Sunday, June 16, 2024

Google adds new accessibility features to Lookout, Maps, and more

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On Global Accessibility Day, Google unveiled new accessibility features across a wide range of products like Maps, Lookout, Android and more.

The Google Lookout app, which helps blind people or those with low vision get more information about their surroundings is getting a new functionality that allows users to search for specific objects like bathrooms, seating, and more. Google says Lookout will also notify users about the distance and directions to those items.

Using the Look to Speak app, users can now use the text-free mode to select pre-written customisable phrases with their eyes. The new mode also lets you select and personalise symbols, photos and emojis.

Project Gameface, an open-sourced project that enabled people with physical disabilities to control the mouse cursor using their face, is now coming to Android. Google says developers can now build applications which let users customise parameters like gesture sizes, cursor speed and facial expressions.

Google Maps is also getting some new accessibility features which will make it easy for people with disabilities to get detailed walking instructions and screen reader capabilities, with the Lens feature now capable of announcing names and categories of places around you.

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The company recently updated sound notifications on Android, a feature that can help alert people who have problems seeing or hearing noises like fire and smoke alarms.


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