Accessibility settings in Android aren’t new, but Google just made using Android a whole lot easier for everyone.

In a recent blog post Google announces a couple of improvements and new tools to help the disabled interact with their phones and Google products. From their post:

“Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will have a disability during their lifetime, which can make it hard for them to access and interact with technology, and limits the opportunity that technology can bring. That’s why it’s so important to build tools to make technology accessible to everyone—from people with visual impairments who need screen readers or larger text, to people with motor restrictions that prevent them from interacting with a touch screen, to people with hearing impairments who cannot hear their device’s sounds.”

To cement their views, Google released three upgrades for accessibility settings in Android.

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#1: Voice Access Beta

This is the big one. Though still in Beta, Voice Access is going to allow you to control an Android device using only your voice. It takes advantage of the existing voice recognition that we have in Google Now, and puts it to good use.

Here’s how Voice Access works:

voice commands

Basically, each item in the Android interface is recognized by the system,, and by speaking certain commands you get a fully touchless experience.

#2: Vision Settings

vision settings

Starting with Android N, the initial phone settings will include Vision Settings; this will allow you to control the magnification, font size and the display size of your screen when setting up the phone for the first time.

By taking these options out of the obscure Settings menu where they are now (and where some people don’t dare look) personalizing your phone will become much easier.

#3: Accessibility Scanner

This doesn’t have an immediate effect on the end user, but it helps developers test their apps and ensure that accessibility is perfectly optimized.

accessibility scanner

The tool can help identify problems that aren’t as obvious, such as the contrast between elements not being strong enough. In the long run, it’ll prove just as useful as all the other accessibility changes Google released.

Do you use any accessibility settings on Android? If so, will these options be helpful for you?

Image source: android4e.com, androidpolice.com

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