Voice Control: Everything you need to know

iPhone X Voice Control iOS 13
iPhone X Voice Control iOS 13 (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

When it comes to electronics, it should be accessible for everyone, regardless of whatever handicap someone may have. Apple takes this seriously, and has introduced a new accessibility feature in both macOS, iOS, and iPadOS called Voice Control.

What is Voice Control?

MacOS Catalina Voice Control

Voice Control is a new Accessibility feature on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices (with macOS Catalina and iOS 13, respectively) that allows you to control your device entirely just with your voice. It's designed to help those who cannot operate traditional input devices get the most out of their computer, phone, or tablet.

Using Voice Control improves dictation with rich text editing features, and you can comprehensively interact with apps and navigate around through the use of labels next to clickable items or grids to exactly choose where you want to zoom in to or select or drag.

With Voice Control, you'll be able to do things like launch apps, select emoji, select options, send messages, make calls, and pretty much everything else, all with just your voice. It's all thanks to the system of labels and grids.

Accessibility for iPhone and iPad: The ultimate guide

How do you use Voice Control?

Voice Control running on a MacBook Pro

Voice Control on Mac (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

Voice Control is activated through spoken cues. Everything on the screen that you can interact with will be labeled, and you tell Siri which one you want to pick or take action with. It can also be used to simulate actions like long presses, swipes, and gestures, just by telling Siri to do so.

Is it still private and secure?

Apple has always been very serious about user data and privacy. They stated in the keynote that your voice, when used with Voice Control, is processed on the device only (Siri speech recognition tech), and nothing is sent to or stored by Apple.

Questions?

Voice Control is a brand new Accessibility feature that is now available in iOS 13, which releases on Sept. 19. It is coming to iPads with iPadOS 13 on Sept. 30, and macOS Catalina sometime this fall. If you have any questions regarding it, make sure to drop it in the comments and we'll do our best to help!

September 2019: Updated for iOS 13 public release.

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.

2 Comments
  • Voice-recognition software is a great tool for current days. There are already mobile phones with voice recognition. It is becoming increasingly famous, because of the huge measure of the better voice recognition abilities of today’s smartphone platforms, like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Thanks for sharing such wonderful info.
  • I remember when voice control came to Windows Vista, it was actually pretty cool, but flaky, not sure if it still exists in Windows. I'm really excited to try Apple's version, I think it goes further than accessibility, it can be a nice (and somewhat futuristic) way to control your computer when it's across the room or simply if you want to give your hands a rest, especially people who suffer with RSI