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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
With recent Android feature additions such as Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, Google has sought to make life easier for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. The next step is making sure those same users get the help they need to get the most out of their Google hardware and software products.
To this end, Google has added American Sign Language specialists to its Disability Support offering, with video chat available Monday to Friday, 8:00-17:00 PT. The service is provided in partnership with Connect Direct and Telus International. Read More
Live Caption is one of the most interesting features introduced on the Pixel 4, and it's great that it's coming to the Pixel 3 and 3a line, as well. By default, it only shows you two lines of live-transcribed text, which might be enough in most circumstances. But if you ever need to see more context, you can double tap the overlay to make it display eight lines of text. Read More
For the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, today is World Sight Day — a time to think about how we can prevent avoidable vision diseases and reducing external impacts for people living with visual impairment or blindness. Navigation in unfamiliar places remains one of the biggest challenges for those people, so the Google Maps team has decided to take the opportunity to roll out detailed voice guidance for walking directions. Read More
Google's machine learning wizardry is capable of more than just AR emoji. As proven by features like Live Relay, computational recognition of sound and images can lead to incredible quality-of-life improvements for people hard of hearing or sight. Google's newest trick? Chrome will soon add captions to every image on the web. Read More
Chrome OS has been on a collision course with Android for quite some time. Adding onto previous additions, like Android’s media controls and Google Play Store support, Chrome OS 77 is bringing even more Android love to the big screen. This time, we're getting widespread Google Assistant support, Family Link bonus time, even better on-device media management, and accessibility upgrades. Read More