Use your voice to control your Android device with new Google Voice Access App

Google has rolled out a new free Android application which will be known as “Voice Access“. This application lets the user get around the phone, tap buttons, type across the interface and other applications using just the user’s voice. This works similar to voice commands with Google Assistant.

Google says that it has been designed to help people who suffer from debilitating diseases such as the Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, but it will also be useful for people who multitask and have their hands full.

Once the Voice Access has been set up, users can launch apps, scroll up and down, and tap on attributes without even lifting a finger. The elements that can be tapped on the screen are overlaid with small numerals, which can be used to call out any number which will mimic a tap. Users who tried it said that it works like a charm. In addition to this, responding to commands and engaging in this mode keeps the Assistant in a continuous listening mode which means users won’t have to repeatedly invoke it to start using it.

To use this application, there are a few pre-requisites:

  • Download the Voice Access Application
  • A user will have to have Android 5.0 or higher version on their device, Google app should be installed, along with Voice Access.
  • The “OK Google” feature has to be up and detectable so as to invoke the service from any screen on the phone.
  • These simple steps will turn on Voice Access application from the Settings menu.

This means, the next time a user says OK Google on their phone, it will go into the Voice Access mode.

The implementation of this application on Android is perfect but Voice Access is currently available in English only but will be expanded to accommodate other languages as well. It is actually a good part on Google’s side to work on applications that make its services easier to use and much more accessible.

Hands-free support during the usage of technology is a benefit to each and every person and for people with motor and mobility impairments, it can prove to be a vital requirement. For people like Stefanie Putnam who is a quadriplegic and a para-equestrian driver, tasks such as taking photos, sending texts and composing emails could be difficult. Stefanie was one of those people with whom the Google Accessibility team worked in order to test the early prototypes of the feature that helped people control their Android device using voice-only commands. Her feedback, as well as the feedback from other testers, helped in shaping a new product which will be known as “Voice Access”.

Stefanie Putnam testing Voice Access

Stefanie said- “After using this product for just10 seconds, I feel I’m falling in love with this product. This app uses my voice and I am able to access the world. It has become a huge staple in my life.

Voice Access is an application that provides a hands-free experience for Android phones and lets people navigate through various applications, compose and edit text, and talk to the Google Assistant with just your voice. It provides a better and fine-grained control in comparison to other voice commands which are available on the phone. Consider an example wherein you are allowing your voice to “click” buttons and controls within applications, or scrolling and navigating application screens. This feature of using your voice for everything comes along with great benefits for individuals who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, spinal cord injury and more. Voice Access also helps provide value to people without a disability, helps in juggling stuff and multitasking.

When using Voice Access, users can compose and edit text messages hands-free by just saying “Ok Google“. This will open up the app you chose to open with the help of “open” command. Further, select the text field by saying the number which Voice Access displays next to the application.

After telling the message out loud, the user can edit the text using phrases like “replace” to change the lines.

Saying commands such as “delete the line” or “undo” will start the command over again and once it is completed, the user can say “stop listening.

In addition to all this, there are various other examples available on the Google support page which can be referred to for more details.

Currently, Voice Access is available globally and supports only English commands, and additional language support will be coming soon. The application can be downloaded from Google Play.

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