Android Wear 5.1.1 includes long-awaited accessibility features

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015 14:42pm

The latest version of the Android Wear operating system version 5.1.1 includes several new accessibility features which allows wearable devices to become accessible for many users.

Accessibility icon highlighted in Android Wear 5.1.1 (under Location and above Screen Lock)

The new features are largely vision-related, with support for magnification, colour inversion and large text. The magnification feature can be accessed via specific gestures.

However, Android Wear is still lacking significant accessibility features found in non-wearable Android devices such as the TalkBack screen reader and support for other disabilities. Android Wear is also lacking in accessibility when compared with other comparable wearable devices such as the Apple Watch.

While accessibility in wearable devices is still limited, the step by Google to provide improved accessibility support signals that as the product category grows, it’s likely a greater range of features and improved performance of existing features will continue to evolve, as has been the case with other operating systems in the mobile space such as Android and iOS.

Further information can be found in the wearable section of the Media Access Australia website.

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