Google has launched two new Android apps for visually impaired users — although they could be useful to just about anybody looking for more information from their mobile navigation devices.
The first is called WalkyTalky, and like the latest version of Google Maps Navigation app for Android, it can provide you with walking directions from point A to point B. But instead of simply speaking up to tell you when to turn right or left, WalkyTalky will talk to you along the way, pointing out intersections, names of streets you pass, and even street addresses. This can help you keep track of where you are on your journey — especially if you can’t read the addresses or street signs yourself.
The other app is called Intersection Explorer, and it lets users explore locations without taking a step outside. Just fire up the app and the program will detect your current location (or allow you to enter a new address). You can tap the phone to hear the street name and nearest intersection, and you can move your finger north, south, east, or west to hear the names of nearby streets. This way you can discover how to get from one place to another by interacting with a map much the same way a person with perfect eyesight would do by looking at it.
Unfortunately I encountered a Force Close error every time I tried to run WalkyTalky, but Intersection Explorer seemed to work exactly as promised.