Google is finally adding braille display technology to Android with OS version 13, out-of-the-box with no extra installations needed. That’s based on recent reports breaking down the new addition to the next-gen update.
Now, it bears pointing out that Google already supported braille display technology prior to Android 13. Namely, via the installation of secondary accessibility apps such as the BrailleBack app and TalkBack braille keyboard. But this is the first time the company is bringing it natively to Android — matching functionality that’s already been in place elsewhere in its variety of ecosystems.
How will braille display tech work in Android 13?
More explicitly, users won’t have to install any extra apps to get this working once Android 13 lands. Instead, they’ll simply be able to access the feature via Talkback. And, importantly, this will include the ability to use physical inputs for braille instead of just the virtual keyboard. Effectively adding wider support for those who need it, without the hassle of searching to find tools in an app store.
That’s in addition to further Talkback features, including interface navigation and shortcuts. For instance, sending text messages, changing lines in a text document, or copying and pasting shortcuts.
When, exactly, is this coming?
Android 13, conversely, isn’t expected to launch until sometime this fall. More directly, sometime between October and November. The present expectation is that it will arrive for Pixel devices sometime in August. With other OEMs joining the rollout further down the line. So users who want to take advantage of the new built-in technology will need to wait until then. That’s assuming they already own a gadget that supports the new addition.
Those who want access sooner, provided a compatible device is available, can download the next Android 13 beta. Google has reportedly indicated that will launch in a few weeks. And that native braille support will be included with the next beta.