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Google Update: Maps, Search, Chrome get new accessibility tools

Google has launched accessibility updates across Maps, Search, and Chrome, including features like clearer business information, improved navigation for visually impaired users, and wheelchair-accessible routes.

Edited By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Updated on: October 18, 2023 17:45 IST
google, google new accessibility tools, Google Update, Google new features, Google, tech news
Image Source : GOOGLE Google Introduces New Accessibility Features for Maps, Search, and Chrome

Google Accessibility Features: Google has recently launched a series of accessibility enhancements across Maps, Search, and Chrome, aiming to streamline daily tasks for users. By incorporating these features, the company is aiming to enhance the accessibility and usability of their platforms for all individuals.

Accessibility Features on Google Maps

Google Maps now offers an additional identity attribute dedicated to the disability community, granting users more insights about businesses. This update also allows merchants to self-identify as members of this community. The feature complements existing attributes such as Asian-owned, Black-owned, Latino-owned, LGBTQ+ owned, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses.

Innovations in Maps' Lens

The Lens feature in Maps (previously known as Search with Live View) leverages AI and augmented reality to assist users in navigating unfamiliar areas using their phone's camera. In a bid to make this tool more accessible for those with visual impairments, screen reader capabilities will be introduced in Lens on iOS, followed by Android availability later this year.

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Wheelchair-Accessible Routes on Google Maps

Google is globally expanding the option to request wheelchair-accessible walking routes on both iOS and Android platforms. This enhancement enables users to receive directions that avoid stairs, building on the existing wheelchair-accessible transit navigation option.

Accessibility Features for Google Search

Google's Chrome on Android and iOS will now benefit from the typo detection and suggested website feature available in the Chrome address bar. This ensures a consistent experience across all devices.

Changes for the Low-Vision Community

Google's Magnifier tool facilitates zooming in on objects using your phone's camera, simulating a physical magnifying glass. The app also offers controls to enhance text legibility, including color filters, brightness, and contrast adjustments. Magnifier is accessible on Google Play for Pixel 5 and newer models, except for the Pixel Fold.

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'Guided Frame' Functionality

The 'Guided Frame' feature now extends beyond facial recognition, allowing users to capture images of pets, meals, or documents using both front and rear-facing cameras. This update is currently available on Pixel 8 and 8 Pro and will be rolling out to Pixel 6+ later this year.

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