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Google Will Let You Control Android With Your Face

Google Android figure standing on laptop keyboard next to Android phone with code on screen in background

Android has placed a bigger focus on improving accessibility throughout the past year. Now, Google has updated its Android Accessibility Suite to add “Camera Switches” to Switch Access, which allows you to use facial gestures to control your phone. 

The feature was added to the beta version 12.0.0 of the Android 12 beta release and is now available to beta users on a Pixel device. Now, in addition to Bluetooth and USB switch choices, you can enable facial gestures as switches. These are typically tools or other means you can connect to an Android device that allow you to interact with it in other ways beyond the touchscreen.

Currently, only a few gestures are supported, though it’s entirely possible that Google will add more later down the line. The list currently includes these gestures: raise eyebrows, smile, open mouth, look up, look right, and look left. With those gestures, users can perform basic actions like scrolling up or down, going to the next or previous page, selecting an item or text, checking notifications, accessing quick settings, toggle or reverse auto-scan, and more.

When setting up the feature, you’ll be able to control things like gesture duration, gesture size, and assigning an action. And because the switch is camera-based, Android will show a persistent notification icon and a status bar indicator when Camera Switches is active to remind you that your device’s camera is in use. 

It’s nice to see more features emerge from Android’s Accessibility API and, obviously, the more usable and accessible the OS is for everyone, the better. The feature is still only available as part of the beta and has yet to roll out for everyone on Google Play.

via XDA Developers

Suzanne Humphries Suzanne Humphries
Suzanne Humphries was a Commerce Editor for Review Geek. She has over seven years of experience across multiple publications researching and testing products, as well as writing and editing news, reviews, and how-to articles covering software, hardware, entertainment, networking, electronics, gaming, apps, security, finance, and small business. Read Full Bio »