Android 13 beta will test out-of-the-box support for most braille displays

In the coming weeks, Google will begin beta testing a feature for Android 13 that makes it easier for braille display users to get started. Google announced in a blog post on Thursday that the upcoming Android 13 beta will include “out-of-the-box support” for braille displays. Braille displays are used to create pin patterns to read on-screen text by touch and also type in Braille. The screen allows deafblind people to use smartphones and blind people to silently use cell phones without screen readers or voice commands.

Braille display support was already available on Android with Google’s Talkback screen reader, but you won’t need to install another app first to access the feature. Braille display users will continue to have access to the same features, such as navigating the screen with the buttons on the display, making a phone call, writing an email, or sending a text message.

Braille displays allow users to read dots representing text on the screen by touch, control their phone and type in Braille.
Image: BraillePens

Additionally, Google is also creating new shortcuts to make it easier to use braille displays on Android with Talkback. New shortcuts included will allow for easier scrolling when jumping to the next character, word or line, editing documents by jumping directly to the end, or trying to select/copy/paste text.

If you want to sign up for the Android 13 beta, you can do so through the Google website or through the link here.

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