Explore by touch in TalkBack

Basic touch exploration

To explore by touch, slowly drag one finger around the screen. TalkBack announces the icons, buttons, and other items as you drag your finger over them. When the focus reaches an item you'd like to select, double-tap anywhere on the screen to select the focused item.

Linear navigation

To explore your screen one item at a time, swipe left or right to move through the items in sequence. After a 1-second delay, TalkBack provides a hint about available actions (starting in TalkBack 4.3.1). Learn more about TalkBack gestures.

Text editing

Type text with the virtual keyboard

When you enter a text editing field, a virtual keyboard appears on the bottom of the screen. You can explore this keyboard by touch just as you would other screens, but the activation works differently. (Note: If you've installed a keyboard other than the default Android keyboard, you might have a different experience.)

To type a letter:

  1. Slide your finger over the keyboard until you hear the character you'd like to type.
  2. Lift your finger to type the focused key.

Review text that you've typed

To review text in an input field character by character, press the volume keys.

  • To move to the previous character, press volume up.
  • To move to the next character, press volume down.

Beginning in TalkBack 4.3.1, you can hear phonetic descriptions of each letter on the keyboard or in your text input field (such as "S, sierra" or "F, foxtrot"). This option is currently only available for US English. Go to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack > Settings > Speech settings, then turn on Speak phonetic letters.