The first public beta of Jaws 2020 has been released. This latest version of the very powerful Windows screen reader is expected to be officially released at the end of October 2019, along with new versions of ZoomText and Fusion. But if you would like to take a sneak peek at what to expect, as well as help squash any bugs, users of Jaws 2019 can download the public beta here.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the new features in Jaws 2020.
Convenient OCR Improvements
Omnipage 20 is now powering the OCR engine in Jaws 2020, which should offer better accuracy when processing both on-screen and scaned images.
Remembering Virtual Cursor Setting Between Tabs in Chrome
When using some web applications, such as GMail, you may find it more useful to use the PC Cursor in order to use keyboard shortcuts specific to that app. If you open another tab in Chrome, Jaws 2020 will now remember your Virtual Cursor setting for each tab. Please note, this setting is off by default.
Improved Web Form handling
Because of how some web forms are created you may notice that your screen reader will announce some of the elements twice. Jaws 2020 hopes to address this and reduce unnecessary announcements.
Enhanced Jaws & Invisible Cursor Support for Windows Universal Apps
For software that uses the new UIA layer, the new Scan Cursor in Jaws 2020 should make the app accessible using the standard Jaws Cursor keyboard shortcuts.
Inclueded Scripts for Zoom Meetings
Basic scripts from Hartgen Consulting for Zoom are now included with Jaws 2020, offering a better experience when using this popular VOIP app.
Contracted Braille Input Enhancements
Jaws 2020 promises significant improvements when it comes to contracted braille input in a number of applications including Word, Powerpoint and online apps such as Google Docs.
Of course, there’s more general improvements as well, and if you would like more details, you can visit the Freedom Scientific website here
Co-host & audio producer on the Double Tap Canada radio show. Occasional contributor to Double Tap TV, full time shed resident.