When I first learned to use Apple VoiceOver, I was often very frustrated with the challenge it seemed. There were times when I dreamed of throwing my iPad out the window because I couldn’t understand it, and I consider myself extremely intelligent.
It wasn’t until I brainstormed and talked to some of my blind friends that I finally learned to use it, and now I feel safe with the Apple VoiceOver whenever I have poor eyesight or when ‘it is difficult to read certain documents.
Today I’m going to share how to use VoiceOver for beginners, with limited knowledge of the technology.
Table of Contents
- What is Apple VoiceOver?
- How to Activate The Apple VoiceOver
- Voice Correction
- Habitual / Frequent Gestures
- Activate Screen Curtain
- Keyboard Typing
- Downloading Applications
- Connecting VoiceOver with Siri
- Avoid Putting Much Confidence in Siri
- Start Early Learning
What is Apple VoiceOver?
VoiceOver is a screen reader designed into Apple products, including iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod Shuffle, and Apple Watch. It is also available for Macs, but this article focuses on learning the Apple VoiceOver in portable electronics.
Apple VoiceOver was first instigated in 2009 on the iPod Shuffle and iPhone 3GS and has since been included in all Apple products, except iPod classic and iPod nano. It’s free and requires no additional downloads to use.
How to Activate The Apple VoiceOver
Before learning to use the Apple VoiceOver, follow these steps to activate VoiceOver on any device. Blind users will seek help from the researcher if devices purchased from the Apple Store can be activated after purchase.
- Open the settings application
- Find the general section
- Select the accessibility menu
- Tap VoiceOver at the top of the list
- Activate VoiceOver
- VoiceOver can also be activated using Siri-more for this in one minute.
The voice in Apple VoiceOver can be customized according to user preferences. Here are the parameters available for customization:
It is either you speed up or slow down the call speed by adjusting the slider. You can speed it up by dragging the slider to the right and slowing it down by dragging the slider to the left.
The default call rate is 50%, but most people speed it up to 75%.
The default voice used is Samantha, the female American voice. Users can choose between various male and female voices, as well as different accents from the UK, Ireland, Australia, and South Africa.
The tone can also be adjusted to make the sound louder or louder, but everyone mostly keeps it at 50% by default.
Verbosity determines the information read, such as punctuation, capital letters, embedded links, table titles, emojis, etc. Users can choose to enable or disable this setting.
Apple VoiceOver emergency settings can be saved to iTunes.
Habitual / Frequent Gestures
When learning to use the Apple VoiceOver, it is also essential to know the usual gestures. The gestures used for Apple VoiceOver are homogeneous to the gestures used to navigate the iPad, with some minor differences.
These are the most common gestures:
- One-touch: select an application or another item on the screen. VoiceOver identifies the subject of the article
- Double-tap: select an app or other item on the screen
- Double-tap with two fingers: answer or end a phone call / FaceTime
- Double-tap with three fingers – turn VoiceOver on or off.
- Three fingers with a triple touch: a curtain on the screen, more on this in the next section
- Swipe with two fingers: swipe to read the screen
- Three-finger swipe – Swipe left or right across pages
- Pinch and drag: zoom on the screen, not very useful for blind users
Activate Screen Curtain
The curtain on the screen darkens the screen, providing users with privacy so that visible users cannot see the screen. The screen appears to be blank, although all phone features are still available.
To activate the screen curtain, tap the screen three times and tap three times to turn it off.
To use VoiceOver to type on a default keyboard, users double-tap the letter they want to type. Users can also randomly select a note on the keyboard and swipe right or left until they get the message they are looking for.
For example, if I type the letter “S,” they can slide to the right until they reach the letter “J.” Keyboard dictation is also accessible, so users can easily convert speech to text.
Other keyboards that work with Apple VoiceOver are also available in the App Store, although I don’t have a keyboard recommendation yet.
To download the application, follow these steps:
- Open the App Store app
- Default screen apps are given for download
- Find an app by tapping the bottom of the screen and choosing the search menu
- Navigate and click at the top of the screen and enter the search term you want
- In the results, tap at the top of the screen for the first result and swipe right to see other apps
- Double-tap the desired app, then tap the “Get” button
- If necessary, enter the account information
- The application will be added to the last page of the home screen.
Connecting VoiceOver with Siri
Siri is Apple’s voice assistant, who goes very well with VoiceOver. Here are some things Siri can do and how to ask them:
- Telephone call: “Siri, call mom” or “Siri, call 867-5309.”
- Open application: “Siri, open Twitter.”
- Compose a message: “Siri, send a message to dad,” followed by the content of the message. Works for text messages and emails.
- Activate the parameter: “Siri, turn on the Wi-Fi” or “Siri, turn on the screen curtain.”
- Web Search: “Siri, Google is Searching Buddy Holly”
This is just a snippet of everything Siri can do, but these are certainly the most useful features.
Avoid Putting Much Confidence in Siri
It is essential not to depend entirely on Siri, as the voice assistant only works on Wi-Fi or mobile connections, and can also drain the battery quickly.
Practice finding apps, making phone calls, writing (or dictating) messages, and manually reviewing with Siri settings preview to ensure there are no interruptions.
Start Early Learning
It is essential to start acquiring technological skills as soon as possible. This way, you spend more time using the learning device instead of learning the device and struggling to keep up with technology.
Learn to use VoiceOver; people with visual impairments like blindness and low vision can be more independent and thrive in educational and social environments.