Google is releasing an updated version of Voice Access, which is an Android app that the company launched for the first time in 2018. The app provides the ability for users to use their phone hands-free with just their voice and has, therefore, been helpful in particular for people with disabilities.
The updated version of the app in beta is rolling out on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. According to Google, the updated version is easier to use and is available to more people. This version was previously available on Android 11 and is now available globally to devices running Android 6.0 and above.
Google has used machine learning and a refreshed interface to offer the functionality of using voice to control a device. The previous version of Voice Access allowed users to say commands using numbers like “tap 1,” “scroll down on 5” and so on. The new version has replaced this feature with the option to ask for labels instead.
Another improvement in the app is that of making things faster with commands when using different apps on your phone. For instance, you can say a simple command like "search for kittens" inside YouTube, Photos and other apps where you’re looking for a kitten fix, instead of breaking down your commands by saying “tap search” and then “type kittens.’'
According to Google, its Voice Access app was designed specifically for people with motor disabilities like ALS, spinal cord injuries or arthritis, but can also be of help for anyone with a temporary disability, like a broken arm, or even for those whose hands are just occupied doing something.