Google unveils a new Braille keyboard for Android smartphones
Google has started rolling out the new Talkback braille keyboard and it is available on Android version 5.0 or later.
Visually impaired people often use big and bulky Braille keyboards that attach to their smartphones and PCs to type. Now, Google is launching a new Braille keyboard that will allow people with severe visual impairments to use their smartphones better and type without using additional hardware for the same.
The company has launched a new virtual Braille keyboard for Android smartphones that allows users to type using their smartphones.
"It uses a standard 6-key layout and each key represents one of 6 braille dots which, when tapped, make any letter or symbol. To type an "A" you would press dot 1 and to type a "B," dots 1 and 2 together," Product Manager, Android Accessibility, Brian Kemler wrote in a blog post.
Users can not only type but they can also delete letters and words, add lines, and submit text. They can also turn the keyboard on and off, which the company says is "as simply as switching between international keyboards."
That said, it is worth noting that the new Braille keyboard is not compatible with the company's TalkBack gestures that gives visually impared people audio feedback of their actions. It can be enabled by pressing both the volume keys for 3 seconds.
Coming back to the Braille keyboard, to use this feature users will first have to turn on the TalkBack settings. To do this follow these steps: Select Accessibility > TalkBack > Settings > select Braille keyboard > Select Tap to set up > Select Settings in the dialog > turn on TalkBack braille keyboard.
Google has started rolling out the new Talkback braille keyboard and it is available on Android version 5.0 or later. It supports braille grade 1 and grade 2 and is available in English only.