Google Play Store rolls out a11y tags to make it easier to find accessibility apps
On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Google announced several new accessibility features, including alt-text support in Gmail and native support for braille displays in Android. In its push to make Android more accessible, Google is also making it easier to search for accessibility apps in the Google Play Store.
Google has started tagging accessible apps in the Play Store with relevant accessibility (a11y) tags, allowing users with special needs to “easily find apps they can actually use.” These tags will appear as small chips under the “About this app section”. They will describe the general purpose of the app and the audience they’re built for. For example, the app listing for Android Accessibility Suite displays “motor assistant,” “virtual assistant,” and “learning disability” tags. Meanwhile, the Live Transcribe“ app listing has a ”hearing assistance “ tag.
To celebrate this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), we have tagged apps that are accessible with relevant accessibility (a11y) tags in the Play Store app.
These are the a11y tags that Google is adding to apps:
- Screen reader-friendly
- Visual assistance
- Hearing assistance
- Learning disability
- Motor assistance
- Accessible communication (Currently no apps have this tag. However, we will add it to relevant apps in the future.)
A11y tags will apply for the following categories of apps:
- Apps that are useful tools for a specific user group, e.g. a transcription app is a tool that is primarily built for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Apps in any category that are accessible, e.g. a screen reader-friendly game.
When you click on an a11y tag, it will bring up the list of other apps that have the same tag. Google says they have only tagged a handful of accessibility apps and will be expanding the rollout to more apps in the future.
Source: Google Play Support page