What you need to know
- Microsoft highlighted some of the new accessibility features coming in the Windows 10 May 2020 Update.
- In a separate blog post, the company also focused on some accessibility features coming to Edge.
- A big focus for both is making sure content can be read aloud, visual improvements, and more.
Microsoft is frequently working on improving its accessibility features across Windows and its apps. In two blog posts today, the company zeroed in on some of the accessibility improvements coming in the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, along with those that are currently in the works for Microsoft Edge.
Windows 10 May 2020 Update
For the May 2020 Update, Microsoft has a variety of updates in the pipeline for accessibility. One of the more visible changes is the ability to further customize text cursor indicators to change their colors and make them thicker and easier to see. An update to Windows' magnifier will allow it to follow the text cursor in the center of your display by default.
Further improvements to magnifier include options that make it easier to have text read aloud. There are now play, pause, next sentence, and previous sentence controls that make it easy to have text read aloud on command. This will work across Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and other Windows apps.
With Narrator, Microsoft says that it has made its reading more natural sounding by removing unnatural pauses and processing complete sentences to ensure proper pronunciation. Narrator sounds have also been revamped, allowing you to hear tones instead of speech when turning certain modes on or off.
Beyond improvements to the way it sounds, Narrator can also start automatically reading web pages from the top of the page and you can get a page summary on demand. Firefox is also now supported by Narrator, and there's support for rich text in Chrome and Firefox.
On the Microsoft Edge side of things, there are several improvements that are already in testing with Edge Insiders and some that are in the works.
One of the more interesting additions is a new picture dictionary tool, which lets you pull up a picture representation of any word on a website. This is meant to improve comprehension, especially for people who are learning another language or are studying on their own, the Edge team says. Microsoft says picture dictionary is expected to hit preview builds "soon."
Already available in preview builds is tranlation in Immersive Reader for a total of 54 languages. Immersive Reader is also now easier to access on a whime, allowing you to select any text on a page, right click, and choose "open in immersive reader." Microsoft says it is also bringing read aloud for PDF files to Edge, and it's available to check out in preview builds now.
Update 6: Microsoft wants all of TikTok, but Trump's order may interfere
The Financial Times reports that as part of negotiations, Microsoft is now inquiring whether it can buy all of TikTok, instead of just the business in the US., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This new plan would include India and Europe (and excluding China).
Apple responds to Project xCloud iOS block, Microsoft kicks back
With Microsoft's Project xCloud streaming platform locked out from iOS devices, Apple doubles down on App Store restrictions.
Here's why Halo Infinite's delay is ultimately a good thing
While the news that Halo Infinite has been delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19 is disappointing for fans who were hoping to explore Zeta Halo this holiday season, we ultimately think that it was the right decision for Microsoft and 343 Industries to make. Here's why.
10 must-have apps for any new PC
You just purchased a new PC and set it up, and now you're looking for some great apps. Look no further. These are the best apps for your new Windows 10 PC.