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Android Accessibility Suite 7.2 adds camera support to Select to Speak, TalkBack control changes, and more

Earlier this year, Google rebranded Android's TalkBack app under the more generic name Android Accessibility Suite — an understandable decision given the app had expanded beyond merely providing text to speech functionality. Now version 7.2 of the Android Accessibility Suite has been released to the Play Store, bringing with it camera-based text to speech, fast-forward/rewind controls for TalkBack, and a handful of improvements.

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Tip: Google Assistant Smart Displays have accessibility settings for color inversion, captions, TalkBack, and more

Whether your already bought the Lenovo Smart Display or JBL Link View, or you're thinking about getting Google's rumored Home Hub, you may be wondering whether that gadget — like many others in your life — offers any accessibility settings for people with disabilities. The answer is yes.

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Google rebrands TalkBack app as Android Accessibility Suite

For smartphone users who are blind or visually impaired, Google TalkBack is a vital tool that facilitates eyes-free operation of any Android device. TalkBack is just one aspect of the app, however, and that's probably why Google has renamed it Android Accessibility Suite.

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Google Text-to-Speech adds Canadian French, Javanese, and Sudanese [APK Download]


Latest Google Text-to-speech update adds Filipino and Greek [APK Download]

Google Text-to-speech may not be the sexiest app out there, but it's a particularly useful one for many people, especially those who make use of accessibility options such as Talkback on Android phones. The last meaningful update to it came back in April (v3.11) with a few new languages (Bangla (India), Czech, Khmer, Nepali, Sinhala, and Ukrainian) as well as improvements to voices and better number processing.

The latest update brings the app up to version 3.13.3 and includes support for two more languages: Filipino and Greek. There's also a new setting for language detection on devices running Oreo and a few more improvements to how the voices sound.

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Android O feature spotlight: Text-to-speech has an experimental always-on language detection option

Google's Text-to-speech (TTS) is an accessibility feature that's long been a part of Android. It's a screen reader that can read aloud anything currently on display, a vital utility for users who are blind or partially-sighted. TTS isn't updated very often, but when it is it's usually to add something meaningful. The last update added support for new languages, as well as pronunciation and intonation improvements. We've now been made aware that there's also an experimental always-on language detection switch, available to those using Android O.

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Android O feature spotlight: Accessibility has some new features, including better volume control and a new shortcut method

Over the years, Android has built up a decent array of accessibility options to help make devices easier to use for its diverse user base. Each new version of the OS attempts to add even more useful features, and Android O is no different. So far we've had 3 developer previews of Android 8.0 ahead of its launch later this summer, and at some point along the way Google added a couple of new accessibility features. Namely, separate volume controls and a new way to use the accessibility shortcut.

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Here's a thing: now you can tap to hear selected text on Android via TalkBack

Did you know that you can set your Android device to read selected text back to you with a simple tap? This isn't a new feature, it hit a while back with the TalkBack 5.2 update in April. And though we knew it was there, we didn't really know how cool it would end up being. Now that we've had the chance to try it out for ourselves, there's a good chance some of you might want to turn this particular feature on, whether you have a visual disability or not. And, on Android O it has a small twist. 

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[Update: More Details on Select to Speak] Google TalkBack 5.2 is out of beta with speech verbosity settings, Select to Speak, and more [APK Download]

It might not matter how high the DPI on a screen gets cranked by each new model if you have trouble seeing it. Thankfully we have Google's TalkBack, Android's accessibility service for the blind and disabled. It reads what's on your screen, but it also provides feedback for actions allowing users to fully interact with their device. Now the latest update has left beta after a few months of testing, bringing with it even more features, like verbosity (an adjustment for how much or little content it reads, based on your preferences), character counts for password fields, and a new Select to Speak service that allows you to tap content to hear it spoken, and more.

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Google TalkBack update prevents screen from locking during text reading, interruption while using voice search, and more

It is easy to take the use of our full senses for granted — some of our fellow Android users are not so fortunate. Luckily, Google has implemented the TalkBack service into the OS, which allows those who are blind or otherwise visually-impaired to use their devices more effectively. Now the v5.1 update notes have been posted to the Play Store, showing that the update brings some nice improvements.

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