Popular search giant, Google Inc. announced the beta launch of Voice Access, a new app that users can use through speech recognition to control your Android device.
The app for voice access can be used by absolutely anyone, but one of its primary purposes was for people with paralysis, tremor or temporary injuries. This would enable them to access various core Android functions hands-free with minimum effort.
When the application is installed, it allows users via voice command, to open apps, scroll with voice commands, and be able to select items on the screen, for example, a user can say ‘open Chrome’ or ‘go home’ to go and jump around apps. Or a user can interact with the screen by saying, ‘click next’ or ‘scroll down.’
The app which can support voice with literal commands also added a numbering system that sees every app, drop down menu and options labelled a number that would then be easy to access. The user now has to call out the number for the app or option they want, and it’s done. This is useful in case the app has trouble understanding user’s voice or accent or can’t understand the words.
Google’s Manager of Accessibility hearing, Eve Andersson said, “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.”
Reviews by analysts say the app is somehow clunky. Noted, that the app was still in its beta stage, so therefore, bugs were to be anticipated and here are some of them.
The ability to understand voice commands was very limited, though the numbering system made everything easy. One big downside is that when you are using the app, the touch screen is disabled. This is not such a bad thing for disabled or temporarily disabled people because the function is not useful for them, but for other people who might feel the need to use the app also, this is an important feature.