Google introduces new accessibility features with the release of Android 9.0 Oreo
Americas, Assistive Technology, August 25 2017
Marshmallow, Nougat and now finally the Oreo. Google recently unveiled its latest software update in line with its dessert naming tradition for the world’s most popular smartphone operating system. The Android 8.0 Oreo comes with some exciting new features and improvements over the Android Nougat.
Over the last few versions, Android has produced a decent selection of accessibility options to make the devices easier to use. Each version has attempted to add better and more useful features. This time with the Oreo, two additional features have been added by Google under the accessibility spectrum – separate volume controls and a new way to access the accessibility shortcut.
The addition of a separate volume control is especially helpful in situations where one is listening to any form of audio. If TalkBack was enabled, the previous version would lower the volume of both the music/media and the TalkBack. With this new feature these can now be separated into media volume and accessibility volume – a step being welcomed by many users of the accessibility feature.
The other feature is a new way to enable the accessibility shortcut. This will allow easy access of accessibility features from the navigation bar and functionality within accessibility services, like Select to Speak.
Currently the update is available to download through Google’s beta programme only for a few compatible devices. A wider roll out will begin in phases soon.