In a blog post-Thursday, Google announced that the upcoming Android 13 beta would support braille display immediately. To the uninitiated, an updatable braille display is an electromechanical device that brings information to the surface by lifting round-tipped pins through holes in a flat surface.
Braille Display allows blind and deaf-blind users (who cannot use a screen reader) to access smartphones or computers. It has always been possible to use a braille display on Andriod with the Talkback app. But now Google is baking the Talkback features right into Android, so users don’t have to download a separate app.
“With this new update, no additional downloads are required to use most braille displays. Users can use braille displays to access many of the same features available with Talkback. For example, you can use display buttons to navigate your screen and then perform activities like composing an email, making a call, sending a text message, or reading a book,” wrote Nimber Jaber, Accessitliy Analyst at Google, in a blog post.
Users have access to all the usual talkback features, including the ability to compose an email, make a call, read a book, and so on. In addition to these features, Google has also added some new shortcuts to Talkback. For example, you can use new navigation shortcuts to scroll and move to the next character, word, or line. And then there are shortcuts for setting and editing documents, like select, copy, paste, etc.