How to Use VoiceOver on iPhone and iPad

Last Updated on May 9, 2023

VoiceOver is an accessibility feature on iPhone and iPad that is a gesture-based screen reader you can use even if you can’t see the screen. It’s handy to turn on and simple to use, though it takes a lot of practice to learn as a beginner. This guide will help you how to turn on VoiceOver and use it on your iPhone and iPad.¬†

Whom Does VoiceOver Help?

VoiceOver feature is focused on people who are blind and have vision limitations. It encourages those people to use iPhone aspects and apps by giving an audible description of what’s visible. It includes various details, such as incoming calls, battery level, app you are touching, settings you are moving to, etc. 

For convenience, you can change VoiceOver language, VoiceOver Pitches, and even VoiceOver’s Voice. Thus it’s an ideal feature for users with disabilities or visual therapists who want to teach students more combatively. 

How to turn on VoiceOver on iPhone

Starting from scratch, here is how you can turn on VoiceOver on an iPhone.

  1. Go to the Settings App.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Choose VoiceOver.
  4. Toggle to enable VoiceOver.

After this, it will give an audible description of what’s on your screen.

How to use VoiceOver on iPhone

After turning on the VoiceOver, it’s time to master it on your iPhone. It will be a bit confusing for beginners, but fuss not; iOS includes a feature that makes you learn and practice VoiceOver. Isn’t it great? Here is how you can turn the feature ON.

  1. Go to the Settings.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Hit on the VoiceOver and make sure toggle next to the VoiceOver is enabled.
  4. Now, tap on VoiceOver Practice and double-tap to start practice.
  5. Tap and swipe on the display, and the iPhone will tell what the action is. 
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Follow the below gesture using one, two, and three fingers.

  • Tap
  • Double Tap
  • Triple Tap
  1. Once you are done with practice, hit on Done at the top right corner. And at last, double-tap to exit.

Learn VoiceOver Action and Gesture

For better understanding and learning VoiceOver Gesture, you can refer to the below table.

Explore and speak items on the screen

ActionGesture
Select and speak optiontouch or tap option
Select the next itemswipe right
Select the previous item swipe left
Move to the group of optionstwo finger swipe right
Move out of the group of optionstwo finger swipe left
Select the first option on screentap four fingers near the top of the screen
Select the last option on screen tap four fingers near the bottom of the screen
To speak all options on the screenswipe two finger up
To speak all options from the select itemsswipe two finger down
Pause and continue speakingtwo finger tap
To speak additional options, for instance, position of the text or selected textthree finger tap
Explore and speak items on the screen

Scroll up, down, left, and right

ActionGesture
To scroll up on a pageswipe three finger down
To scroll down on a pageswipe three finger up
To scroll left one pageswipe three-finger left
Top scroll onepageswipe three finger right
Scroll up, down, left, and right

Take action on an item

ActionGesture
To select optiontap on it
Enable selected optiondouble tap on it
Double-tap selected optiontriple tap
To drag a sliderhit on the slider, next, swipe down or up or double tap and long-press on the slider until you hear three rising tones, then drag slider.
To start or stop the action, for instance, play, pause, stop a video or song, or use a camera to take a photo or record a video.Use two-finger and double tap
To navigate back to the previous screen or dismiss an alert.two finger scrub
To edit the option label to make it handy to finddouble-tap two finger and hold
Take action on an item

Use gestures to control VoiceOver

Action Gesture
Unmute and mute VoiceOverThree-finger double tap
If both Zoom and VoiceOver are turned ON, use a three-finger triple tap gesture.
To enable/disable screen curtain Three-finger triple tap
If both Zoom and VoiceOver are turned ON, use a three-finger quadruple-tap gesture.
Use standard gestureDouble tap and hold the finger on the screen until you listen three-rising tones and then make the gesture. The gesture will resume once you lift the finger.
Access the item chooserTwo-finger triple tap

To go through the list of options, jot down the name in the search, swipe right or left to move to the option in alphabetically. Alternatively, select the index to right of the list and then swipe down or up.

to dismiss the item chooser, do two finger scrub.
Access VoiceOver quick settingstwo-finger quadruple tap
Use gestures to control VoiceOver

How to change VoiceOver Volume and other Audio Options

If you want to change the VoiceOver volume, you can press either volume button on iPhone. And to redesign other audio options of VoiceOver on iPhone, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Tap VoiceOver.
  4. Hit Audio and then do the following below.
  • Sound and Haptics: Alter sound settings and haptic.
  • Audio Ducking: Temporary decrease the media playback volume when VoiceOver dictates.
  • Auto-select Speaker in Call: Enable the toggle next to it to automatically switch ON the iPhone speaker when holding it to your ear. 
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How to change VoiceOver Language

What makes the feature on go is that it allows the user to change its audible description language to the native language. Eventually, it makes it easy to understand and an exciting way to learn a new language. Here are the steps below.

  1. Navigate to Settings App.
  2. Choose General > Language And Region.
  3. Tap on the Add Language below the select language. And search and select the one you are comfortable with or willing to learn.

