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Wednesday 31 May 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
# speak now
Soon you'll be able to control your Android phone without using your fingers
Google has quietly rolled out the beta version of its Voice Access app, allowing you to navigate using speech.

GOOGLE HAS ROLLED out the beta version of a hands-free app called Voice Access, which allows people to control their phone using only their voice.

It’s designed for those who have “difficulty manipulating a touch screen due to paralysis, tremor, temporary injury or other reasons”.

While some elements are similar to what Google Now offers (like telling it to open an app), you can also use it to navigate by saying ‘click next,’ ‘scroll down’ or ‘go home’ depending on the context.

Perhaps the most useful feature is how it numbers every action on the screen. Instead of telling your phone to open up an app you can’t pronounce properly, and risk it opening another different app, you can just tell it to open numbers instead.

For example, if you want to open Google Photos, you can just say ‘open 11′ and it will do that. Menus also come with the same feature allowing quick access to certain options.

demo Google Google

The app isn’t accepting any more people for beta testing, but it’s likely it will be made available to the general public sooner rather than later.

Voice Access is part of Google’s work on accessibility services which include a tool that helps developers improve accessibility on their apps, and Vision Settings which controls elements like font size, display size and magnification.

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