At I/O 2018, Google showcased a video of Morse code implementation on Gboard to help people with cerebral palsy and other conditions. For the development of Morse code technology, Google partnered with developer Tania Finlayson, an expert in Morse code assistive technology, who featured in Google’s presentation video at I/O with her husband Ken.
On Wednesday, Google‘s blog post by Tania Finlayson, notes that the Gboard for iOS now supports Morse code as well, and it will be pushing out improvements to Morse code on Gboard for Android as well. When you activate the Morse Code in Gboard, it fills the keyboard area with two large dot and dash icons to enter text, instead of the regular (QWERTY) keyboard.
Gboard for Android lets you hook external switches to the device as well, so a person with limited mobility could operate the device.
Talking about the Morse code project and how it has been “revolutionary” in improving her own life, Tania noted, “Most technology today is designed for the mass market. Unfortunately, this can mean that people with disabilities can be left behind. Developing communication tools like this is important, because for many people, it simply makes life livable. Now, if anyone wants to try Morse code, they can use the phone in their pocket. Just by downloading an app, anyone anywhere can give communicating with Morse code a try.”
She helped design the keyboard layout, added Morse sequences to the auto-suggestion strip above the keyboard, and developed settings that allow people to customize the keyboard to their unique needs.
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Google has introduced a ‘Morse Typing Trainer’ game for Android and iOS to help you learn how to write Morse code using Gboard “in less than an hour!” You can also play a demo on your desktop as well.