TalkBack is an accessibility service for Android phones and tablets. At its heart it’s a ‘screen reader’, designed to help vision-impaired Android users make the most of their phone, but it offers much more than just reading text out loud.
As you move your finger around the screen, TalkBack reacts, reading out blocks of text or telling you when you’ve found a button. The voice prompts help you do everything on Android, even if you can’t see the screen.
Most Android phones and tablets will have it installed already, go to Settings > Accessibility > Vision to check. If it’s not there, you’ll have to download the Google Android Accessibility Suite to install it. It downloads like an app, but TalkBack doesn’t show in the phone’s app tray – it updates the settings menu instead.
It’ll need quite a bit of setting up the first time you turn it on, but there’s a handy tutorial in the app to help you set the right options and to teach you how to use it. You can customise the settings based on how much help you need, and fine-tune things like speech rate, vibrations and gestures.
You’ll probably only need to use TalkBack if you’re visually impaired, otherwise, it can get a bit frustrating if your phone's talking to you about everything that’s on the screen.
So if you know someone who’s visually impaired and struggling to use their Android phone, why not see if TalkBack can make their life a little bit easier?
Hopefully, that’s helped you understand what TalkBack is and how it can help. If you’d like help with anything else, you can contact one of our Team Knowhow experts here.