When it comes to mobile technology, accessibility is crucial for everyone to fully participate in a digital world. For individuals with visual impairments, smartphones can be a valuable resource. Android apps for the blind provide various assistive technologies to help users navigate their devices, communicate with others, and access information. These apps aim to enhance the user experience by providing an inclusive and user-friendly interface. In this article, we’ll explore the best Android apps for the blind and their unique features, highlighting how they can improve the quality of life for visually impaired individuals.
We have compiled a list of 7 Best Android Apps For The Blind for your consideration, which have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation by our team of experts.
Table of Contents
7 Best Android Apps For The Blind
1. Go Read
Go Read is a free, easily accessible ebook reader designed specifically for individuals with print disabilities. It provides a direct connection to the Bookshare library, allowing users to quickly and easily find, download, and read Bookshare books. Additionally, Go Read can be used with or without TalkBack and includes a variety of useful features that make reading accessible for individuals with visual, physical, and learning disabilities.
This version of Go Read is compatible with many Android devices, including tablets and phones running Android 4.0–4.0.2 Ice Cream Sandwich or above (API level 14). It allows users to download books directly from Bookshare and read them using voiced navigation and text-to-speech. Books in both DAISY 3 text and EPUB 2 formats, including those with images and image descriptions, can be accessed using Go Read. Furthermore, the new menu options make it easier for users to take full advantage of Go Read’s features.
To access Bookshare content using Go Read, readers must have a qualifying print disability and an active Bookshare membership. Both individual and organizational Bookshare memberships are supported. More information about Bookshare can be found on their website at www.bookshare.org.
Go Read is developed by Benetech, a non-profit technology developer, and is based on the open source FBReader. Developers can contribute to the future development of Go Read by visiting www.goread.org.
2. Google Assistant
Google Assistant is a hands-free way to use your phone and apps. It provides numerous features, such as setting reminders, managing schedules, looking up answers, navigating and controlling smart home devices, and more. However, compatible devices are required for some of these features.
With Google Assistant, users can open their favorite apps, navigate their phone, and manage phone settings with just their voice. For example, users can turn on Do not Disturb, adjust Bluetooth and airplane mode settings, and turn on the flashlight.
Google Assistant also enables users to stay connected through hands-free calls, texts, and emails. Users can make calls, send texts, and read emails from their contacts.
For those on the go, Google Assistant allows users to set reminders and alarms, manage schedules and tasks, and get directions and local information. Proactive information and contextual reminders can also be received to help with relevant tasks. Additionally, automatic routines can be set up to streamline regular tasks.
Lastly, Google Assistant can be used to control smart home devices from a phone, even when away from home. Users can adjust temperature, lighting, and control smart appliances with just their voice. Compatible devices are required for this feature as well.
TapTapSee is a mobile application designed to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired in identifying objects they encounter in their daily lives. The app utilizes a double-tap feature to capture a photo of any object from various angles, and then provides spoken identification of the object (Note: Talkback must be turned on for spoken identification to occur).
By enabling individuals with visual impairments to independently identify objects, TapTapSee can help them become more self-sufficient in their day-to-day activities.
The app also offers several features to enhance the user experience, including a flash toggle, auto-focus notification, the ability to identify images from the user’s Camera Roll, the option to repeat the identification of the last image, and the ability to share identification via text, email, or social media.
4. ScanLife Barcode & QR Reader
The QR Code and Barcode scanner app is available for free download, offering a fast, secure and user-friendly experience. The app enables users to scan QR codes and barcodes to access information about products, brands, restaurants, retailers, and more. By simply pointing the scanner window over the code, the app will automatically display the requested information.
The app has updated features which include an attractive user interface, additional security features, and more information available for QR codes on menus or venues. Users can learn about the nutritional facts and health score of products by scanning product barcodes, browse new products and experiences scanned by other users, and save scans in the History tab for quick reference. The app also allows users to share information with family and friends via text, WhatsApp, email, Facebook, or Twitter.
The app decodes all QR codes, providing access to contact details, URLs, phone numbers, email addresses, calendar events, and more. It supports all major barcode and 2D code formats. If users have any questions or concerns, they can contact the app directly from within the app.
The app works with third-party entities to collect certain non-identifying information about users’ interests for targeted advertising and analytics services. The entities may collect information about device attributes, such as the operating system, hardware version, IP address, device carrier, and applications installed on the device.
5. Voice Access
Voice Access is an Android app designed to aid individuals who face difficulty operating a touch screen due to paralysis, tremor, or temporary injury. The app allows users to control their device by voice with numerous voice commands available for basic navigation, text editing, and dictation. In addition to a tutorial to introduce the most common voice commands, users can say Help at any time to view a shortlist of commands.
Users can activate Voice Access in several ways, including using the Google Assistant by saying Hey Google, Voice Access or tapping either the Voice Access notification or a blue Voice Access button and starting to talk. To pause Voice Access, users can say stop listening, and to turn it off completely, they can navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Access and toggle off the switch.
Voice Access utilizes the AccessibilityService API to assist users with motor impairments. The API collects information about the controls on the screen and activates them based on the user’s spoken instructions, allowing them to navigate and operate their device with ease. For additional support, users can refer to the Voice Access help section.
6. Be My Eyes – See the world together
Be My Eyes is a free tool that connects users with volunteers and company representatives to provide visual support for daily tasks. The community is available 24/7, globally, and in over 185 languages. Users can request assistance for tasks such as reading small print, troubleshooting technology, sorting music collections, and more. If a task requires expertise, users can access on-demand video customer support via Specialized Help. Conversely, those with sight can sign up as volunteers to help complete tasks that take just a few minutes. Calls are connected based on language and timezone, with an average wait time of 15 seconds. Be My Eyes has received multiple awards, including the 2018 Google Play Awards for Best Accessibility Experience.
7. Supersense – AI for Blind
Supersense, an assistive app developed by Mediate, provides blind and visually impaired users with the ability to read, locate objects, and explore new environments independently. The app uses AI to solve problems for users by describing and identifying objects. Users can use the app to read texts and documents quickly, locate specific objects, explore new environments, and read texts on photos and PDFs from other apps. Supersense works without an internet connection and is available in multiple languages, with full TalkBack accessibility support.
Mediate, an MIT-spinoff AI start-up based in Boston, developed the app with principles of human-centered design and the assistance of blind and visually impaired users. The app is the first step in Mediate’s mission to develop groundbreaking AI solutions for people with visual disabilities. Mediate has partnered with many organizations that help the blind and low vision community. If users need any assistance, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org to provide feedback and ideas.