1. AC Question's Avatar
    I recently found out about the built-in capability of Android phones called TalkBack. It allows people to hear text converted to speech. Although it is intended for people with sight issues to read text and navigate their phones, it can also be turned on just to read audio books, read emails, etc. and then turned off.

    I use it to listen to Kindle eBooks.

    The problem that makes people hate it is that they try it and it is like a virus! It starts talking no matter what you are doing and changes the control you have so you may not find a way to turn it off. This is sad because it can be a valuable feature for everyone if properly set up. I want to walk you through setting it up properly so you can turn it on and off whenever you choose.

    FIRST: How to turn it off the first time. If you are unfortunate enough to turn TalkBack on without understanding it, here is how to turn it off.
    1) Swipe the screen in an "L" motion with one finger. In other words, down and then right. This opens the "Global Context Menu". This is activated when you turn on TalkBack.
    2) In the upper left, click on "Pause Feedback".
    3) Tap once on "OK". Talkback acknowledges you have selected "OK".
    4) Quickly tap twice on "OK" to complete the action.
    This pauses TalkBack so you can navigate normally to turn it off.
    5) Go to your home screen and touch the menu icon in the lower left corner.
    6) Select "Settings"
    7) Select "My Device" at the top
    8) Scroll down to "Accessibility" and select it.
    9) Scroll down to "TalkBack" and select it then turn it off.

    How to use TalkBack to help you read ONLY WHEN YOU WANT TO USE IT and How to turn it off quickly when you need to like when you receive a call.

    I want to get you started successfully with TalkBack. You can then explore it further for your particular needs.

    First let's make it easy to pause it whenever you want so it is out of the way temporarily. You can then either turn it off or turn it back on as you wish.

    1) Navigate to "TalkBack" and turn it on.
    2) Once it is on, swipe the screen in an "L" motion with one finger. In other words, down and then right. This opens the "Global Context Menu". This is activated when you turn on TalkBack.
    3) Tap once on the checkbox that says "Always show this warning". TalkBack will acknowledge you have selected the checkbox. Then tap twice on it to remove the check.
    This will allow you to quickly turn off TalkBack.
    4) Tap once on "OK". Talkback acknowledges you have selected "OK".
    5) Quickly tap twice on "OK" to complete the action.
    This pauses TalkBack so you can navigate normally to turn it off.

    You are now ready to use TalkBack at your leisure. At any time, you can pause it quickly using the “L” motion. You can then go to settings and turn it off if you choose.

    To reenable TalkBack after a pause:
    1) Touch the top of your screen and swipe down. You will see the notifications screen. You will see “TalkBack is suspended”. You can touch it to reenable TalkBack.

    Useful hints:
    1) I have found the IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ TTS engine has the best voice. It sounds more natural. To get it, go to “Play Store” and install it. It is free. Once it is installed, you enable it by going to Settings->My Device->Language and Input->Text-to-speech options. Then select IVONA.
    2) If you use Google Text-to-speech, you will probably want to slow down the speech rate under “Language and Input”. The problem with Google and Samsung text-to-speech is they don’t pause between sentences which is very annoying to me.
    3) If you have TalkBack enabled, remember that to scroll, you must use two fingers. To select anything, you must touch it once followed by touching it twice.
    4) If listening to an eBook, I haven’t found a way to get the screen to automatically scroll to the next screen of text. Therefore, I have to use a two-finger swipe to get to the next screen and then touch the screen to start Talkback reading the screen.
    5) In your eBook, change to the smallest font you can and change the text settings to get the most text you can on a single screen. This way, TalkBack will read for awhile before you need to swipe to a new screen of text.
    6) If you get a call, just swipe an "L" and touch "Stop Feedback" and you are back in complete control.
    7) You may want to play with other options in TalkBack. In Settings, go to TalkBack and try different options like turning off talking when you are typing. You may make life even better.

    Enjoy TalkBack. It is a nice feature once you tame it.
    - Steve
    02-22-2015 09:57 PM
  2. Swapan Purkayastha's Avatar
    The swipe does not work !!! The talkback can be turned off, if swipe works in the setting mode. This is Android kitkat 4.4.2 --->
    02-28-2015 08:00 AM

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