Make apps more accessible

Try to make your Android app usable for everyone, including people with accessibility needs.

People with impaired vision, color blindness, impaired hearing, impaired dexterity, cognitive disabilities, and many other disabilities use Android devices. When you develop apps with accessibility in mind, you make the user experience better for people with accessibility needs.

This page presents guidelines for implementing key elements of accessibility so that everyone can use your app more easily. For more in-depth guidance on how to make your app more accessible, see Principles for improving app accessibility.

Increase text visibility

For each set of text within your app, we recommend the color contrast—or difference in perceived brightness between the color of the text and the color of the background behind the text—to be above a specific threshold. The exact threshold depends on the text's font size and whether the text appears in bold:

  • If the text is smaller than 18pt, or if the text is bold and smaller than 14pt, set the color contrast ratio to at least 4.5:1.
  • For all other text, set the color contrast ratio to at least 3:1.

The following image shows two examples of text-to-background color contrast:

Pictures displaying text
Figure 1. Lower than recommended (left) and sufficient (right) color contrast.

To check the text-to-background color contrast in your app, use an online color contrast checker or the Accessibility Scanner app.

Use large, simple controls

Your app's UI is easier to use if its controls are easier to see and tap. We recommend that each interactive UI element have a focusable area, or touch target size, of at least 48dpx48dp. Larger is even better.

For a given UI element to have a large enough touch target size, the following conditions should both be true:

The padding values allow an object's visible size to be less than 48dpx48dp while still having the recommended touch target size.

The following code snippet shows an element that has the recommended touch target size:

<ImageButton ...

    android:paddingBottom="8dp" />

Describe each UI element

For each UI element in your app, include a description that describes the element's purpose. In most cases, you include this description in the element's contentDescription attribute, as shown in the following code snippet:

<!-- Use string resources for easier localization. -->
<!-- The en-US value for the following string is "Inspect". -->
    android:contentDescription="@string/inspect" />

When adding descriptions to your app's UI elements, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Don't include the type of UI element in the content description. Screen readers automatically announce both the element's type and description. For example, if selecting a button causes a "submit" action to occur in your app, make the button's description "Submit", not "Submit button".

  • Each description must be unique. That way, when screen reader users encounter a repeated element description, they correctly recognize that the focus is on an element that already had focus earlier. In particular, each item within a view group such as RecyclerView must have a different description. Each description must reflect the content that's unique to a given item, such as the name of a city in a list of locations.

  • If your app's minSdkVersion is 16 or higher, you can set the android:importantForAccessibility attribute to "no" for graphical elements that are only used for decorative effect.

Additional resources

To learn more about making your app more accessible, see the following additional resources:


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