Most of us take the simple act of waking up our devices and having a quick glance at the screen for granted. Have you ever considered what it might be like for a visually impaired or blind person to try and navigate an Android device? In all honesty, I can’t say that I had either. And although we’ve all seen the accessibility options in our settings menu, they are quite often ignored by most of us. However, the usability of Android devices for the visually impaired is a very real issue faced by a lot of users and developers.
XDA Senior Member nkahoang developed an application with this in mind called Permanent Screen Off. It is aimed at users with a visual impairment serious enough that the screen is of no use to them and serves no purpose other than to waste battery. It’s a straightforward application that does exactly what you’d expect and allow the device to be used as normal while the display is turned off.
The app is compatible with Android 1.5 and up, working on both rooted and unrooted devices. A rooted device however will allow for the display to be completely disabled, whereas a non rooted device will have it’s display reduced to a very dim level. The application is currently in beta and is completely open source. Check out the original forum thread for more information.
If you are lucky enough to have no need for this application, go and enable Talkback from the Accessibility settings and try to perform a few simple actions on your device with your eyes closed, I think you’ll be surprised at just how difficult even the simplest of tasks can become.