Tip: VoiceOver can switch voice in text in different languages. For that, head to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Speech > Enable Detect Language. 

How to Adjust VoiceOver’s Pitch

Unlike changing the Volume level of VoiceOver, you can also hinder its Pitch to make it convenient to listen based on surrounding. For that, follow the steps below. 

Note: When the VoiceOver is turned on, the pitch level by default is 50%.

  1. Tap on Settings App.
  2. Select Accessibility. 
  3. Go to Speech.
  4. In the next screen, toggle to enable the Pitch Change.
  5. Select Pitch Scale.

Now, VoiceOver will command you to swipe up or down to change Pitch Levels after you select Pitch Slider. Do the same as prompted by the VoiceOver to increase or decrease the Pitch Level. 

How to change VoiceOver’s Voice

Willing to change the Voice? Fuss not; varieties of accents are available for English as per region. To download and modify the feature’s voice, follow the steps below. 

  1. Move to the Settings App.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Speech > Voice.
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Try different voices; however, you will need to download some of them using the internet. And at last, select the one you found pleasant.

How to change VoiceOver speaking rate

If you find VoiceOver speaking too slowly, conversely, rapidly, to make it more convenient to understand, you can adjust your VoiceOver speaking rate by following the steps below. 

  1. Head to the Settings.
  2. Tap on Accessibility > VoiceOver.
  3. On the next screen, you will see a Speaking Rate Scale. 

Note: The turtle on the right replicates the increasing side, and that on the left shows the decreasing side.  

Drag the slider one finds comfortable to listen to and understand. And if the VoiceOver is turned ON. Swipe your finger up and down to decrease or increase the speaking rate.

How to adjust VoiceOver Visual On iPhone

With iPhone’s VoiceOver, you can do lots of customization, such as changing the VoiceOver Visual.

  1. Head to the Settings.
  2. Tap on Accessibility > VoiceOver and do the following below.

If you are having difficulty seeing the outline on the selected settings, enable the toggle next to Larger Cursor. Similarly, if you want to have a caption of the text spoken by the VoiceOver, then turn on Caption Panel.

How to change the navigation style of VoiceOver on iPhone

There are two different VoiceOver navigation styles, Flat and Grouped. 

Flat: When the setup of this navigation setting, the VoiceOver will sequentially move to each setting and items on-screen when using the previous and move the following command.  

Grouped: When selecting the Grouped navigation style, VoiceOver will move through each item and group of items. 

  1. Go to the Settings.
  2. Choose Accessibility.
  3. Hit on VoiceOver.
  4. Swipe down and select Navigation Style.

From the next screen, select anyone from Flat or Grouped.

How to set how much VoiceOver tells you on iPhone

You can allow VoiceOver to tell hints, for instance, punctuation, uppercase, and mode. And also restricts or allows dictating notifications and incoming phone calls. Besides this, you can add punctuation for specific variables. For instance, “{“is equal to the left curly bracket.

  1. Go to the Settings.
  2. Choose Accessibility.
  3. Hit on VoiceOver. 
  4. Select Verbosity. 

Now understand each setting and accordingly set up the VoiceOver. 

How to use Braille Display with VoiceOver on iPhone

With all benefits, you can now use your iPhone flagship with various Braille tables and displays. In addition, you can link up the display with the iPhone via Bluetooth and read all VoiceOver output, including uncontracted and contracted braille and equations, with the help of Nemeth Code. 

How to use Rotor to control VoiceOver on iPhone

For easy navigation, you can use VoiceOver Rotor. With this aspect, you can hinder VoiceOver speaking rate or volume and easily switch between apps and features. Also, you can use various input methods, such as Handwriting and braille screen. 

  1. First off, ensure VoiceOver is turned on. 
  2. After that, rotate the two fingers as you rotate the fan regulator. If you prefer using one finger of each hand simultaneously, drag one up and the second finger down. 
  • When you do such a task, VoiceOver will dictate each setting; keep doing the same until you hear the settings you want. 
  1. Once you get the desired settings, swipe up and down to use it. 

Note: The VoiceOver Rotor settings and features depend on what you are doing. 

Customize VoiceOver Rotor

  1. Head to the Settings App.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Hit VoiceOver. And then perform any of the following. 
  • To Add and Reorder Rotor: Select Rotor and then select desired settings. To reorder Rotor Settings, tap on the Reorder button and drag accordingly. 
  • To change Rotor language: Select Speech; from the next screen, tap on Add New Language‚ĶChoose the one you want.
  • Have VoiceOver confirm rotor actions: Select Verbosity and toggle to enable Speak Confirmation. 

Action And Gesture Of VoiceOver Rotor

Action Gesture
Select a rotor settingsTwo finger rotation
Move to previous item or increaseSwipe up
Move to next item or decreaseSwip down
Action And Gesture Of VoiceOver Rotor

Final Thought!

I hope is how to guide is helpful to you. If you know someone with an eye vision disability who can benefit from this aspect, kindly share it with them.

HowToiSolve Staff
HowToiSolve Staff

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: jaysukh.pharma@gmail.com [OR] admin@howtoisolve.com

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