How to Use Google’s Assistant Action Block for Accessibility

How to Use Google’s Assistant Action Block for Accessibility

Google Assistant makes it easy to complete digital assignments, but is accessible for those who don’t have fingers or a great voice. With the Block Action application for Android, you can turn complex commands into one digital pushbutton.

What is an Action Block?

Action Block is an Android application from Google that allows you to reduce the complicated smartphone tasks from dozens of different actions to one tap. Millions of people around the world face a large number of obstacles that prevent them from engaging with Google Assistants to play YouTube videos or control smart home devices.

In celebration of the 2020 Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Google released an Action Block to further help connect them with mild and severe disabilities.

Google engineer Lorenzo Caggioni first created his predecessor for the Action Block for his brother, who was unable to use most of the technology due to his flaw. The DIVA project, which is short for DIVersely Assisted, uses Raspberry Pi and Google Assistant to give more freedom to those who are unable to perform special tasks on smartphones.

Developers can use Project DIVA to assign tasks to physical buttons which then run several complex digital tasks with a single tap.


The Action Block uses digital buttons instead of DIVA physical buttons and provides a user-friendly interface that uses all complex complex processes into one tap. Just like Google’s Assistant Routine, this Action Block can do all the tasks that your virtual assistant can do.

How to Set an Action Block

To get started with Action Blocks, download the application from the Google Play Store to your Android device. Make sure you have activated Google Assistant on your mobile.

After the Action Block is installed, open the application and tap the “How It Works” link to learn more about what it can do. Start creating your own digital buttons by selecting “Create Action Block.”


In the “Create Block Action” menu, you can choose from several daily actions such as making phone calls or playing media. Tap “Other Actions” to access additional functions such as smart home controls, reminders, calendars and more.

Select one of these actions to bring up the Templated Action Block, or select “Create Custom Action” to use the empty Action Block.

If you choose a template for a particular action, you will see that the Google Assistant command for that action has already been written. Edit the command as you wish. If you don’t want the Google Assistant to loudly announce actions every time this Action Block is used, make sure that the “Always Talk Exit Actions” option is not checked.

Use the “Test Action” button to ensure that this command does what you want. Tap “Next” at the bottom of the screen when you are finished editing and testing this command.


Next, you want to create a unique name for this Action Block. From there, select an image to help identify buttons from your photo library or Google’s symbol and icon library, or take a new picture with your camera. When you are ready to proceed, tap “Save Action Block” at the bottom of the screen.


After your Action Blocks are saved, you can place them automatically on the home screen or create more Action Blocks and place them later.

To place an Action Block, tap from the main Action Block screen and select “Place On Home Screen.”


The Action Button has a default size of 2 × 2 on the display of your Android smartphone. Press and hold your Block Actions widget until four dots mark the boundary of the block to move or resize it.


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