Google Launches Suite of New Accessibility Features
Google marked today's Global Accessibility Awareness Day with the launch of new accessibility features across several of its apps and services. Google Maps now indicates wheelchair accessibility for businesses and other destinations in the US, UK, Japan, and Australia. When the (opt-in) feature is enabled, search results will include a wheelchair icon for accessible locations, and full listings will show more detail, such as whether the entrance, parking, seating, and restroom are wheelchair-accessible. The updated Maps app is now available for both Android and iOS. Google also added several major features to Live Transcribe, its Android app that provides real-time, speech-to-text transcriptions of everyday conversations for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. You can now set your phone to alert you by vibrating when someone nearby says your name to get your attention. Live Transcribe can also now be customized with a personal dictionary of custom names or terms for different places and objects. Finally, an optional feature makes it easy to search all conversations from the past three days. Google has also improved its Sound Amplifier Android app to support Bluetooth headphones. Sound Amplifier clarifies the sound around you. Now you can leave your phone near the source of the sound, like a TV or a lecturer, and have your phone transmit clarified sound to your Bluetooth headset up to 30 feet away. Finally, Google announced a new Android app: Action Blocks. A simple shortcut interface, Action Blocks is designed to make multi-step tasks on your phone simpler. People with cognitive disabilities or age-related cognitive conditions can now perform tasks like "call my daughter" in one step, right from their Android home screen.
Mar 15, 2018
Google today updated Google Maps public transit navigation with support for wheelchairs. The company asked its Local Guides to begin adding wheelchair/accessibility data to Maps last fall.
Jun 22, 2020
Apple has revealed iOS 14, which brings a number of new features to the OS for Apple's iPhones: Widgets : Apple has promoted Widgets to the main home screen. Just as Android has always allowed, you can now mix re-sizable widgets in with your app icons.
Oct 27, 2017
Google today said it has updated the way it handles queries in Search and Maps when people travel. Moving forward, people will be served search results based on their actual location, not the domain they've indicated on the web (such as .com, .uk, .de, etc.) Google says people using Search in the U.S.
Jun 29, 2018
Apple hopes to improve its Apple Maps app and service by rebuilding them from the ground up with all new data. Apple launched Maps six years ago relying on data from third-party providers such as TomTom.