(Pocket-lint) - Google added Morse code as an input method to its Gboard keyboard.
The company already offers Morse code in the Android version of Gboard (in beta). Now, it's debuting in the iOS version. While this may sound like a gimmicky tool for people to play with, it actually has some significance for people with disabilities. Tania Finlayson, an assistive tech developer with cerebral palsy, wrote a post on Google's blog about how Morse code helps her to communicate:
"At first I thought learning Morse code would be a waste of time, but soon learned that it gave me total freedom with my words, and for the first time, I could talk with ease, without breaking my neck. School became fun, instead of exhausting. I could focus on my studies, and have real conversations with my friends for the first time. Also, I did not need an adult figure with me every moment at school, and that was awesome."
On Gboard, when activated, Morse code populates the keyboard area with large dot and dash icons. As you tap the icons, word suggestions will pop up in the on-screen keyboard. Google even created a Morse Typing Trainer game to teach users Morse code in under an hour. You can try it on both mobile and desktop. The goal with these tools is to give people more ways to communicate.
Keep in mind most technology is designed for the mass market, which can isolate people with disabilities. That's why communication tools like this is important. Now, if anyone wants to try Morse code, they can just download a keyboard app and go.