A new version of TalkBack for Android is set to go into public beta in the next week, and Google's Maya Ben Ari and Victor Tsaran told us all about it at a CSUN 2016 session.
TalkBack 4.5 will feature rewritten web support in combination with the latest version of Chrome, which is also currently in beta. Users will be able to navigate by elements such as links, headings, and landmarks using both the touchscreen and keyboard. Keyboard users will have additional navigation levels available using the Search key in combination with other keys, similar to commands found in ChromeVox. In addition, items such as heading levels and table information will be spoken while navigating web pages. The web support will work both within Chrome as well as for web views used by other apps.
Keyboard users will gain additional dedicated commands to navigate by elements such as word or character. The classic keymap will remain an option for those who prefer the older commands. A new tutorial is also included in this version which includes expanded how-tos and guided practice.
These features will work on Android versions back to at least 4.4 Additional accessibility features exclusive to Android N were also discussed, and you can read our previous post to learn about these features.
To join the TalkBack public beta and receive new versions as they are posted, you first need to join the Eyes-free mailing list though you can elect to not receive messages via Email. Then, Select this link to join the beta. For now, you will also need to download the Chrome beta release to experience the web features. The usual caveats about beta software apply. We'll post more when the beta goes live.Category: News
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.