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How to Use Google's Android Braille Keyboard for Typing

This past spring, Google released a braille keyboard which works much like that found on iOS, enabling people to enter text in braille on their android devices. Here's how to use it for yourself.

The new keyboard can be downloaded as a free update to Talkback and allows 6-dot braille entry in UEB only at this time. According to the documentation, enable the Braille keyboard by going to settings, accessibility, talkback, settings, selecting braille keyboard, setup, settings, and turn on talkback keyboard.

So far, braille is limited in what apps it works in; messages and docs are reported by some to not work depending on device. When in an app that is supported, switch to the braille keyboard by clicking on the switch input or language option from the Google keyboard.

When the braille keyboard is selected, hold the phone on its side with the screen away from you. Supporting the phone with your thumbs and pinkies, use your three index, middle, and ring fingers on both hands to enter braille on the touch screen. Your left index finger should be on dot one, your left middle on dot two, and your left ring finger on dot three. This corresponds to the away mode for iOS. Both contracted and uncontracted braille are supported.

Additionally, the talkback keyboard supports the following gestures:
Delete letter: Swipe left
Delete word: 2-finger swipe left
Add space: Swipe right
New line: 2-finger swipe right
Submit text: 2-finger swipe up

To view a list of all gestures, 3-finger swipe up on your screen. In the list of braille keyboard options, select See all gestures.

Swipe down with two fingers to hide the braille keyboard. Three finger swipe down to switch back to the original keyboard.

This is a huge advancement for Android and is certain to be appreciated by both long time and new android users alike. As new features are added, this can only become more useful.

Be sure to leave your impressions of this new feature in the comments.

Source: Use the TalkBack braille keyboard
Category: News

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Tangela Mahaffey is a barely reformed English Major currently residing in Colorado. She reads entirely too many fantasy books and takes almost nothing seriously, including herself. She loves technology, music, writing, puns, and cats. She can be reached on twitter @tmmahaff

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