Android 11 upgrades Voice Access to understand screen content, and the results are amazing
Google will release Android 11 this fall season. But, as per the usual tradition, Google has been rolling out Developer Previews for the upcoming version of Android. They even released a fourth Developer Preview back in May to compensate for the unavoidable cancellation of the Google I/O conference due to the global pandemic. Yesterday, Google announced the first Android 11 beta which brings a lot of new functional improvements, privacy features, and a few minor but aesthetic UI improvements.
Besides adding new features, Google has also improved certain existing ones like “Voice Access,” which is an accessibility feature that lets you control the phone without using your hand. As you can imagine, this is designed for users with motor disabilities. These users can simply use their voice to complete basic functions like opening any app, scrolling on the page, or interacting with various responsive elements on the current page by saying the name or the number assigned to each of those elements to make interaction easier.
The Voice Access feature isn’t really new and has been available for over two years. But with the Android 11 beta, Voice Access is becoming more fluid and intuitive, allowing you to just say the name of the thing you want to tap on instead of the number. Dieter Bohn from The Verge has a very informative demo of the feature in the tweet embedded below:
One thing I left out of my Android 11 beta hands on was the improved Voice Access, which now understand screen context and content. That was a mistake – it’s actually incredible.
You don’t have to use a grid or button numbers, you can just say what’s on the screen. Watch: pic.twitter.com/wXidxZGVjt
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) June 10, 2020
Voice Access is not limited to Android 11 and works with any device running Android 5.0 Lollipop and above. To access the feature, you need to download the app from the Play Store.
Notably, Apple also has a similar feature called Voice Control which is available for iOS and macOS. The feature as you can see in the promo below is claimed to work flawlessly.