How to try Google’s braille keyboard on your Android phone

Google has launched a new keyboard for Android users: A braille keyboard.

Braille, traditionally, is a system of raised dots that make reading and writing accessible to the blind or visually impaired. While there are external devices that make it possible to type something on a phone, it’s not exactly quick or a seamless experience. With that in mind, Google made the TalkBack keyboard. It’s described as a virtual braille keyboard integrated directly into Android.

Here’s how Google described the app:

Our team collaborated with braille developers and users throughout the development of this feature, so it’ll be familiar to anyone who has typed using braille before. It uses a standard 6-key layout and each key represents one of 6 braille dots which, when tapped, make any letter or symbol. To type an ‘A’ you would press dot 1 and to type a ‘B,’ dots 1 and 2 together. 

The keyboard has six keys, and each key represents one of six Braille dots. They arrange specific letters and symbols together when tapped in combination. You can use TalkBack anywhere you want to type, and it allows you to delete letters and words, add lines, and submit text.

How to turn on Google’s TalkBack braille keyboard in Android

TalkBack is rolling out to all devices running Android 5.0 or later starting 9 April. To enable TalkBack, go to Settings > Accessibility and select TalkBack. For more information about how to use the keyboard, go to the Accessibility Help website.

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