Google’s Android braille keyboard is available for free
Google introduced a new way to type on Android this week with the release of the TalkBack braille keyboard. This new technology is a virtual Braille keyboard built right into Android – so it won’t cost you a dime to own or use. This new software does not require the latest version of Android to be used – only version 5.0 or higher.
Google has worked with developers and users of braille to create this new system for as many Android devices as possible. They created the system with a user interface very similar to that of the most common braille keyboard, with a six button system. The standard 6-key layout is included in Android with 6 touch spaces on the touchscreen of an Android device.
Each letter or symbol is invoked with a combination of buttons. To type A, for example, you press button 1, to type B, you simultaneously press buttons 1 and 2. Dots 1 and 4 together form the letter C. The output consists of standard text characters.
Users can enable the braille keyboard, aka the TalkBack braille keyboard, in Android settings. To do this, head to Settings and then find Accessibility. So Settings – Accessibility – TalkBack – Settings – and select Braille keyboard. Then select Tap to configure, and in the dialog box, select Settings and enable the TalkBack braille keyboard.
– To respond
– Select the braille keyboard
Your keyboard should be activated. Exit settings and tap a text entry field to display the new TalkBack braille keyboard in all its glory. Start discovering all the combinations if you’ve never used a keyboard like this before, or if you’ve used a keyboard like this before, all you need to do is get used to the points you go tap your screen and you’ll be on your way.
UPDATE: OR you can use the keyboard integrated tutorial. After you’ve tapped a text entry field and your TalkBack braille keyboard is raised and visible, swipe up on your screen, find your keyboard options, and select Open Tutorial. You’ll want to move your phone’s screen away from your face, holding your fingers on the screen as you hold the phone firmly – and start learning!