UPDATE Note [Nov 2020] Many changes have happened to mobile operating systems, so I am going to update the accessibility information for Android and Apple platforms. Both offer huge options to make your devices much easier to use! 

“How can you make your Android easier to use if you have a visual impairment? Any thoughts?” and I’ve very curious to find out more.

I’ve been doing research into Apple devices, iPhone and iPad, to check accessibility settings and apps that are appropriate. Looking at a comparison with Android and the apps and settings available, I’m coming up to a few barriers and wanted your help.

Some apps that I have found, such as Flashlight & Magnifying Glass, have so many ads on it (2 ads on screen!) make it difficult to use when you have a visual impairment. The screen becomes hijacked with full-screen ads as well. It becomes hard to select what you want and screen readers read a lot more text than is useful. Do you use a magnifier or know someone who does?

Although I have made a shortcut to accessibility settings on the home screen, which is useful, I can’t see where I can easily turn TalkBack on and off, with a shortcut for example. (the iPhone enables a setting where you can triple click the home button to easily and quickly turn VoiceOver on or off which is quick and easy)

One app I have tried, BlindTool Beta (FREE), is similar to apps that ‘see’ an item, recognize it and then says what it is. This app works pretty good and is easy to use. It launches straight into the app without ads and text and distractions, you just literally point and it says the object which is really great. It is easily one of the better Android apps.

Other than BlindTool Beta, I’m curious to hear from others who use Android or know others using an Android device questions about Android;

  • Is there a difference to the accessibility settings for each version of Android used?
  • What apps on android are invaluable and do they work well with accessibility settings?
  • Are there replacements for apps such as Aipoly Vision, VisionSim and access note?

If you have any advice, help or comments on Android settings and apps please let us know!