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Android Talkback Gestures

TalkBack gestures enable you to navigate around screen contents of your Android device. For the device to respond to the gestures outlined below you must ensure that Talkback has been turned on.

To turn on Talkback go to Settings, Accessibility and select Talkback, then turn the on off switch to on.
Gestures are made using one or more fingers and tapping on, or flicking across the devices screen.

There are three types of gestures in TalkBack: basic gestures, back-and-forth gestures and angle gestures. For all gestures use a single motion, a steady speed and even finger pressure.

Basic Gestures

To move to next item on screen, swipe right with one finger.
To move to previous item on screen, swipe left with one finger.

To cycle through navigation settings, Swipe up or down with one finger.
To select the currently focused item, double tap with one finger.

Back-and-forth gestures

To move to first item on screen, swipe up then down with one finger.
To move to last item on screen, swipe down then up with one finger.

To scroll forward, if you are on a page longer than one screen, swipe right then left with one finger.
To scroll backward, if you are on a page longer than one screen, swipe left then right with one finger.

Note, you can move up and down a list longer than one screen by using two fingers and swiping up or down as required.

To move slider up, such as volume, swipe right then left with one finger.
To move slider down, such as volume, swipe left then right with one finger.

To open the local context menu, swipe up then right with one finger. This will display list of options relevant to the current screen. To navigate through these option swipe right or left with one finger and TalkBack will announce each option as you move through the list.

To open the global context menu, swipe down then right with one finger. This will display a list of global options relevant to the relevant to your device as a whole, this menu will allow you amongst other things to pause speech back. To navigate through these option swipe right or left with one finger and TalkBack will announce each option as you move through the list.

Angle gestures

These gestures are two-part swipes at a right angle. For example, the default gesture for going to the Home screen is to swipe up then left at a sharp 90-degree angle.

To go to home page, swipe up then left with one finger.

To activate the back button, swipe down then left with one finger.

To activate the overview button this is where the device will show all currently running apps, swipe left then up with one finger.

To open the Notifications shade, swipe right then down with one finger.
Note: The Notifications gesture (right then down) is available only in some TalkBack versions. If this gesture doesn't work for you, use a two-finger swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notifications shade.

Two-finger gestures

All TalkBack gestures use one finger. As long as you only use one finger on the screen, your touch or gesture is only interpreted by TalkBack.

When you use two or more fingers your touch or gesture goes straight to the application, rather than to TalkBack. For example, on most pages you can usually scroll by slowly dragging one finger. With TalkBack on, you can scroll by dragging two fingers.

In some applications, you can zoom by putting two fingers on the screen and pinching them together or pulling them apart. These gestures work normally with TalkBack on, since they use two fingers.

Customise TalkBack gestures

For the one-finger gestures listed above, you can keep the default gestures or assign new actions to the gestures.

actions to gestures:
1.    Open your device's Settings app.
2.    Select Accessibility, TalkBack, Settings, Manage gestures.
3.    Select the gesture to which you want to assign a new action.
4.    Select the action that you want to assign to the gesture. Along with the actions listed in the tables above, you can assign the following actions to gestures.
Open Quick Settings.
Read from top.
To reassign Read from next item.
Show customised actions.

TalkBack Settings

To adjust any of the available TalkBack settings, go to the main system settings screen, select Accessibility, then Talkback. Once you have navigate to the TalkBack screen the specific TalkBack settings button is on the right hand side at the top of the screen. Navigate to this button and activate it with a double single finger tap. A new set of options will now be displayed, as explained below.
When you select and option to change and sub menu is displayed enabling you to select from the submenu option by swiping right or left to move down or up the list of available option, double tapping with one finger on any option you want to activate.

TalkBack has four settings categories:

Speech: These settings control spoken feedback.
Other feedback: These settings control vibration and non-verbal sounds.
Touch exploration: These settings control touch exploration and gestures.
Miscellaneous: These settings include keyboard shortcuts, suspend and resume, and more.


Speech Volume. Enables you to select the volume setting as a percentage of media volume. Set the TalkBack speech volume to be the same or less than the media volume. Media volume is the volume of other sound on your device.

Use pitch changes. Change the voice pitch for keyboard feedback. When you check this option, spoken keyboard feedback is set to a lower-pitched voice.

Keyboard echo. Hear typed keys.

Speak when screen is off. By default, no speech occurs when the screen is off. When checked, notifications are spoken when the screen is off.

Use proximity sensor. Some Android models have proximity sensors. If present, use this setting to temporarily silence TalkBack. Phones: Wave your finger on the proximity sensor to silence TalkBack. Tablets: Touch any application on the display screen. Touch the screen again to restart TalkBack.

Shake to start continuous reading. Shaking the device enables continuous reading.

Speak caller ID. Hear your caller's identity spoken before you answer. (TalkBack 4.4 and earlier.)

Speak phonetic letters. Hear phonetic letters (such as "F, foxtrot" or "S, sierra") when you long-press on the keyboard or move the accessibility focus by a character in a text input field. (TalkBack 4.3.1 and later.)

Speak usage hints. Hear usage hints when you navigate among screen elements, after a brief delay. (TalkBack 4.3.1 and later.)

Other feedback settings

Vibration feedback. Get vibration feedback for your actions, such as when you select an object or navigate on your device.

Sound feedback. Get sound feedback in addition to verbalizations as you navigate.

Focus speech audio. Make other audio volume decrease when TalkBack is speaking.

Sound volume. Available when Sound feedback is enabled. Controls the sound volume of speech and other sounds created by TalkBack relative to the system’s volume.

Touch exploration settings.

Explore by touch. Touch the screen to hear what's under your finger. This setting is enabled by default. If disabled, your device doesn't respond to shortcut gestures or speak items when you touch the screen.

Automatically scroll lists. When checked, lists scroll by themselves during linear navigation (swiping to move between objects).

Single-tap selection (Experimental). Touch currently focused item only once to select, instead of double-tapping.

Show context menu as list. Select this setting to show the global and local context menus as lists instead of circles.

Launch "Explore by touch" tutorial. Review a tutorial on touch exploration.

Manage gestures. Select this setting to change the meaning of TalkBack gestures.

Manage custom labels. Use this setting to manage any custom labels that you've created with the local context menu.

Export custom labels. If you've added custom labels, select this option to export them and share with other people. (TalkBack 4.4 and later.)

Miscellaneous settings

Manage keyboard shortcuts. Change TalkBack keyboard shortcuts settings. (TalkBack 4.2 and later.)
This is maybe required if you have an external keyboard attached to your android device and you want to alter the keyboard shortcuts. (See below of default and classic maps)

TalkBack suspend and resume shortcut. When this setting is on, you can long press the volume up and down keys to suspend or resume TalkBack. (TalkBack 4.2 and later.)

Dim screen when TalkBack is enabled. If enabled, the screen brightness is reduced to almost zero when TalkBack is on. For the first three minutes, you can disable screen dimming by pressing the volume up and down buttons three times quickly. During these first three minutes, instructions to disable screen dimming appear on the screen. (TalkBack 4.2 and later.)

Dim screen shortcut. Press both volume keys three times quickly to enable or disable screen dimming. (TalkBack 4.4 and later.)

Resume from suspend. Choose how TalkBack should resume after you've suspended it.

Developer settings, Log output level. App developers can use this setting to specify which types of events to log.

Developer settings, Display speech output. When enabled, spoken results are shown on-screen.

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