The quality of accessibility features define how well an operating system is designed and implemented. The general purpose of accessibility features is to allow people with disabilities to use the system as quickly as others. However, anyone without any disability can also make use of these features to configure the phone for convenient usage. The latest Android version has plenty of beneficial accessibility features that you can make use of. Also, check out our article on Android accessibility features for app developers.
Android 12 Accessibility Features
You can access all accessibility features under the “Accessibility” menu of your Android phone’s main “Settings” menu. You can also search for “Accessibility” on your Android phone if you can’t locate it. Once you open the accessibility menu, you will find all the list of features on that page. Here we will describe the top accessibility features in Android which are extremely useful for every user.
1. Screen Reader
Screen Reader is a handy feature for older people and visually impaired persons. Currently, Android has only TalkBack option under this section of the accessibility menu. After enabling this option, phone will start read the content on the screen allowing users to listen without looking at the screen.
You can do most of the operations using the following gestures.
- Hold both volume keys together for several seconds to toggle the TalkBack on or off.
- Swipe right to move to the next thing and swiping left will return to the previous item.
- Double tap to press the active button.
- Drag a finger across the screen to focus the item on the screen.
- You can scroll with two fingers.
The rest of the instructions are provided audibly right at that time to navigate. This feature is equally helpful for all Android users who want to read a long webpage, story or a message.
2. Display Features
This feature has many sub-menus, each with its array of settings. Though all of these settings are useful for all Android users, here is a summary.
- Text and display – You can change font size, display size and make text bold. Other settings include high contrast text, large mouse pointer, color inversion, color correction, etc. These are super useful for customize the text and make it readable when you have vision problems.
- Extra Dim – Turning it on will dim the screen beyond your phone’s minimum brightness.
- Magnification – Turn this feature on to quickly zoom in on the screen to make content larger.
- Select to speak: If this feature is on, you can tap specific items like text or an image on your screen to hear them aloud. It will consider the alternative screen reader text for the images and other media items.
3. Interaction Controls
In the interaction controls section of the accessibility page, various options are given to control your device conveniently. The following options are exciting to explore for everyone.
- Accessibility Menu – Enable the accessibility menu to have a floating green button on the side of your screen. You can use this button to open a sizeable on-screen tray with a touch button to control various settings. You can use features of your device conveniently like brightness or volume up and down, lock screen, power, screenshot, etc.
- Switch Access – It is an exciting feature where you can interact with your phone with switches and not through the touchscreen. It is advantageous when you can’t touch your phone and still need to interact with it. You can use a USB, Bluetooth, or Camera switch. In the camera switch, you can use your facial gestures as switches.
- Timing controls – This feature allows you to configure touch and hold delay. Moreover, you can choose when to show messages that ask you to take action (Yes/No) but disappear too quickly. You can also enable auto click, in which the connected mouse with your Android device will automatically click when the pointer is there for a certain amount of time.
- System controls – These controls let you change system navigation to either “Gesture navigation,” “2-button navigation,” or “3-button navigation”. You can enable “One-handed mode,” “Power button ends the call,” and “Auto-rotate screen” features as well.
- Vibrations & haptics – These settings will let you choose various options related to the vibrations for calls, rings, notifications, or touches on the screen.
4. Captions Settings
Below are the captions settings available in Android 12.
- Live Caption – It will automatically add caption to media items. If you are watching your favorite TikTok video, it will show captions right on the screen. You can also add caption to your calls and keep a record of the conversation. However, song lyrics are not supported and currently captions are available only for English language.
- Live Transcribe – It detects speech on your device through the microphone and automatically shows it as text on your phone screen. This feature is handy if you want convert speech to text and document the audio or sound.
5. Audio Features
Audio related accessibility settings are crucial when you have hearing problems.
- Sound Amplifier – It reduces unwanted noise to focus on the speech better. You can use it to hear a one-on-one conversation in noisy environments. Sound Amplifier gives more accessible access to audio controls and visualizers. Remember, a sound amplifier works with headphones to enhance audio quality around you and your mobile device. The basic functionality of the sound amplifier is to make weak sounds louder without loudening the already louder sounds. So, plug your headphones and turn the sound amplifier on to enjoy this feature.
- Sound Notifications – Turn on the sound notifications to make your phone always listen to sounds using the microphone. It will notify you if there is a situation like a baby crying, a fire alarm beep, etc. Make sure to place the phone where the sounds can be easily listened to and reduce the background noise, if any.
We recommend trying out the accessibility features like text customizations. If the default features are not fulfilling your need, there are plenty of third-party apps available in Google Play store which you can try out.