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3 May 2022

TalkBack, the built-in screen reader on Google Android devices, is receiving a major update which is rolling out to supported Android devices.

The new update includes a number of improvements with a major focus on simplifying complex actions.  For example, when TalkBack is in a slide bar, it has needed the volume keys to move the slide bar lower and higher.  However this has also interfered with the overall TalkBack volume and the volume of other settings.  To address this, the new TalkBack now allows a one-finger swipe up and down to change the slide bar once focus is received, removing the need to use the volume controls.

Another significant feature is an improved automated alternative text interpreter.  While it is no replacement for developers adding alternative text to their visual content, the new feature has improved AI to determine what the image may represent.

To receive the update on your device, ensure that the Google Accessibility Suite is installed.  This can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

For additional information, please refer to the Google TalkBack guide.