With Android 15, users with limited vision can still unlock using their fingerprint scanner

With Android 15, users with limited vision can still unlock using their fingerprint scanner
TalkBack is the accessibility feature on Android devices that allows those with a serious vision impairment to navigate their phones. In Android 15 beta 1, the TalkBack feature will give an Android user audio hints to help him/her unlock the phone. For example, with TalkBack toggled on and my Pixel 6 Pro (running Android 15 beta 1) locked, audio directions from the phone allowed me to put my finger on the display, close my eyes and follow the directions to unlock my phone using the fingerprint scanner.

"Move right, move left, move up, move down," the Pixel said. When my finger was right on the fingerprint icon, the phone would say "fingerprint sensor window" and would tell me to press down firmly on the screen. If the fingerprint scanner unlocked the phone, the device would say, "Phone unlocked." Remember, my eyes were closed as I was trying to see if a person with limited vision could unlock their device with this feature. It certainly seems that way.

Android users with a handset running an older version of Android can only receive the audio feedback when they are registering their fingerprints on their phones. With Android 15 beta 1, this feature will work when TalkBack is activated and the device user wants to unlock his phone using the under-display fingerprint scanner. To enable TalkBack, go to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack and toggle on the feature.

With TalkBack on, you will have to double tap to activate an item and drag two fingers to scroll. The additional fingerprint scanner audio directions in the Android 15 beta 1 will really help those with vision issues unlock their phones without being able to view the screen. But even those with limited vision who do not have Android 15 beta 1 installed on their phones should have TalkBack enabled. That's because this accessibility feature allows those with impaired vision to navigate their Android phones without having to ask someone for help.

We can't think of any reason why Google wouldn't keep this feature when the final version of Android 15 is released later this year.

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