Google today launched its latest update of The Lookout app – Lookout 2.0 which aims to improve the life of the visually impaired even further.
“To help people who are blind or low-vision complete (these) daily tasks faster and more easily, we’re introducing updates to Lookout on Android: new modes, a more accessible design, and expansion to even more Android devices, “Google wrote in a blog post.
With this new update, the Lookout app will recognize Food Labels, which will help users identify packaged foods by pointing their cameras at the label. The app will also guide you to place the product in a way that lets it be recognized via its packaging or barcode, for enhanced convenience of the visually impaired. According to Scott Adams, product manager for Google’s Accessibility Engineering, this would let Lookout “distinguish between a can of corn and a can of green beans,” for example.
The second mode is Scan Document, which as its name suggests can take a snapshot of a letter or other documents and read it aloud. Adams said this tool will “capture the entire document’s content in detail” for your screen reader to narrate to you, and can make tasks like sorting through mail easier.
Lookout’s new design is based on “feedback from the blind & low-vision community,” Adams further divulged. It works seamlessly with Android’s TalkBack screen reader, giving more space to the camera’s viewfinder so you can capture more into the frame for the Scan Document feature. Besides, it will now also allow users to scroll between modes at the bottom of the screen instead of the slightly long-drawn process of having to tap back and forth to change them.
Google launched the Lookout app in 2019 aimed at people who are blind or have low vision, helping them navigate the world with their phones. However, it was was only available on Pixel phones and supported only the English language up until now.
With this update, Lookout will no longer remain a Pixel-only app and will be made accessible from Play Store on any Android device with more than 2GB of RAM, running Android 6.0 or newer. In its latest update, it has rolled out other major languages such as French, Italian, German, and Spanish to the list of supported languages.
With the updates to Lookout and the recent rollout of Live Caption for Calls with the Pixel 4a, it’s great to see Google focussing more on its accessibility features to cater to a wider range of audiences which, a lot of times, is ignored by the mainstream companies.