Prospects for an accessible and open version of Android?
Linux for blind general discussion
blinux-list at redhat.com
Sun Jun 14 17:35:08 UTC 2020
I believe the reason there's no Orca on Linux is because the UI layer on
Android is based on Java, whereas Orca is a GNOME/GTK application.
So, yes, they both have Linux under the hood; but that's about the
extent of the similarity.
PS: Also lacking on Android is screen reader access to anything terminal
based. Talkback, being Java based and object oriented, isn't likely ever
to support terminal applications on Android. Yet, quite a few users
would love to bring up a bash prompt on their Android devices,
especially to ssh out to an external Linux.
Sp[eakup is unlikely to work well for that, as Google's Linux kernel
seems pretty specific to what they consider important, vis a vis
supporting all Linux kernel modules. Perhaps when Speakup finally exists
Staging and becomes part of the Linux kernel, this may be an option.
Far more practical, imo, is Fenrir. I have sometimes thought of putting
together an Android build environment to see whether I could get Fenrir
to run on Android--but I'd be perfectly happy should someone else get
there first! <smile>
Linux for blind general discussion writes:
> I've been doing some web crawling, trying to get an idea of the prospects
> for a blind-accessible, (mostly) open source OS for Android HW devices.
> The rest of this message is a mishmash of links and notes; if anyone can
> provide additions and corrections, I'd be most grateful...
> # Availability
> The Android application package (APK) is the Golden Path for distribution,
> but some Google Play apps aren't available to "rooted" Android phones:
> SafetyNet Explained: Why Android Pay and Other Apps Don’t Work on Rooted Devices
> It would be nice to have a Linux-friendly tool (e.g., APT) as an alternative.
> Meanwhile, some packages are available via microG (https://microg.org).
> # Accessibility
> ## Android
> The Golden Path for a11y seems to be the Android Accessibility Suite, available
> on the Google Play Store:
> More general information is available on the Android accessibility overview page:
> ## Celia
> This seems interesting, even though it (currently) only supports Chinese.
> However, it (and EMUI) are proprietary.
> > Celia is an artificially intelligent virtual assistant developed by Huawei
> for its latest Android-based EMUI smartphones that lack Google Services
> and a Google Assistant.
> -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celia_(Virtual_assistant)
> ## Screen Readers, etc.
> TalkBack and BrailleBack (both found in the Android Accessibility Suite)
> seem to be the Golden Path for blind-friendly Android support.
> Despite this title, there doesn't appear to be any APK version of Orca:
> Orca Download for Linux (apk, deb, eopkg, rpm, tgz, txz, xz, zst)
> More generally, I can't find any open source screen readers listed for APK:
> Search Results for "screen reader"
> # OS Family Tree
> TL;DR: There are lots of (all or mostly) free OS variants, but their a11y
> support is extremely limited. Also, many of them are only intended to be
> used on a single vendor's devices.
> Anyway, here is an OS family tree of sorts, with informational links.
> It's based on Wikipedia's "List of custom Android distributions"
> supplemented with information gleaned from assorted web sites (YMMV).
> Linux - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel
> - AOSP - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#AOSP
> - - ConquerOS - https://github.com/ConquerOS/manifest
> - - CopperheadOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CopperheadOS
> - - CyanogenMod - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyanogenMod
> - - - LineageOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LineageOS
> - - - - CrDroid - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrDroid
> - - - - Project Sakura - https://sourceforge.net/projects/projectsakura/files/Mido
> - - - - Replicant - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replicant_(operating_system)
> - - - - - /e/ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//e/_(operating_system)
> - - DerpFest - https://derpfest.org
> - - Emteria.OS - https://emteria.com
> - - EMUI - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMUI
> - - EvolutionX - https://evolution-x.org/#
> - - Flyme - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meizu#Flyme
> - - GrapheneOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GrapheneOS
> - - GSI - https://source.android.com/setup/build/gsi
> - - Havoc-OS - https://sourceforge.net/projects/havoc-os
> - - Ion OS - https://sourceforge.net/projects/i-o-n
> - - MoKee - https://download.mokeedev.com
> - - MIUI - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIUI
> - - MSM-Xtended - https://sourceforge.net/projects/xtended
> - - OmniROM - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OmniROM
> - - OxygenOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OxygenOS
> - - Paranoid Android - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_Android_(software)
> - - Pixel Experience - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_Experience
> - - Realme - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realme
> - - Smartisan OS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartisan_OS
> - - ViperOS - https://download.viperos.org/#
> # Starting Points
> My suspicion is that the LineageOS, Replicant, and /e/ flavors are the
> most promising starting points, but I could certainly be wrong. If you
> know of something you think is better, please let me know!
> Speaking of which, the definition of "better" is very context-dependent.
> If avoiding any and all proprietary software is your goal, Replicant may
> be the best choice. If you want instant gratification, you might want
> to purchase a phone that already has /e/ installed...
> Also, if you're only using Wi-Fi for connectivity, you can ignore some
> cell phone issues (e.g., CDMA, FDMA, and TDMA signal encoding).
> ## Replicant
> - https://replicant.us/
> - https://replicant.us/about.php#faq
> - https://replicant.us/freedom-privacy-security-issues.php
> - https://replicant.us/supported-devices.php
> - https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/DeviceStatus
> ## LineageOS
> - https://lineageos.org
> - https://lineageos.org/blog
> - https://wiki.lineageos.org
> - https://wiki.lineageos.org/faq.html
> ## /e/
> - https://doc.e.foundation/devices/
> - https://doc.e.foundation/what-s-e
> - https://e.foundation
> - https://e.foundation/about-e
> - https://e.foundation/about-e/#why-/e/
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at redhat.com
Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup: http://a11y.org
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures http://www.w3.org/wai/apa
More information about the Blinux-list