Published on December 21, 2012 12:46 PM

Amazon Kindle Fire HD To Get Accessibility Updates

New functions coming for visually impaired users

Although the Kindle Fire HD technically runs on Android, the OS is overlaid with an original custom interface. In the aim of boosting accessibility, Amazon is due to release an update for this interface that promises to bring new features to aid visually impaired users.  

Amazon has announced a forthcoming update to improve accessibility for visually impaired users of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets. While Amazon's tablet interface already offers large-sized icons when in full-screen mode (for recently used apps, at least), the Kindle Fire/Fire HD tablets are now set to get a couple of new functions—Voice Guide and Explore by Touch.

Voice Guide reads aloud any action the user makes, speaking the name of an application, an option, an e-book, etc. to help users find their way around more easily. Explore By Touch allows users to explore the interface by sliding a finger across the touchscreen while the tablet reads out the app or option tapped. A second tap then activates whatever function/app/option has just been read aloud.

The updates are due to land in early 2013. While their arrival is clearly good news, it'll be interesting to see how easy these new functions will be for visually impaired users to install and activate. 

> Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD

> Tablet Reviews
Add to favorites