As part of the celebrations for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which took place on Thursday, Google revealed a number of accessibility-related products and feature enhancements. The purpose of this day is to bring attention to the issue of digital accessibility, which states that people with “a disability must be able to experience web-based services, content, and other digital products with the same successful outcome as those without disabilities.” According to the IT giant headquartered in Mountain View, California, the products and services that were offered were designed by individuals with disabilities and for people with disabilities.
Live Captions are one of the newly added features and improvements, and they will now be available to a much larger audience. Live Captions, a feature that generates real-time captions, is now available to a wider audience on the Chrome, Android, and Google Meet apps. Live Captions for Calls will also provide users the ability to enter their replies while they are on a call, which will then be read out loud to the person they are speaking to on the other line. A “caption box” function is also being evaluated for use on Android tablets by the business.
In the latest version of the Lookout app, which was released in 2019 with the intention of assisting the visually impaired population by providing users with the ability to add alt text to photographs, the firm used both artificial intelligence and DeepMind. The Image Q&A function will be able to provide descriptions of photos regardless of whether or not the original material has alternative texts or captions.
Users now have the option to type in their questions or utilise voice commands to inquire for further information on a picture with the latest update to Lookout. Additionally, Google is conducting tests of the function with a select group of individuals from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), with the intention of releasing it to a wider audience by the end of this calendar year.
With the most recent version, Chrome for Android is able to identify mistakes in URLs and provide recommendations that are pertinent to the issue. This functionality is now accessible for Chrome desktop users, and it will become available for Chrome on Android users over the course of the next several months. Chrome for Android is working on a new upgrade to the Google TalkBack feature that will, among other things, make it simpler for users with impairments to manage their tabs. Reordering, bulk tab actions, and tab groups are some of the operations that can now be performed thanks to this functionality, which also assists in arranging tab lists in grid forms.
In addition, Google Maps got an accessibility upgrade for wheelchair users, which made the accessibility symbol for wheelchair users more noticeable by default. Google is working together with business owners, local guides, and members of the Maps community all across the globe to further improve the functionality of this feature. The latest upgrades also contain a text-to-speech capability that is quicker and more reliable than previous versions. This feature will be included in Wear OS 4, which was unveiled at the event known as Google I/O 2023.