I do a lot of accessibility testing on Android and iOS devices and need to turn the screen readers on and off regularly. While iOS allows you to triple-click the home button, that simplified function is not yet available for Android. However, you can make it much easier by placing a shortcut to the accessibility panel onto the Android desktop. This short tutorial will walk you through it with a Google Nexus 7 .
Creating a shortcut to the accessibility settings
Step 1 – Open the widgets screen
Click on the gallery button to display the full list of applications and widgets. Select the “Widgets” link at the top of the screen. This will bring up a series of screens that contain the available widgets. Swipe through the carousel until you come across the “Settings Shortcut” panel.
Place your finger on the settings icon and pause for a second. The icon will activate and you will be able to drop it onto the device’s desktop. Lift your finger when you’ve chosen your preferred location.
Step 2 – Select Accessibility
The final step is to choose “Accessibility” from the list of settings panels for your shortcut. You can repeat this process to add shortcuts for sound, wi-fi, and more.
Placing this shortcut on your desktop will save a few taps as you can now access the Accessibility panel directly. Here’s a video showing how to activate TalkBack and place the shortcut on your main screen.
For more information on the accessibility options, watch this video Victor Tsaran and I created. It shows how to highlight event sources and to display speech output.