People who are visually impaired do not prefer to use smartphones due to lack of physical buttons that provide the much needed feedback. How many of us have had a thought about all the smartphone users in the world who are visually impaired by birth or suffer from any of the vision defects? It must be really tough to know what you are doing when you don’t know what you are pressing and whether it’s the right button that you are pressing or not. Providing a mobile OS that is completely accessible to them would be considered as an ideal move.
The good news is Google has been trying to address this issue by introducing a new Accessibility feature in Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 version. The Accessibility mode can be switched on by a simple hand gesture. The user is required to draw a rectangle with his/her finger on their smartphone’s screen to turn on the Accessibility feature. After the Accessibility Mode is turned on, the operating system’s built-in voice in the form of an electronic lady will speak out or read aloud whatever happens to be under the user’s fingers like apps, menu items, icons or any text.
The Accessibility mode operates by letting users slide or scroll their fingers across the screen. Sliding is performed using a single finger to identify items while scrolling works bit differently. Scrolling requires a two finger swipe gesture to navigate. After you find what you were looking for, you just need to lift up your finger and tap on the icon once to open it.
This sort of support embedded into the OS is a huge plus point for Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 that could make Android smartphones the most favored among the blind or visually impaired. It wont be wrong to say that our love for Ice Cream Sandwich is increasing everyday with each new addition.
Check out this video that highlights the accessibility features on Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.