Basic Android and TalkBack settings
You can adjust the look, feel, and functionality of your device so that it suits your needs and preferences. This page describes several settings that can improve your experience using Android and TalkBack.
Learn how to adjust your settings
Open Quick Settings
The Quick Settings panel contains some commonly used device settings, such as airplane mode, Bluetooth, and volume.
- To open Quick Settings when your device is locked, two-finger swipe down from the top of the screen.
- To open Quick Settings when your device is unlocked, two-finger swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notification shade. After the notification shade is open, two-finger swipe down again to open the Quick Settings panel.
Open the Settings app
The Settings app lists all device settings. There are several ways to open the Settings app:
- In the Quick Settings panel described above, explore by touch to find the Settings button , then double-tap to open.
- On the Home screen, explore by touch to find “Apps” and double-tap to open. In the Apps screen, find “Settings” and double tap to open. Apps are typically listed in alphabetical order. If Settings isn’t on the first page of apps, you can move to the next screen with a two-finger left swipe.
- If you’ve turned on “Ok Google” on your device, you can use voice commands to open the Settings app. Just say “Ok Google,” wait for the tone to indicate voice search is active, then say “Open settings.” Learn how to turn on “Ok Google”.
Recommended Accessibility settings
To review or change your Accessibility settings, open the Settings app, then find the Accessibility section.
The following Accessibility settings may improve your experience using TalkBack.
If you’re using TalkBack, rotating the screen can interrupt spoken feedback. To turn off this setting in Accessibility settings, uncheck Auto-rotate screen.
When the Auto-rotate screen setting is turned on, the screen automatically rotates when you move your device between portrait mode and landscape mode. The screen might also rotate if you’re in a moving vehicle or if you’re carrying your device in a pocket or bag.
This setting controls TalkBack spoken feedback as you type passwords. To protect your privacy, this setting is off by default.
- Off: Password characters are only audible via headset.
- On: Password characters are announced audibly like any other typed characters.
To change this setting in Accessibility settings, check or uncheck Speak passwords.
Power button ends call
When this setting is turned on, you can simply press your device’s power button to end a call. This setting can make it faster and easier to hang up.
To turn on this setting in Accessibility settings, check Power button ends call.
Recommended keyboard settings
For the best experience with TalkBack, make sure you’re using the Google Keyboard.
To check what keyboard you’re using:
- Go to Settings > Language & input.
- Under Keyboard & input methods, check that the Current Keyboard is the Google Keyboard.
- If you don’t have the Google Keyboard, you can download it from Google Play.
Recommended TalkBack settings
To open TalkBack settings, navigate to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack > Settings.
Shake to start continuous reading
TalkBack has a setting that lets you read text continuously by shaking your device. This shortcut can be useful for reading a long document, email, or webpage to the end.
To change this setting in TalkBack settings, turn on “Shake to start continuous reading.” You can choose among several different intensity levels: Very light, Light, Medium, Hard, and Very hard. You might want to try two or three different settings to find what’s best for your device and your personal preferences.
Another way to read continuously is to open the global context menu by swiping down then right, then select Read from next item or Read from top. Learn more about the global and local context menus.
Change TalkBack volume
Android has different volume levels for different audio sources. Pressing the volume up and down keys changes the ringer volume. To change TalkBack speech volume, place a finger on the touch screen and press the volume up or down keys.
Android 8.0 Oreo Updates:
Separate volume control
- The accessibility volume is separated from ringer and media volume.
- To change ringer or accessibility volume, press the volume button up or down.
- If pressed during TalkBack activity, the change will apply to accessibility volume.
- If pressed at other time, the change will apply to ringer volume.
- The volume controls are available in the top of the screen and the user can switch between accessibility volume and ringer volume control using TalkBack.
- Android has different volume levels for different audio sources. To change TalkBack volume during media playback, place a finger on the touch screen and press the volume up or down keys.
Change earcon volume
Earcons are the sounds made by TalkBack other than the voice. Depending on what text to speech engine you’re using, you might need to adjust the volume of the TalkBack earcons. You can change the earcon volume in “Other feedback settings” with the “Sound volume” setting. For example, if the volume of the TalkBack earcons is too loud, you can set the sound volume to 50% of media volume.
Focus speech audio
To ensure that TalkBack speech is never drowned out by other audio sources, such as music or videos, you can turn on “Focus speech audio” in TalkBack settings. When this setting is on, other audio volume decreases when TalkBack is speaking.
Android 8.0 Oreo Updates:
This feature is labeled as “Audio ducking” in Android 8.0