO developer Niantic was met with a conundrum: how do you keep people playing a game that's all about going outside and congregating in specific places when doing so will literally kill people? Among other player-friendly changes, the company boosted the distance it took to activate stops and gyms from 40 meters to 80 meters, making it a lot easier to hit from across the street (or the parking lot).
Accessibility options are some of the most important features built into Android. Even if you don't rely on them personally, they're essential to making smartphones openly available to everyone. Timed with Android 12, Google is introducing an all-new option that allows for complete control of your phone just from facial expressions alone.
Most of us depends on plenty of Google apps throughout the day. Whether it's Gmail, Calendar, Meet, or even just the Play Store, both work and leisure activities rely on accessing your account. Of course, that makes accessibility options all the more crucial, especially as remote work continues to be an option for millions of employees. With its latest Workspace update, Google is improving how Docs suggestions work while in braille mode.
It's been many months since we covered Projector for Chromebooks — an upcoming presentation tool for students and educators. Google has since been working behind the scenes to finish up this new feature for Chromebooks, and thanks to a recent update, we have a near-finalized look at how it plans to amp up online presentations.
Android 12's last developer preview before the beta landed yesterday, and it comes with some rather significant design and usability tweaks. People relying on the operating system's accessibility options are also in for some changes. Google has removed the old two-finger swipe accessibility menu shortcut in favor of a plain ol' floating button.
Ever press a button without knowing what it exactly does? Maybe some of the icons aren't exactly self-explanatory. Google Photos has had a few of those for a while. Well, the cavalry's just come in and they're bringing in labels.
Live Caption is one of the most underrated features to come to Android in years. Whether you're hard of hearing, deaf, in a loud environment, or forget to bring your headphones, it automatically transcribes any audio coming from your phone for you. We long knew that Live Caption is on its way to Chrome as well, and you could even activate it via a flag in Chrome 88 already. And today, Google has announced that the feature is now available for everyone.
Even if you don't use them often, accessibility options are some of the most important settings on your phone. Google has baked in plenty of features to help those with disabilities use Android, but over time, the accessibility menu has become cluttered and hard to navigate. On Android 12 DP2, however, Google has shuffled a few key controls to make it a lot easier to find exactly what you're looking for.