[games_access] Accessibility thoughts on Google Pixel and Daydream from a legally blind user

Dan Fischbach blindwolf8 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 23 19:09:57 EST 2016


Hello everyone,
First off, Happy Thanksgiving from the GA SIG! :-)

I know it has been a very long time since I posted something on here. I
figured it was time for me to share my experiences with advances in
technology with everyone. (Ian: I saw your VR link from the start of the
month and will get to it soon!) I apologize if this email comes off a tad
ranty.

I recently purchased a new Google Pixel <https://madeby.google.com/phone/>
(non-XL) phone to replace my aging Nexus 5
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus_5>.

The first day or so having it as my main phone brought with it - for the
first time for me - some accessibility challenges, notably the font and UI
size. Luckily, I was able to adjust the DPI ("smallest width") in the
Developer settings of the device to match my old device. For the record,
the setting was 360. It's a shame that this helpful custom DPI setting is a
tad hidden for normal users. (although accessing the Developer options
<http://wccftech.com/enable-developer-options-android-nougat/> on any
Android device is quite easy)

Anywho if you're reading this you're probably interested in Daydream
<https://vr.google.com/daydream/> - which is Google's answer to the various
VR headsets out there - and how I fared with it. It's designed to work with
the Pixel phone. Since I bought the Pixel phone early enough, I was able to
take advantage of an offer that allowed me to get the Daydream device for
free. It was a nice gesture, but I was wary. I had never used a VR device
before.

The device arrived today and I was skeptical. Would I be able to use this
device?

The short answer is: Unfortunately, no.

The text is simply too small for me to read. I even had to fumble my way
through the tutorial. I thought I would be able to get my way through by
activating the triple-tap accessibility shortcut in Android
<https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6006949?hl=en> but
no dice. VR doesn't take too kind to that and I would need to keep taking
my phone out of the headset. I also had issues with recognizing some icons.

The cursor size and color leaves much to be desired as well. I already came
upon a white-on-white (or close to it) scenario.

So now I am in possession of a Daydream device I can't really enjoy. If
anyone would like to use me as a guinea pig for accessibility testing or
otherwise regarding VR experiences and/or this device, let me know.

If you are or know someone over at Google, I am open to testing with them
to improve accessibility of Android and/or Daydream.

Thanks everyone,
Dan Fischbach, Net+, MCP
W: danfischbach.com P: 609-458-7920
Proud NJIT (BS) and UCF/FIEA (MS) graduate
Please consider the environment before printing this email
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