Google will update many of its apps to include new accessibility options. Here’s a quick overview of what’s waiting for you in Google Chrome, Google Maps, and Google Search.
Google Apps users with disabilities will be pleased. Google has just revealed its intention to update several of its apps with the aim of incorporating new accessibility functions. It must be said that Mountain View did its best. Google Maps, Google Search, and also Chrome will include new options that make them more accessible than usual.
Google Maps visual searches are read aloud
Several months ago, Google Maps included a Lens module (formerly known as Live View), to let you search for nearby places in augmented reality. The function, which relies on a smartphone camera and uses artificial intelligence to help you find what you’re looking for, will add a string to its bow. Google actually had the excellent idea of integrating a screen reader function to allow people with vision problems to use the function. Screen reader support with Lens has already been rolled out in Google Maps for iOS, and will be available for Android later this year.
Another particularly interesting new feature, Google Maps now lets you, on both iOS and Android, search for pedestrian routes that are wheelchair accessible. Obviously, provided Google has access to this data, Maps can, for example, create paths without stairs. Excellent news that will not only be useful if you are traveling in a wheelchair, but it can be of great benefit to you if you are carrying luggage or traveling with a stroller.
Chrome will automatically correct URLs on iOS and Android
If you use Chrome on your computer daily, you may have noticed that Google’s web browser is able to automatically correct typos when you enter a URL into the address bar. This function, which helps people with dyslexia as well as those learning a new language or making typos, will be extended to the mobile phone. You can, in principle, take advantage of it now if you use Chrome on iOS or Android.
Finally, if you own a Pixel smartphone, know that you can use its camera to turn your device into a real magnifying glass. Google has released a dedicated Magnifier app, to let you zoom in, like with a physical magnifying glass, on document text, details, images, and more. Developed with the help of the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the National Federation of Blind People, Google’s Magnifier app is free and compatible with Pixel 5 and later phones, except the Pixel Fold.
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