Google's latest version of Android, discussed today at Google IO, is featuring a variety of changes, including some new options for accessibility and developers.
According to the list of new tools for developers, users will be able to access the accessibility shortcut using a command on a physical keyboard, Ctrl+Alt+Z. This is the same command used on Chromebooks currently and should act similarly to the Volume Up/Volume Down key shortcut available now. An additional feature will allow for spoken feedback when the shortcut is first accessed, allowing for a more interactive and accessible experience when turning on the feature for the first time.
Another change will allow for the on-screen keyboard to be displayed when a hardware keyboard is also attached. We assume this is partly targeted at braille display users, who need to switch keyboards when connecting or disconnecting their displays. This should become more seamless.
Developers and users may also gain more control over message timeouts for notifications that are displayed. This falls in line with a Web Content Accessibility Guideline and should make it easier to read messsages that appear on the screen for a few seconds and then disappear. The complete list of accessibility API changes is below, and you can go here to view the list of all new features and APIs.
Accessibility services APIlink
Android Q introduces the following new accessibility service features and APIs:
AccessibilityNodeInfo entry key flaglink
In Android Q, AccessibilityNodeInfo has been enhanced with a new flag designating whether it represents a text entry key. You can access this flag using the method AccessibilityNodeInfo.isTextEntryKey().
Accessibility dialog spoken feedback
When an accessibility service requires the user to repeat the accessibility shortcut to start the service, the dialog can now be accompanied by a text-to-speech prompt if the service requests it.
Accessibility shortcut for physical keyboards
In Android Q, users can now trigger the accessibility shortcut on a physical keyboard by pressing Control+Alt+Z.
Soft keyboard controller enhancementlink
In Android Q, accessibility services can now request that the soft keyboard be displayed even when the device detects a hard keyboard attached. Users can override this behavior.
User-defined accessibility timeouts
Android Q introduces the API methodAccessibilityManager.getRecommendedTimeoutMillis(), providing support for user-defined timeouts for interactive and non-interactive Accessibility UI elements. The return value is influenced by both user preferences and accessibility service APIs.Source: Android Q features and APIs - Android Developers
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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.