Google is introducing a handful of new features that are available or coming soon to Android. Among other things, there’s a new YouTube Search widget that lets you find videos from your home screen, the ability for some folks who use their phones to unlock a car to share their digital car keys with friends or family members, and some user interface updates for smartwatches running Wear OS.

The company has also launched a new Reading Mode app for Android that’s designed to let blind, low-vision, and dyslexic users customize their screen reading experience.

Android has long had Accessibility settings that allow you to use high-contrast or bold text, and adjust font size or display size. But the Reading Mode app gives you more control over things like font types (allowing you to choose fonts you may find easier to read), line spacing, and colors.

While Reading Mode integrates with Android’s accessibility settings, it’s an optional feature that you can turn on when reading websites or apps. For example, open an article in a news app and then press a shortcut to start Reading Mode (you can choose between an on-screen accessibility key or pressing and holding the volume up and down keys at the same time).

Once Reading Mode is open, you can adjust your font size, style, spacing, and color options or click the play button to have the text read aloud to you. There are also options to adjust the text-to-speech voice, alter the reading speed, or skip forward or backward.

You can find more details about new features coming to Android in Google’s December 2022 Android update article.

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2 replies on “Google’s Reading mode app makes Android more accessible for blind, low-vision and dyslexic users”

  1. The ability to revoke of shared cryptographic car keys should remind you that if your car/house doesn’t have a physical hunk of metal that forces the doors open, someone else, who has never met you and considers you a set of numbers that their boss told them to correct, can revoke your access to it at any time.
    Of course this is a necessary feature if you’re expecting a future where all cars are rented, not owned, and you’re not supposed to drive them yourself.

    1. Not necessarily. You can have electronic locks based on codes or cards that don’t rely on or give an external controller the ability to cancel your access. Such things sold for residential use often don’t have the big metal security, which makes them more vulnerable to a big hammer, but they don’t require you to give away control and you could find one that does control a more secure lock with the same mechanisms.

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