How to use Voice Over on iPhone and iPad

How to use Voice Over on iPhone and iPad

The iPhone and iPad have some great accessibility features features for people with hearing or sight impairments that makes using iOS more enjoyable and less frustrating. For sight impaired individuals, the Voice Over feature allows your iPhone or iPad to speak selections and add custom gestures so you know exactly what you're tapping on before selecting it.

Whether you yourself are visually impaired or you know an iOS user who is, follow along for instructions on activating Voice Over and how to use it.

How to activate Voice Over on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Now tap on Accessibility.
  4. Find the Voice Over option and tap on it.
  5. You'll see an on/off option, turn it on to On by tapping on the toggle.
  6. Voice Over will now activate and you'll receive a popup asking you to confirm. Double tap the OK button

How to use Voice Over on iPhone and iPad

Voice over changes the gestures in iOS in order to make it easier for visually impaired individuals to know what they're tapping on before they actually select it. Here are some tips to using Voice Over.

  • Single tap anywhere on the screen and your iPhone or iPad will speak aloud the item that you're tapping on.
  • Double tap on an item to select it.
  • To scroll through a page, use three fingers. With Voice Over off you typically use only one finger to scroll, in Voice Over, you'll need to use three so your iPhone or iPad doesn't misread a tap as a scroll.
  • To toggle speech commands on and off from the Lock Screen, double tap with three fingers.
  • A two finger double tap while performing an action will start or stop that action. For example, if you're on a phone call, double tapping the screen with two fingers will end the call. If you're in the camera, it will snap a photo.
  • In Voice Over options you can customize and fine tune options such as whether or not you'd like the device to speak notifications

For more tips and tricks regarding Voice Over, we recommend using the Voice Over Practice option within the Voice Over settings menu. This allows you to tap the screen as you'd like and the iPhone or iPad will speak aloud what that action does system wide. This will help get someone used to how Voice Over works and what commands trigger what actions.

If you've come across any interesting Voice Over options, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 3 comments. Add yours.

shinuyuki says:

This is great for my Dad who has bad eyesight. In order to use his iPhone 4S, he has the font at like 24..fucking massive. The ability to call out what he is clicking is beyond amazing. Going to set it up for him, so he can leave me the hell alone. :)

asuperstarr says:

Hahahahahahah, that's funny!

asuperstarr says:

This was probably works well for a lot older users. I think I have it set up to read books in iBooks store..