Ever have one of those days when it was just too much to ask for you to have to use your fingers to work your smartphone? I mean, having all of mankind’s knowledge at our fingertips is nice and all, but must we really use our fingertips? Fortunately, Google has felt our pain. They’ve released an app called Voice Access that lets you cruise around on your phone entirely hands-free.
This was a farcical opening paragraph, of course. Google Voice Access isn’t particularly concerned with making our already historically luxurious lives more luxurious, rather it aims to bring increased functionality to people who have accessibility issues. People who have difficulty seeing objects at handheld distance have always struggled with smartphone use. Although accessibility improvements have been on the rise, having a totally comprehensive app that makes 100 percent audible navigation of the device possible is a relatively new concept for the market. The app is currently in beta, but you can click the button below to become a tester.
One thing that Voice Access brings to the platform that hasn’t previously existed is discrete button control. The app assigns numbers to every button that it’s possible for a user to press. That way, you can navigate through both keyboards and websites by calling out the number visually associated with the element you want to interact with.
This comes on the tail of Google bringing full vocal navigation to Docs and increased accessibility to Android N. In general, we look forward to the ways that Google is making device operation more accessible to those with disabilities. Even if you aren’t constricted by any such challenges, what do you think of Voice Access? Something you might use in the future, or more of an operational gimmick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!