Google is introducing new Maps and camera-based accessibility features


Google is introducing new Maps and camera-based accessibility features -Gudstory

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Google is updating Maps, Search, and Assistant with new accessibility features. The company is also releasing a new Magnifier app to help users read text in different locations.

Google Maps is adding screen reader support to the “Search with Live View” feature so visually impaired users can hold out their phone to identify places like ATMs and public transit stations near them.

The Search with Live View feature was introduced last year to let users use the camera in Maps to see nearby ATMs, grocery stores, and coffee shops with overlays and markers. Currently, the feature is only available in London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.


Image Credit: Google

Additionally, Google Maps will now allow users to search for wheelchair-friendly shopping routes. Google is also working on flagging disabled-owned businesses on Search and Maps.

Google is also updating Maps for Android Auto to include information about wheelchair accessibility for places like restrooms and parking. Wheelchair-friendly locations will have a wheelchair icon to indicate step-less entry.

Android devices already have action block functionality to provide easy access to everyday activities like calling a person or heating a room through a widget-like block on the home screen. The company is now expanding its ability to create customizable blocks for Assistant routines. Users can set an image to a shortcut or resize the shortcut on the home screen.


Image Credit: Google

Earlier this year, Google introduced a new feature for Chrome on desktop to auto-suggest URLs even if users have typo errors in a search phrase. The company is now extending this functionality to Chrome for Android and iOS.

The company is rolling out some Pixel-specific accessibility updates today. The search giant launched a new Magnifier app – developed in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the National Federation of the Blind – that will help users better read text such as menus and road signs.

Users can adjust the contrast or brightness of an image, change the contrast, or zoom in to make text more readable. Google said the Zoom feature is also useful for viewing performers on a distant concert stage. The app also helps you read constantly changing signs like flight information at airports by freezing the image. The app is available for Pixel 5 and above.

Also, Google is updating its Guided Frames app, which helps visually impaired users take selfies Audio guides, high-contrast animations and haptic feedback. The company originally announced the app at the Pixel 7 event last year.

Google has updated its Guided Frame app

Image Credit: Google

The latest update recognizes objects like pets, food, and text. So people can take pictures of different scenes with the front or rear camera using the new app. The update is already available for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users and will be released to Pixel 6 and above users later this year.


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