Google TalkBack 5.2 Adds New Spoken Feedback Settings & More

April 27, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

The latest update for the Google TalkBack accessibility app for blind and otherwise vision-impaired people started rolling out on the Google Play Store on Wednesday, boasting a number of new features and improvements meant to ennoble the overall user experience of Google’s service. The highlight of the app’s build version 5.2 is the so-called Speech Verbosity setting meant to modify spoken feedback that users receive from the app. The option — located in the main Settings menu of the app — allows you to choose how much feedback do you want the app to speak to you, which should speed up browsing for certain users that don’t require a lot of assistance when browsing content on their Android device.

Other notable features of the latest Google TalkBack build include new earcons, spoken character counts for password fields in Chrome, and spoken feedback that’s triggered by screen magnification. The Chrome-specific feature only works on devices running Chrome 56 or later versions of Google’s mobile Internet browser, the Mountain View-based company revealed. The latest software update for the Google TalkBack service also ships with a completely new accessibility service called Select to Speak. Like its name suggests, this functionality provides users with the option of selecting any text by tapping it and having the service read their selection aloud. While convenient, the feature isn’t enabled by default and instead needs to be activated manually. To do that, open the Settings app on your Android device, navigate to the “Accessibility” section and tap the “Select to Speak” option on the following screen.

Finally, the changelog detailing the 5.2 update for the Google TalkBack app also mentions numerous fixes and improvements but doesn’t clarify on the matter, meaning the developers are likely referring to minor bugs and performance issues that were now fixed in the latest build of the app. Given how the new update started rolling out on the Google Play Store almost 24 hours ago, it should soon be available for download in all parts of the world, if it isn’t already. The Alphabet-owned company is expected to introduce more features to its Android accessibility service later this year and more details on the matter will likely be available soon.

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