As smartphones become loaded with more powerful features and functionality, some of these features  remain unexploited. Fortunately users of Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and 6.0 (Marshmellow) can access these additional features to get more from their smartphone or tablet.  The majority of these features can be found by going to Settings > Accessibility, though the location of specific settings will vary depending on your device.

Text to Speech

This has been a handy feature on Android for some time. It is very useful if the user wants to access the text while multitasking. A good example is reading an eBook while driving. The user can set either female or male voice and choose among languages supported by Google

Screen Auto-Rotate

This is one of the best accessibility features when reading wide format pages. It is useful when accessing websites that have not been optimized for mobile. Many users will find reading pdf pages and eBooks more comfortable with this feature.

Magnification Gestures

The user can magnify any item on the screen by using this feature. When activated, it will allow panning around by dragging, using two fingers, and zooming in and out using pinch movements of the thumb and index finger.

Google Talkback

Google Talkback makes the whole User Interface (UI) very responsive to user taps. Talkback utilizes audio, verbal, and vibration cues to guide the user around the UI.


This feature adds functionality to hard buttons to activate and change Talkback settings on the smartphone/tablet, i.e. the power button and scroll up/down buttons. When coupled with Talkback, Switchback provides a powerful navigation aid, especially for visually impaired users.

Speak Passwords

This is a useful feature for users who find it hard to input their passwords which are (should be) composed of numbers, alphabets and symbols Users can verbally input passwords faster.

Color Correction

Color correction is a feature that aids users who are color blind. Android has 3 choices of color themes that help make reading easier for these visually impaired users:   Pratanaomaly which is red-green (emphasis on red cone deficiency), Tritanomaly is blue-yellow and Deuteranomaly also red-green (emphasis on green cone deficiency). The color correction does not affect pictures taken with the phone camera.

Text Contrast

This highlights lighter color texts with darker color and vice versa so that it is possible to read.

Larger Text

With this feature, a user can make text bigger throughout the UI and set the optimal size in the individual app he is using.

Touch and Delay

Some users have problems with dexterity or the flexibility of their fingers. This leads to a need for multiple corrections when typing due to fat fingering (touching two buttons at once) or navigating to an unwanted path. This feature allows the user to set the delay timing giving a choice of three settings to help limit accidental taps.

Regardless of your smartphone of choice, the multitude of accessibility features available make these devices truly adaptable to the person using the device. In an age where we have steadily moved away from shared computers that sit in offices and living rooms, users can use any number of features and apps to make their devices completely personalized to themselves.  You can get the details on these and other accessibility features for your Android device on Google's Accessbility Help Page.