Released along with the Android 12 beta
XDA Developers reports that Google is working on a new Android accessibility feature. This allows you to control your phone with facial expressions such as a smile, raised eyebrows, or a raised eyebrow. The “Camera Switch” feature has arrived with version 12 of Android’s Accessibility Suite app, released alongside Android 12‘s fourth beta. The app’s new version isn’t yet available on Google Play, XDA reports. However, you can sideload an APK to give it a go.
XDA developers state that facial expressions, which include looking left, right or up, can be used to access various controls. These control options include scrolling, going home and quick settings. Screenshots demonstrate that you can change the software’s sensitivities when recognizing expressions. This should limit accidental activations. The feature is power-intensive, and phones should be plugged in when it’s not in use.
It is easy to see why this feature could be helpful for those who have difficulty using touch controls. Facial expressions can be used in silence, making them more accessible in public and quieter settings than voice commands.
Recent Android releases have included a variety of accessibility features, such as facial expression controls. These controls aim to make the phone easier for people with disabilities. Last year’s Android 11, for example, delivered improvements to the operating system’s voice control feature. Earlier in the year, Google released a collection of other accessibility updates, including customizable “Action Blocks,” which let users assign custom actions to large on-screen buttons.
The new feature may be included in an operating system update later this year, as it was announced alongside the Android 12 beta. XDA Developers points out that the Accessibility Suite app version 1.0 appears to be compatible with Android 11. This suggests it may not be exclusive for Android 12.