Google Launches Much Needed Google+ Hangout Accessibility App

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Google is working on making Google+ more accessible. The company announced that it is launching a new app called Hangout Captions to help inegrate live transcription into Google+ Hangouts.

Google Hangout Captions

The following update from Google just hit Google+:

Hangout Captions

Live transcription integration for your Hangouts
This is +Naomi Black from the Google Accessibility team. I've been working with ace Hangout developers +Robert Pitt, +Mohammad Eshbeata, and +Brian Aldridge on a new app to make communication between deaf and hearing participants easier in your Google+ Hangouts. 
By adding the +Hangout Captions app, you can either connect live text from a professional transcriptionist to your Hangout, or type right into a text box yourself to transcribe a Hangout for your friends. Right now, we only support professional transcription through StreamText and our "do it yourself" Basic Transcription. This is an early look at the app so you can tell us what you think. 
To find out more about the new +Hangout Captions app (and more importantly, try it out) check out the website:
Or, try it right away by starting a Hangout with the app running by clicking this link:


Google is also making its Android operating system more accessible. The OS, unveiled at Google I/O last week, comes with new APIs for accessibility services to let developers handle gestures and manage accessibility focus as users move through on-screen elements and navigation buttons, using accessibility gestures, accessories, and other input.

"The Talkback system and explore-by-touch are redesigned to use accessibility focus for easier use and offer a complete set of APIs for developers," Google adds on its Jellybean page. "Accessibility services can link their own tutorials into the Accessibility settings, to help users configure and use their services."

Google held an accessibility for Android session at Google I/O, encouraging developers to consider accessibility more in their own apps, which should make for an overall more accessible Android experience:

With Jellybean, apps that use standard View components inherit support for the new accessibility features automatically, so developers don't have to change their code.

Google has a lot more information about its accessibility features for its various products here.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.