I came across a new app Google Voice Access from Google in the Play store yesterday. Voice Access app is currently unreleased, but available to download for everyone. This is, essentially voice support for people with disabilities, but introduces an interesting way of navigating through the Android environment.
Access has to be enabled by touching the icon in the bar, and then a new overlay is available to the user. Each app and option gets a number, which can be voice-activated. In addition to this, Google Voice Access has a set of built-in commands like ‘go home’ or ‘go back’ to navigate through the most common menus. You can use voice commands to describe your gestures ‘long press‘ or ‘scroll left‘ or use the app to dictate the text, and edit it with commands like ‘replace  with ‘ or ‘select 5 words‘.
App currently is beta, and I suspect beta access may be needed to get this installed. I have my access to the program through Google Maps contribution.
Although Google Voice Access aims to provide accessibility access to Android environment. This could be easily used by anyone who cannot touch the phone. As the option can be enabled by voice commands, I can see myself using this when fixing my bicycle, or cooking while my hands a covered in substances I don’t necessarily want to share with my screen. I think this is the step in a good direction. I’d like to see similar implementations in maps, especially fully established car mode, which would allow for seamless content aware voice control. Perhaps in time similar way of navigating will be enabled for home control. I guess, I have to wait and see.
Would you use Google Voice Access? Or is it a gimmick for now?