Google has a new app that lets you do almost anything on your Android phone with one button.
The new app, called Action Blocks, was designed to make it easier for those with cognitive disabilities to perform functions like listening to music or making a phone call.
As its name implies, the app allows you to create a shortcut in the form of a “block” for a designated action that lives on your phone’s home screen. Pressing an action block could replace the process of opening an app, finding the contact you want to speak with, and tapping the call button or opening a music app and finding the playlist you want to hear.
These buttons can also be customised with photos so that it’s easy to tell exactly what they do at just a glance. An action block for video calling your spouse with just a tap, for example, might have a photo with their face on it.
The app lets you create shortcuts to specific tasks that appear as tiles on the home screen.
The free app is available immediately for Android devices through Google’s Play Store. The app was in testing last year, but Google is only now releasing it publicly.
Although the app was designed to serve those with cognitive disabilities, anyone with an Android phone running Android 5.0 and higher can use it.
The launch of Action Blocks comes as Google and other major tech companies have been focusing more on designing products with accessibility in mind in recent years.
Jennison Asuncion, head of accessibility engineering at LinkedIn said, “Still, despite recent advances, there’s still more to be done. Companies could be doing more to help developers create accessible apps and programmes.”