Speak element IDs: The talkback setting that is an accessibility lifesaver

For the inauguration of the android category, i’ll share a small story.

Something like 6 months ago, i got my hands on my first phone, an android one.

It was an old Samsung phone, running android 4.1, and it was, in general, not bad, if one didn’t took into account the more than obviously out of date android version and the low memory and small battery life.

I learned my way with it, discovering how to use Whatsapp, how to write, how to navigate and use apps, etc.

I tested many applications, trying to find the ones that were accessible. It was a nice experience and I had a lot of fun, but it was still disappointing to see how many I needed to uninstall simply because I wasn’t able to use them.

A month or so ago, however, this changed and I got my hands on a better phone, still Samsung, with better specs: Android 7, 32GB storage, 3 gb ram, and I learned then how powerful the system can be.

With it, I also learned that even on the newest versions of android lots of apps are, sadly, inaccessible to Talkback, (the screen reader that is used by blind people on android.

Besides my obvious annoyance and consternation, I mean, it’s 2018 people, accessibility shouldn’t be a privilege, but a requirement, I at first tried to find a workaround for me to use some apps. I tried to learn what the unlabeled buttons did by tapping to activate them to see what happened, tough for obvious reasons this was (and is), a dangerous idea, because if buttons in applications aren’t labeled and we tap on one without knowing what it does well…We can call accidentally the police, or buy something Online or from the application without knowing, or activate the camera without realizing…

It was then that i learned about a very useful, I also can call it lifesaver, talkback setting, and dramatic intentions aside, my android life changed forever.

That’s what this post is about. How to put this particular setting to work so that your android life( to use my own term), can be at least a little easier and less frustrating.

And now, since i probably already bored you with my story and made you want to sleep or curse me, i’ll go right to the steps you need to take to turn the setting to on.

  1. Eiter by sweeping down then right, or by going to your phone’s settings, then accessibility, find and access talkback’s configurations. go to verbozity, and double tap on it.
  2. On the screen that will appear, look for, and then turn on, the setting that says: Speak element IDs, so it is set to: element IDs are spoken for unlabeled buttons.
  3. That’s it, now you will be able to at least identify what a unlabeled button does, without needing to guess.

Note:This setting is only available if your talkback version is higher than 6.1.<

2 thoughts on “Speak element IDs: The talkback setting that is an accessibility lifesaver”

    • I think…that it depends on what kind of tablet you get. There are some that are under 200$, and there are the ones that can go up to even 900$. I am planning to buy a tablet in august, because at the moment I don’t own one, and I will write a post about it. Tablets are bigger than phones, but useful if you don’t want to carry your laptop everywhere. In the end, if you buy a tablet with android…lets say 7, or even 5 or 4, you can activate talkback and test it out. But I will not say more until I get one myself. I don’t want to give you misleading info.

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