An Android phone can listen for voice commands and navigate through any app, by swiping and tapping without the user having to touch the phone screen.

android the devices are easy to use, and Google has also included a way to control an Android phone with voice commands to make hands-free use possible. There are times when it’s not possible or can be inconvenient to swipe or tap on a smartphone’s screen, and having an alternate method of controlling the device can be helpful.

Android’s accessibility features have grown significantly in recent years. Features like Live Transcribe are a perfect example of this, converting human voices to on-screen text to enable conversations that cross communication barriers for someone who is hard of hearing. TalkBack allows a visually impaired person to use an Android phone by listening to voice descriptions of apps, commands, and content. Although accessibility features are essential for some users, they can be beneficial for everyone.


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Android phones have long had the ability to convert spoken words to text using the microphone symbol on the keyboard. A much more powerful way to use sound to interact with a smartphone is to enable Voice Access, which accepts verbal commands for text editing, navigation, swiping, tapping, and more. It’s quite capable and can come in handy when riding a bike, cooking a meal, or anytime your hands are busy but the phone needs to be used. This is of course an accessibility feature, very useful for users with reduced mobility. To get started, users will need to download the Voice Access app from the Google Play Store. The Google app is also required. To start using Voice Access, the user needs to open the Settings app, tap Accessibilitythen Voice access, and turn it on. Google offers several different activation methods and a variety of options when using the feature.

Using voice commands for Android

OnePlus 10 Pro with an Android robot peeking from behind

When using voice commands to control an Android phone, it makes more sense to enable ‘OkGoogle‘ as a way to trigger Google Assistant. This allows Voice Access to be triggered with a command such as ‘Ok Google, voice access‘ after which speech will be interpreted as commands to the phone. Google Assistant is powerful enough already, helping with general questions and handling certain functions on an Android phone even without voice access.

Several more specific commands are possible, such as browsing the web with Google Chrome or using Gmail. It is also possible to navigate within an application by dividing it into a grid. Saying ‘show grid‘ will segment the screen into several numbered boxes and saying a number is equivalent to pressing the command in that box. For finer control, speak ‘more squares‘ splits the screen further. For faster access ‘fewer squares‘ also works. Swipe and pinch can be done by saying ‘swipe left‘ Where ‘Pinch,’ for example. When finished with the grid, the user can say ‘hide grid‘. To learn more about commands, ask ‘What can I say?‘ will reveal a list of useful commands for the current screen. After voice access is complete, a android the phone user can simply say “Stop voice access‘, making this feature easy to use when needed and kept out of the way when not.

Next: How to change Android font size to make text bigger

Source: Google Support, Voice Access/Play Store

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