6 Smartphone Features to Help With Accessibility

Samsung is making great strides when it comes to inclusivity by accommodating their users with disabilities. By featuring top-of-the-line accessibility features, they make it clear that leaving anyone out is not an option. While some of the applications mentioned below are still in their beta stage, they are taking huge steps towards making smartphones accessible to all. The best part? Many of them are free of charge. Take a look at six of the best accessibility features on the Galaxy Note 8.

Voice Access

Google’s Voice Access is one of the most helpful applications that can be used on smartphones, such as T-Mobile’s Galaxy Note 8 – currently the fastest network on the market. You can find it in the Google Play store. Using Google Voice Search, users utilize their voice to control their phone. You can use it for anything – going back a page on the internet, putting in a GPS location, and even typing out a text message. 

Google Assistant can also fill the same role, as that application requires users to speak to perform its functions. It is very helpful for those who have physical disabilities.

One-Handed Mode

Image via Flickr by Janitors

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This feature can be found in Settings and gives the user a smaller, more accessible screen. When this feature is turned on, virtually any section of the large screen can be touched with your thumb. Once you’re in Settings, simply go to Advanced Features and turn One-Handed Mode on.

Navigating the large screen with ease isn’t the only cool characteristic of One-Handed Mode. Users can also enable the Floating Camera button, which gives you the opportunity to drag the shutter button around, thus making the camera app and taking great photos much more accessible.

Changing Font Size and Lighting

Changing the font size and lighting can be incredibly helpful for those with disabilities. Here’s how you can change these features on the Galaxy Note 8.

To change the font size:

  1. Swipe up to access Apps from the home screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Display.
  4. Tap Screen zoom and font.
  5. Drag the Font size slider to adjust to a size of your liking.

To change the lighting:

  1. Swipe up to access Apps from the home screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Display.
  4. Drag the Brightness slider to adjust to the brightness of your liking, or select Auto Brightness.

These two features can be very helpful for those who are visually impaired.


TalkBack is an incredibly accommodating feature – particularly for those who are visually impaired. This service talks back to its users so they’re aware of what’s going on on their phone. After turning TalkBack on in the Accessibility folder, users “explore” their phone with their finger, which then notifies the phone to give vocal feedback about what is happening on-screen.


Known as one of the best automation applications currently on the market, IFTTT gives users the unique opportunity to make their phones, and even their homes, more accessible every single day. Users can have IFTTT communicate between multiple devices, streamlines important calendars, and even brings all of your social media accounts into one, easy-to-navigate platform. To download this free app, head to the Google Play store.


Although this application still has some bugs to work through, JabTalk is very helpful for users who are non-verbal communicators. People can use this app to help build sentences and take advantage of its text-to-speech abilities. With time, experts see this becoming increasingly popular to accommodate non-verbal individuals. This application can also be downloaded from the Google Play store.

As you can see, Samsung offers a great variety of applications and features for users with disabilities. From changing the text size and brightness of the screen, to scrolling down with your voice, to one-hand operation, these features enable users with disabilities to use and enjoy their Galaxy Note 8 smartphone. Expanding accessibility with smartphone features is a huge step for inclusivity in the technology industry and hopefully other tech companies will follow suit. What are some accessibility features that you’d like to see come into the industry in the future?