Friday, February 12, 2010

Eyes-Free Updates: Marvin And TalkBack Simplified

We routinely push updates to our access tools on Android; users get these updates automatically via Android Market updates. We just pushed out updated versions of TalkBack, our Open Source screenreader for Android, and Marvin, the Eyes-Free shell. Here is a brief summary of these updates:

  • Android applications can now programmatically discover if TalkBack is running, thanks to the latest changes in TalkBack. From an end-user perspective, this means that you no longer need to configure Eyes-Free shell via EyesFreeConfig to be the default home. If you run TalkBack, and have EyesFree Shell installed, then pressing Home automatically gives you the EyesFree Shell. Remember, you can always get to the default Android Home by long-pressing Back.
  • EyesFree Shell now includes a touch-based shortcuts manager. Until now, shortcuts needed to be explicitly configured by editting an XML file on the SDCard. With the recent EyesFree update, you can interactively define short-cuts via a touch-based ShortCuts manager. By default, we have assigned shortcut 1 to the ShortCuts manager; so to invoke this new feature, do:
    1. Stroke left (4 using stroke dialer notation) to enter the shortcuts screen.
    2. Stroke up and to the left (1 using stroke-dialer notation) to invoke application ShortCuts Manager.
    3. Use the trackball/D-Pad to configure each of the 8 available shortcuts.

Marvin: We hope this gives some minimal relief to the pain in all the diodes on your left side.

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