Hidden Options in Android Accessibility Settings That Should Be Used

By | May 5, 2022

Whether you own a Samsung, Google Pixel or Huawei device, it has a number of accessibility options built in for those who are hard of hearing, visually impaired or any number of other conditions that might make operating your standard Android difficult. This is a great feature to be sure and anyone can take advantage of it. Here are five accessibility settings you should use.

Accessibility options come in all shapes and sizes and many are unique to the particular device or version of Android you have. There are some stock Android accessibility settings you’ll find anywhere, like TalkBack, font size, captions, and “touch and hold” snooze time settings, but there’s a lot more. Some like to use your LED flash as a notification which is really cool. So take a look at your particular device settings and see what you can benefit from. Here are five accessibility options, which I find the most useful though.

Magnification gestures

The zoom gesture accessibility option allows you to triple-tap for significant zoom. It can be disabled with the same triple tap. However, if you tap and hold, you can zoom in on your screen and pan the screen temporarily. You just let go to get back to normal. This is a very useful feature once you start using it and it is great for those with visual impairments.

Text-to-Speech

Text-to-Speech is perhaps the most famous of all accessibility features – you can even use it. All you need to do is activate the Google Text-to-Speech engine and then download the language pack you want.

I use Text-to-Speech as a simple way to skip all the content I save to Pocket for later reading. Which I never get around to otherwise. I simply hit the listen button at the top right above my selected article (which looks like headphones) and let Google read the article to me while I prepare dinner. That, my friends, is the definition of laziness! But I prefer to call it efficiency.

Negative color / Color adjustment / Invert color

Do you miss the old Android days when many devices had black UI backgrounds? Maybe the gray and white menu irritates your eyes even at the lowest screen brightness at night. If that’s the case – we have a solution for you. Just go to accessibility settings and check the box next to Invert color (it’s called Negative color on some devices). Voila! You now have a type of night mode for your device.

Many Android smartphones also offer other color options, such as a correction mode for color blind people. High-contrast text is one that comes in handy, even if you don’t suffer from any kind of vision problems.

TalkBack / Explore by Touch

TalkBack is great, especially if your eyesight is as bad as mine or you’ve lost your glasses. You can even use this if your screen has issues, as long as your touchscreen is still responsive. Once you activate the option, whatever you tap, press or activate will be clearly spoken to you. Explore by Touch is the same thing with a different name. The additional settings for TalkBack are huge and definitely worth trying further.

The Choose to talk option (which can be found on some devices) is a simpler version of TalkBack. If enabled, if you will see a text bubble in the lower right corner of your screen. Tapping on it and selecting playback will allow it to start reading the text that is on your screen automatically.

Interaction control

Interaction controls can also be found in the accessibility menu. It lets you change gestures and screen timeout settings, but the coolest part is that on some Android smartphones you can block certain areas of the screen from responding to touch input, such as the status bar or notification shade, for example.

Check your device’s accessibility settings to see if you have these features under different names. For example, on some LG devices the Interaction Control may be called the ”Touch Control Area,” so a little exploration is definitely worthwhile. On HTC, as you can see from the screen shot above, Switch Access also provides various options for people with motor impairments.

I won’t walk you through every accessibility setting as there are too many, as you can probably tell, but these are a few that I use and appreciate. Anyway, I hope I’ve sparked your interest and encouraged you to check out the accessibility options for yourself. There’s some really great stuff out there, whether you think you need it or not.

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