Google’s Morse code keyboard arrives on iOS

A developer created the option for people with limited mobility and verbal ability

Google has also developed an online game to help users learn Morse code

Google has also developed an online game to help users learn Morse code

 

For those with limited mobility and verbal ability, technologies such as touchscreen keypads and voice assistants do little or nothing to help them communicate. Often the only solution is bespoke devices and what is known as a head stick is used to input information, which is very slow when used with a traditional Qwerty layout.

Google has worked with Tania Finlayson, a Morse code and assistive tech developer who was born with cerebral palsy, to create a Morse code option for its virtual keyboard, Gboard, which has received an update for Android and has just rolled out on iOS. Morse code – a series of dots and dashes – is more efficient once mastered, and Google has developed an online game to help users learn.

“I helped design the keyboard layout, added Morse sequences to the auto-suggestion strip above the keyboard and developed settings that allow people to customise the keyboard to their unique needs,” explains Finlayson.

For Android users there is now the ability to attach external switches to your smartphone or tablet, allowing a person with limited mobility to operate the device. To enable Morse code within GBoard you must switch to English (US) as it’s not available through the English (UK) setting.

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