Chrome Accessibility Update: Automatic Image Descriptions to Come to Chrome Later this Year

Perhaps it is impossible to go a week without hearing from the developers of Google. It was only a couple of days ago that we got news of new updates to come to Chrome that were introduced on the Canary. While that was last week, this time around Google comes up with more additions to Chrome. Obviously, these are added to Canary first to test them out in a beta phase. But, one may wonder, what addition are we talking about.

In recent times, there has been quite a focus on accessibility. Before, people often took these services for granted, them being tucked away in a corner in the settings menu. With time, new additions were made to bring them up to par for the needs of everyone. In its latest update, Google has added support for Automatic Image Descriptions. While this may not seem something quite big, it actually is. Google has integrated its browser to existing screen readers to allow them easy access on Chrome.

Auto Image Description
Auto Image Description
Screenshot Credits: TechDows

How it Works

Although this has been added to the latest Chrome Canary, users will still have to enable it. To enable it, users must go to the about:flags page and search for accessibility image description. There, users have to change the button from default to Enable before relaunching the browser. Remember though, an existing Screen Reader is required for it to work. With the option to always read out image description, Google will also describe images without alt text. This will be made sure by a piece of simultaneous information by Google being sent in and out to the user.

While this is the gist of the upcoming feature, Google has announced it to arrive in Chrome later this year (by fall). This would surely increase the gap between Chrome and its competition. There are other browsers like Edge working on a similar integration with the help of Chromium. This proves that Microsoft believes Google is on the right path, enough to follow them at least.

Sarmad Burki
Sarmad Burki is a Mathematician and a Economist with a passion for all things gaming and tech. His academics and professional experience combined with tech and gaming adds to his skills giving him a unique ability to observe the tech and gaming industry from various prespectives.