VoiceOver works with all the built-in applications that come with iPhone and iPad, including Safari, Mail, Music, Calendar, and Notes, and many of the third-party apps available in the App Store.
This section gives you step by step instructions on how to set up VoiceOver, the screen reader in iOS 15, with pictures of the screens to help.
1. Tap the Settings icon on your Home screen to open the Settings app. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.
2. On the Accessibility screen, tap VoiceOver.
3. On the VoiceOver screen, tap the toggle switch for VoiceOver to turn it on.
4. To navigate your device, slide a finger over the screen or tap an item. VoiceOver will announce the item under your finger. Double-tap anywhere on the screen to activate the selected item.
You can use the following gestures to navigate your device and activate items:
|Explore the screen||Drag your finger over the screen. VoiceOver reads out the of name each item that you touch. Lift your finger to select an item|
|Select (and speak an item)||Single tap|
|Activate an item||When an item has been selected, double-tap anywhere on the screen to activate it.
Alternatively, you can use a split-tap gesture – touch and hold an item, then tap anywhere on the screen with another finger.
|Scroll the page||Swipe up or down with three-fingers|
|Go to the Home screen||Slide one finger up from the bottom edge until you feel the first vibration, then lift your finger.|
|Open the App Switcher||Slide one finger up from the bottom edge until you feel a second vibration, then lift your finger.|
|Open the Control Centre||Slide one finger down from the top edge until you feel the first vibration, then lift your finger.|
|Open the Notification Centre||Slide one finger down from the top until you feel a second vibration, then lift your finger.|
|Pause or continue speaking||Double-tap|
|Toggle speech on and off||Three-finger double-tap|
|Stop or restart the current action||Two-finger double tap|
|Read a page starting at the top||Two-finger flick up|
|Read a page starting at the selected item||Two-finger flick down|
|Toggle screen curtain on and off (hide the screen)||Three-finger triple-tap|
|Copy last spoken text to the clipboard||Three-finger quadruple tap|
|Scroll up one page||Three-finger flick down|
|Scroll down one page||Three-finger flick up|
|Scroll back one page||Three-finger flick right|
|Scroll forward one page||Three-finger flick left|
|Move to the first element||Four-finger tap near the top of the screen|
|Move to the last element||Four-finger tap near the bottom of the screen|
|Switch to the next app||Four-finger swipe right|
|Switch to the previous app||Four-finger swipe left|
|Open the quick settings menu||Two-finger quadruple tap|
|Toggle VoiceOver help||Four-finger double tap|
|For a full list of VoiceOver gestures visit: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/iphone/iph3e2e2281/ios|
5. The Rotor is an onscreen menu that allows you to change how you navigate and interact with the screen. For instance, if you choose Heading from the Rotor menu, you can then move from one heading on the page to the next heading using a flick gesture. You can change VoiceOver settings such as the speaking rate and volume, and activate special input methods such as Braille Screen Input or Handwriting (useful for silently entering passwords or your iPhone passcode).
You can open the Rotor by rotating two fingers on the screen (clockwise or anti-clockwise) as if you were turning a physical dial. You can also open the Rotor by simultaneously dragging one finger up and one finger down the screen.
Keep turning (or dragging) until you hear the setting you require. You can now use this setting by swiping a finger up or down the screen.
You can change which items appear in the Rotor so that it contains only the items you require. In VoiceOver settings, tap Rotor. On the next screen, tap items to add or remove them from the Rotor menu. To reorder items, drag the list icon to a new position.
6. When VoiceOver is enabled, you will see an option for VoiceOver Practice. This is not a guided practice session but simply a screen where you can try out different gestures.
Select VoiceOver Practice.
On the VoiceOver Practice screen, tap in the middle of the screen to activate the practice area. Try tapping and swiping with different numbers of fingers to hear what action each gesture performs. Try using the Rotor as well.
The following steps cover many of the options available to you to customise VoiceOver.
7. With VoiceOver Recognition options enabled, your device can recognize images and text in apps and on websites.
Tap VoiceOver Recognition.
8. To change the VoiceOver speaking rate, adjust the slider for Speaking Rate. Adjust the slider to the left to slow it down and to the right to speed it up. Note: If VoiceOver is on, you will need to select the slider, then double-tap and hold until you hear a sound. When you hear the sound, drag left and right to adjust the slider.
9. To change how VoiceOver sounds, tap Speech to access the following options.
10. You can use a Bluetooth refreshable braille display to read VoiceOver output in braille. In addition, braille displays with input keys and other controls can be used to control an iPhone when VoiceOver is on.
11. VoiceOver gives you a lot of information as you navigate a screen. If you find you’re getting bombarded with too much detail, these options can help.
Tap Verbosity to access the following options.
12. You can change the sounds you hear while navigating the screen and change how VoiceOver interacts with media and calls. Tap Audio, and set your preferences for the following items:
13. You can view and change the gestures and keyboard shortcuts that activate VoiceOver commands. Tap Commands to access the following options.
14. You can create groups of VoiceOver settings that are specific to an app or an activity. You can set VoiceOver to apply these settings when opening a particular app and add them to the Rotor.
Tap Activities, then tap Add Activity. On the next screen add the settings that you would like to apply when using a specific app or performing a particular activity.
15. To change how VoiceOver behaves when you are typing, tap Typing to access the following options.
16. You can access the settings menu at any time by performing a two-finger quadruple tap. To change which items appear in the menu, tap Quick Settings. On the next screen, tap items to add or remove them from the Rotor menu. To reorder items, drag the list icon to a new position.
17. There are two navigation styles for moving through the items on the screen, Flat and Grouped. To change the navigation style, tap Navigation Style. On the next screen, choose from:
18. By default, VoiceOver will read out the information associated with images. To how VoiceOver treats images, tap Navigate Images and choose from:
19. The cursor is the rectangular border that highlights the selected item. To make the border thicker so that it is easier to see, tap the toggle switch for Large Cursor to turn it on.
20. The Caption Panel allows a sighted assistant to follow exactly where the user is on the screen. Tap the toggle switch for Caption Panel to turn it on. The Captions Panel appears at the very bottom of the screen.
21. When VoiceOver is enabled, you have to double-tap the screen to activate an item. You can adjust the length of time in which the two taps must occur. The timeout can be set between 0.20 seconds and 0.50 seconds.
Tap Double-tap Timeout and use the + (plus) and – (minus) buttons to adjust the timeout.
22. When you are happy with your settings, you can return to the Home screen by swiping up from the bottom of the screen or by pressing the Home button on devices with a physical Home button.