Using the Focus Blue with Android

When you connect the Focus Blue to your Android device running TalkBack 13 or later, screen content will be presented in braille, and you can navigate and interact with your device using the keys on the braille display. You can also input text using the braille keyboard.

If you are currently using BrailleBack, it is highly recommended you remove this utility as it is no longer supported. TalkBack offers a number of braille features including more commands and access to more than 30 languages.

Removing BrailleBack

Since Android braille support is included directly in the TalkBack screen reader, the BrailleBack app can be removed by doing the following:

  1. Open Settings on your Android device.
  2. Scroll to and double tap Apps.
  3. Locate BrailleBack in the list of installed apps and double tap to open its app info page.
  4. Double tap Uninstall and confirm this action when prompted.

Confirm TalkBack is Updated

Braille display support is available in TalkBack 13 and later. To confirm your TalkBack version and update it if necessary, do the following:

  1. Perform a one-finger swipe down and right to open the TalkBack menu and double tap TalkBack Settings.
  2. Scroll to and double tap Open TalkBack at the Play Store. Note this may be different on certain Android devices. For instance, on some Samsung tablets, the option may be to open TalkBack at the Galaxy Store.
  3. If your TalkBack version is less than 13, choose the option to install updates. Even if you are running version 13 and updates are available, install them to make sure you have the latest functionality.

Pairing the Focus Blue Display

To establish a Bluetooth connection between your Focus and an Android device running TalkBack 13 or later, do the following:

  1. Power on the Focus Blue.
  2. Perform a one-finger swipe down and right to open the TalkBack menu and double tap TalkBack Settings.
  3. On the TalkBack Settings screen, double tap Braille display.
  4. If prompted to give permission for TalkBack to search for nearby devices, double tap Allow.
  5. Make sure the option, Use braille display, is on.
  6. Double tap Look for new device.
  7. Double tap your Focus display and then double tap Connect to establish the connection.

Once the Focus has been paired, if you power on the display before taking the Android device out of standby, the display will automatically connect. Remember to lock the device before turning off the Focus to ensure that braille auto detection works properly the next time you want to use braille.

Focus Blue Commands

The following sections list TalkBack commands that can be performed from the Perkins-style keyboard as well as other controls on the Focus Blue displays. Press DOTS 1-3-7-8 anytime to display the full list of available braille display commands.

Navigation and Editing Commands

Command Function
RIGHT ROCKER BAR UP or DOTS 1-2-7 Previous item
CURSOR ROUTING BUTTON Activate current item (same as double tapping)
CURSOR ROUTING BUTTON press and hold Tap and hold current item
DOT 5 CHORD Next word
DOT 2 CHORD Previous word
DOTS 2-4-5-6-8 Next window
DOTS 2-4-5-6-7 Previous window
DOT 6 CHORD Next character
DOT 3 CHORD Previous character
DOTS 6-8 Move navigation focus forward or adjust reading control down
DOTS 3-7 Move navigation focus backward or adjust reading control up
DOTS 1-3-5-8 Scroll forward
DOTS 2-4-6-7 Scroll Backward
DOTS 1-2-3 CHORD Top of page or beginning of text
DOTS 4-5-6 CHORD Bottom of page or end of text
DOT 8 Insert new line when editing text
DOT 7 Backspace or delete when editing text
DOTS 2-7 Delete word when editing text

Web Page Navigation Commands

Command Function
DOTS 1-2-5-8 Next heading
DOTS 1-2-5-7 Previous heading
DOTS 1-4-8 Next control
DOTS 1-4-7 Previous control
DOTS 1-2-3-8 Next link
DOTS 1-2-3-7 Previous link
DOTS 5-6-8 Next reading control
DOTS 2-3-7 Previous reading control

General Commands

Command Function
DOTS 1-2 CHORD Activates the Back button, if present
DOTS 1-2-5 CHORD Activates the Home button
DOTS 1-2-3-5 CHORD Open recent apps
DOTS 1-3-4-5 CHORD Open notifications
DOTS 1-2-3-4-5 CHORD Open quick settings
DOTS 1-2-3-4 CHORD Open all apps
DOTS 3-4 CHORD Screen search
DOTS 1-3-4-8 CHORD Edit custom label
DOTS 1-3-4 CHORD Open TalkBack menu
DOTS 2-4-7-8 Switch to next typing language
DOTS 1-3-5-7-8 Switch to next reading language
DOTS 1-3-4-7-8 Toggle speech on/off
DOTS 1-3-7-8 Open Braille display commands
DOTS 1-2-7-8 Open Braille display settings
DOTS 2-3-4-5-7-8 Open TalkBack settings
DOTS 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 Turn off braille output (reenable in TalkBack settings)

Visit the TalkBack and Braille page on the Google website for more information about using a braille display with TalkBack.