With an aim to make it more convenient for braille readers to use the platform, tech giant Google has announced that Android 13 Beta will have native support for braille displays. The company said that it is making it easier for braille readers to use Android. "Available in our next Android 13 Beta in a few weeks, we are beginning to build out-of-the-box support for braille displays in Talkback, our screen reader within Android," the company said in a blogpost. "A refreshable braille display is an electro-mechanical device that creates braille patterns by raising rounded pins through holes in a flat surface. Braille-literate computer users use the braille display to touch-read braille dots representing text," it added. With the display, users can also type out braille. These devices help people with deafblindness access mobile phones and people with blindness use their phones silently.
Google mentioned that, previously, people connected their Android devices to braille displays using the BrailleBack app, which required a separate download from the Play Store, or used a virtual keyboard within Talkback instead of a physical device. With this new update, there are no additional downloads necessary to use most braille displays. People can use braille displays to access many of the same features available with Talkback. For instance, they can use display buttons to navigate their screen and then do activities like compose an email, make a phone call, send a text message or read a book. There are also new shortcuts that make it easier to use braille displays with Talkback. Users can sign up for the Android beta program to try out Talkback 13 in the next beta release.