iPhone users can now access Morse code on Gboard for iOS

Google has announced the arrival of a Morse code option on Gboard for iPhone, making it easier for people with limited mobility to communicate using their smartphones.

The option to use Morse code has been available on Android for the last few months, having been announced in May, and represents a huge leap forward for accessibility. As Morse code consists of a series of dots and dashes, and therefore only uses two keys, it can be hugely useful for users who find it difficult to use a regular keyboard.

to bring the mode to life, Google worked closely with Morse code expert Tania Finlayson, who helped Google to design the layout and add customizable options to fit as many disabilities as possible. Speaking of her own life experiences and how much learning Morse code has meant to her and changed her life in Google’s blog, Tania hopes that the development means that more disabled people will be able to feel included in modern technology, and is excited for the future that her work on Gboard may bring.

“I’m excited to see what people will build that integrates with Morse code—whether it’s a keyboard like Gboard, a game, or educational app, the possibilities are endless. Most technology today is designed for the mass market,” said Tania. “Unfortunately, this can mean that people with disabilities can be left behind. Developing communication tools like this is important, because for many people, it simply makes life livable.”

Morse code was developed in the 1800s, and despite never really falling out of use in various industries (the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard still use Morse code via signal lamps to communicate), the use of Morse code has mostly become a hobby amongst the general population. However, with Google’s recent addition to Gboard, there’s never been a better time to try out Morse code for yourself.

If you’re taking your first steps into Morse code, Google has created a game designed to teach the basics of Morse code in an hour. To access the mode, Google has put together an exhaustive guide to get you going. This isn’t Google’s first addition for accessibility either, as Android P’s Lookout app will help the visual impaired, while Google Maps is adding wheelchair accessible routes.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Laptop screen extenders and self-healing tents

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Microsoft’s pressure-sensitive software keyboard is ripe for dual-screen laptops

Microsoft is working on a new keyboard that will make it easier to type on glass. The software keyboard will be able to recognize pressure and gestures to help speed up your typing, especially when you're entering symbols.
Cars

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

It might seem intimidating, but anyone can drive a manual transmission car. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive stick.
Mobile

To celebrate World Emoji Day, Google’s blobmoji are back as sticker packs

Google replaced blobmoji as the standard emoji in Android last year with Android 8.0 Oreo. Now, however, it's finally bringing it back -- sort of. Users can download blobmoji as sticker packs in Google's Gboard.
Mobile

Google is replacing some Pixel 2 handsets due to faulty rear cameras

Google’s Pixel 2 smartphones have plenty to recommend them, but they’re not perfect. We've rounded up the most common Pixel 2 issues and Pixel 2 XL problems here and identify workarounds or fixes to help you cope with them.
Mobile

Visual snapshots on Google Assistant provides your day at a glance

Google's artificially intelligent bot, Google Assistant, is available on smart home speakers, smart home devices, iOS and Android phones, and it can do a whole lot of work on your behalf. Here are all of its features.
Mobile

EU antitrust czar will brief Google CEO ahead of massive fine

Sources close to the European Commission claim Google will likely face a multibillion-dollar fine for anticompetitive practices relating to Android's dominance in the smartphone market.
Mobile

Tired of unwanted calls? There are many ways to block a number in Android

Telemarketer or persistent ex won't leave you alone? Here's how to block a number in Android, whether you want to do so with native features or mobile apps such as Mr. Number or Should I Answer?
Mobile

Pop-up cams could be the next must-have feature for phone privacy nuts

Phones with pop-up cameras, such as the Vivo Nex and the Oppo Find X, may be exposing nefarious plans to record our activities using the selfie camera. Certain apps are opening the camera at unusual times, prompting security fears.
Mobile

Google’s $5.1 billion anti-trust fine could mean the end of free Android

The European Commission has fined Google a record breaking $5.1 billion. The EU is accusing the company of severe antitrust infractions related to the search engine giant's handling of the Android ecosystem.
Computing

Microsoft's foldable Andromeda device may debut this year. Here's what we know

Microsoft was reportedly working on a pocket-sized clamshell device code-named 'Andromeda' sporting two touchscreens. Meant to disrupt the mobile market, it's now put on hold. Here's everything we know about the Surface Phone.
Wearables

We tested popular smartwatches to find the uncontested best

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Mobile

Only Google should be mad about having to change Android

Google has been hit with a massive fine in a landmark antitrust case in Europe, and has been told to change the way it manages its Android operating system, or face a heavier financial hit.
Mobile

The world can be your oyster with a little help from the best travel apps around

Traveling doesn't need to be a time-consuming nuisance. Our handpicked selection of the best travel apps will keep things simple, whether you need cost comparisons for hotels or directions to renowned eateries.
Mobile

Apple's third iOS 12 beta may help you save a lot of data

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Mobile

Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6 will help your phone survive up to 15 drops before it shatters

Corning has finally taken the wraps off of the long-awaited Gorilla Glass 6 -- a glass that will be used to protect the next generation of smartphones -- which allows your phone to survive up to 15 drops before it breaks.
Computing

Relive 1998 as live chat rooms roll out across Reddit in a limited beta

Reddit is slowly rolling out real-time chat rooms across a limited number of subreddits. Currently in beta, Reddit Chat went live in 2017 for a small group of around 7,000 users. Reddit is now expanding this service.
Mobile

These are the best video chat apps to help you stay in touch

Though still relatively new, video chat apps can help you connect with people from around the world. Here are our personal favorites to help you keep in touch regardless of smartphone OS.
Mobile

These might be the best photos shot with an iPhone in 2018

The iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) announced its official winners of its 11th annual global competition. Each one was selected from thousands of entries spanning over 140 countries around the world.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.