This article aims to provide an overview of the best Android accessibility apps available in the market. These apps are designed to help individuals with disabilities or impairments to use their Android devices with ease and efficiency. The apps offer a range of features such as voice recognition, text-to-speech, screen readers, and other assistive technologies that can make a significant difference in the lives of users. The article will assess the effectiveness, user-friendliness, and cost of each app to help readers make informed decisions based on their specific accessibility needs.
We have compiled a list of 6 Best Android Accessibility Apps for your consideration, which have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation by our team of experts.
6 Best Android Accessibility Apps
1. Voice Access
Voice Access is an Android app designed to assist users with difficulty manipulating a touch screen, such as those with paralysis, tremors, or temporary injuries. With Voice Access, users can use voice commands to perform various actions on their device. These actions include basic navigation, controlling the current screen, and text editing and dictation. Users can access a short list of commands by saying Help at any time.
Voice Access includes a tutorial that introduces users to the most common voice commands. Users can launch Voice Access by saying Hey Google, Voice Access to the Google Assistant, provided that Hey Google detection is enabled. Alternatively, users can tap either the Voice Access notification or a blue Voice Access button to activate voice commands.
To temporarily pause Voice Access, users can say stop listening. To disable Voice Access completely, users can go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Access and turn off the switch.
Voice Access uses the AccessibilityService API to help users with motor impairments. This API collects information about the controls on the screen and activates them based on the user’s spoken instructions. For additional support, users can refer to the Voice Access help feature.
2. Action Blocks
Action Blocks is a tool designed for Android users that simplifies routine actions with customizable buttons on the home screen. It is powered by the Google Assistant, allowing users to easily set up Action Blocks for their loved ones. With just one tap, Action Blocks can perform any task the Assistant can do, such as calling a friend, controlling the lights, or watching a favorite show.
One of the notable features of Action Blocks is its ability to speak phrases, which can be particularly useful for people with speech and language disorders during urgent situations. Action Blocks is designed with the growing number of people with age-related conditions and cognitive differences in mind. It is also useful for individuals with learning differences who want an easy way to access routine actions on their phones.
Action Blocks now includes tens of thousands of picture communication symbols (PCS® by Tobii Dynavox), which provides a seamless visual experience for users of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and special education software. Apart from that, Action Blocks is also beneficial for those with dementia, aphasia, spinal cord injury, autism, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dexterity impairments, or other conditions. It is also useful for people who use adaptive switches or Voice Access.
For more information about Action Blocks, users can check out the Help Center at https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/9711267.
3. Accessibility Scanner
Accessibility Scanner is a tool designed to suggest accessibility improvements for Android apps, without the need for technical skills. By simply opening the desired app and tapping the Accessibility Scanner button, users can identify items that could benefit from accessibility enhancements. Suggestions may include enlarging small touch targets, increasing contrast, and providing content descriptions to improve ease of use for individuals with accessibility needs.
Designing for accessibility can help broaden audience reach and foster a more inclusive experience. Users may choose to suggest improvements to developers or make changes themselves. To begin using Accessibility Scanner, users can navigate to Settings > Accessibility, locate and turn on the Accessibility Scanner, and tap the Accessibility Scanner button in the app they wish to scan.
It is important to note that Accessibility Scanner is an accessibility service app and as such, it is able to observe user actions, retrieve window content, and observe text that is typed. It is recommended that users review and understand the permissions before using the app.
4. P3 Mobile
P3 Mobile is a Video Relay Service (VRS) app designed to facilitate VP calls for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals using Wi-Fi or cellular data connections. The app’s user interface includes two themes to choose from and the ability to add contact photos. It also has a Number Lookup feature powered by Google Maps for finding phone numbers and conducting map searches without leaving the app. Users receive full-screen notifications when a call is incoming and badge notifications for any unseen messages in their PurpleMail™ mailbox.
P3 Mobile retains features such as built-in PurpleMail™, one- and two-line VCO, call history, smart search, and an easy-to-use interface. The app also allows users to text chat during a call and access multiple logins for separating personal and work life. It also features a language toggle between English and Spanish.
Overall, P3 Mobile offers a range of features to enhance the user experience and facilitate communication for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Interested users can download or upgrade the app to access its full range of features.
5. Hand Talk Translator
The Hand Talk app, featuring the lovable 3D interpreter named Hugo, utilizes artificial intelligence to automatically translate text and audio to American Sign Language (ASL) [Beta] and Brazilian Sign Language (Libras). This app provides an engaging and practical way to learn a new language.
With over 466 million deaf and hard of hearing people worldwide, the Hand Talk app aims to facilitate communication and foster connectivity through technology. It was recognized as the World’s Best Social App by the UN.
Users of the Hand Talk app can rate Hugo’s translations, save their favorite ones, adjust his speed, and customize his clothes and background in Hugo’s Store.
This app can be used in a variety of settings. In education, it serves as a supplementary communication resource for teachers, students, and interpreters. In the home, it can aid families with both deaf and hearing members. And for sign language students, it provides an excellent tool for expanding vocabulary with Hugo’s assistance.
Interested individuals can download the Hand Talk app now.
6. Android Accessibility Suite
Android Accessibility Suite is a collection of apps that assist users in operating their Android devices without the need for sight or touch. The suite includes Accessibility Menu, Select to Speak, Switch Access, and TalkBack screen reader. The Accessibility Menu provides a large on-screen menu that enables users to lock their phone, manage volume and brightness, take screenshots, and more. Select to Speak reads items aloud from the screen upon selection. Switch Access allows users to interact with their device using one or more switches or a keyboard, and newly added Camera Switches enable navigation through facial gestures. TalkBack provides spoken feedback, gesture control, and an on-screen braille keyboard for typing.
To access the apps, users must open their device’s Settings app, select Accessibility, and choose the desired app from the list of options. TalkBack can also be activated by pressing and holding both volume keys. Android Accessibility Suite requires Android 6 or later.
The app’s permissions notice reveals that it observes the phone state to adapt announcements according to the user’s call status. As an accessibility service, it is capable of observing the user’s actions, retrieving window content, and observing typed text.