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Google Action Blocks for People with Cognitive Disabilities: Report

According to the tech giant, Action Blocks is the first of its efforts to empower people with cognitive disabilities, help them gain independence, connect with loved ones and engage in the world as they are

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Aimed especially at helping people with cognitive disabilities, Google has announced a new accessibility tool named Action Blocks which would allow users to pre-write Google Assistant commands and place shortcuts to them on their home screen.

Action Blocks are an expansion of ‘DIVA’, the accessibility initiative announced by the tech giant back at the I/O 2019 conference.

‘DIVA’ aims to make smart speakers more usable for anyone who finds it hard to use spoken commands, by hooking them up to physical controls that are programmed to activate pre-configured actions.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

“Think about the last time you did something seemingly simple on your phone, like booking a rideshare. To do this, you had to unlock your phone, find the right app and type in your pickup location. The process required you to read and write, remember your selections and focus for several minutes at a time.

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“For the 630 million people in the world with some form of cognitive disability, it’s not that easy. So we’ve been experimenting with how the Assistant and Android can work together to reduce the complexity of these tasks for people with cognitive disabilities,” Ajit Narayanan, Staff Software Engineer, Accessibility, Google, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

According to the tech giant, Action Blocks is the first of its efforts to empower people with cognitive disabilities, help them gain independence, connect with loved ones and engage in the world as they are. (IANS)

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Google Brings New Feature Called ‘Focus Mode’ For Android Devices

Focus mode is available on all devices that currently have Digital Wellbeing and parental controls settings, including new phones launching with Android 9 and Android 10

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Focus mode is a new Digital Wellbeing tool on Google Android, now out of beta, that helps you get things done by temporarily pausing apps so you can focus on the task at hand. Pixabay

Google has introduced a new feature ‘Focus Mode’ for Android devices designed to prevent its users from being consistently distracted by their smartphone.

The feature allows users to turn off distractions – like social media updates or email notifications – for a period of time, so a user can get things done without interruption.

Focus mode was first announced at Google’s developer conference in the summer as part of Android Q/10.

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Google has introduced a new feature ‘Focus Mode’ for Android devices designed to prevent its users from being consistently distracted by their smartphone. Pixabay

“Focus mode is a new Digital Wellbeing tool on Android, now out of beta, that helps you get things done by temporarily pausing apps so you can focus on the task at hand. You can select apps you currently find distracting (like social media or games) and if you try to open them, Focus mode will remind you that app is paused.

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“Focus mode will also silence those apps’ notifications until you are ready to switch out of the mode,” Dayson Pais Product Manager, Android said in a statement on Wednesday.

Focus mode is available on all devices that currently have Digital Wellbeing and parental controls settings, including new phones launching with Android 9 and Android 10. (IANS)