Google Home app accessibility for Android phones and tablets
The Google Home app for Android works with the following accessibility features to make it easier to use your Android device with your Chromecast or Chromecast Audio if you have physical impairments:
- TalkBack is a pre-installed screen reader service provided by Google that you can use if you have visual impairments. It uses spoken feedback to describe the results of actions, such as opening an app, and events, such as notifications.
- Magnification Gestures is an accessibility feature that temporarily magnifies what’s on your screen or uses magnification mode to easily zoom and pan your screen. Large text increases the text size on your device. (If you have low vision.)
- BrailleBack is an add-on accessibility service that helps blind users make use of braille devices. It works together with the TalkBack app to give a combined braille and speech experience. This app lets you connect a supported refreshable braille display to your device via Bluetooth. Screen content appears on the braille display, and you can navigate and interact with your device using the keys on the display. You can also input text using the braille keyboard.
- Tap & hold delay is an accessibility feature for those with motor impairments. With choices ranging from short, medium, to long touch and hold delay option, it gives you sufficient time to navigate the features of an app.
- Switch Access is an accessibility feature that helps you control your devices by allowing you to focus on and select clickable items. This is possible due to configurable key combinations.
- Captions is a feature that makes content meaningful if you have hearing disabilities. Turning on this accessibility feature turns on closed captioning. Closed captioning is normal-sized written content in white text on a black screen for every audible sound on the screen.
- Large text is an accessibility feature that allows you to more easily read text if you have poor vision or reading disabilities, due to the increased size of the written text on the screen.
- High contrast text (experimental) is a new accessibility feature that contrasts the color of the text to its background and produces an effect that makes reading easier. The typical contrast produced is white text against a darker background.
- Power button ends call is for those who prefer to use a physical button to end calls.
- Auto-rotate screen allows the screen to rotate freely for your convenience. Turning it off locks the screen and prevents it from rotating.
- Speak password is a feature that you turn on only when absolutely necessary. Note: Keeping this feature “on” all the time may be a security risk.
- Text-to-speech is an accessibility feature that uses Google’s text-to-speech engine to convert text to speech. This allows you to use the phone and apps easily if you have visual disabilities.
All the above features are performing better than ever in the Google Home app because of the following upgrades:
- High-relevance labels for images and controls
- Talkback’s left-right swipe reaches all actionable controls and content
- Chromecast Audio setup instructions available in both audio and visual media
- User’s input error identified and described in text
- Great contrast between text/images and background
- Set up Chromecast device without sound, except in the case of Chromecast Audio
- Set up device with high contrast mode and screen magnification enabled
- Set up device with screen reader on, except for Chromecast
- Touched target size large enough for precision-challenged users
- All functionalities and content usable even at 200% magnification
- Users able to undo mistakes
Elise is a Chromecast expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.