How To: Make Your iPhone Read Everything to You

If you would like to make your iPhone read aloud literally everything on your screen, here is how you do it.

Any of the features described below can be turned on from Settings -> General -> Accessibility.


This feature, when enabled, makes your iPhone speak everything you touch on the screen – even the smallest status notifications at the top of the screen.

VoiceOver 1

When you get to the VoiceOver settings screen, toggle on the switch to enable the feature. This is an awesome option because it radically changes the way you interact with your mobile device. When you toggle on the VoiceOver, a warning message appears and you must confirm you know what you’re doing. Once you enable the feature, a pleasant female voice begins reading the names of the icons and controls on your current screen.

The speaking rate of the digital voice is also adjustable. Voila! You are good and ready to start using the VoiceOver mode, and the more you practice it, the better you control it, but here are some general observations.

Tap things to hear your iPhone pronounce their names. If you tap status icons, apps icons, words and the digital voice tells you what you are selecting – “Calendar,” “messages,” “mail – ten new items,” “18% battery power.” You can as well tap the dots on your home screen and hear “page four of nine.”

As you tap a screen element, you can swipe your finger left or right depending on what area of your home screen you would like to be read out loud to you, top to bottom, left to right.

Double tapping the screen. Normally, you open an app if you tap on it, but since with the VoiceOver mode enabled single tapping means “speak this,” there is a new way to launch apps and open folders. As a result, in order to launch an application or open a file or folder you need to double tap anywhere on the screen, and there is no need to wait for the voice to finish voicing over.

Voiceover has many more special gesture-based options. If you want to make the voice stop speaking, tap with two fingers. If you want the VoiceOver to read everything in sequence, swipe upwards with two fingers from the top of the screen. To scroll one page at the time, use three fingers to swipe up or down. If you want to go to the previous or the next screen, such as home, stocks and the likes, use three fingers to swipe left or right, and more.

VoiceOver 2

There is another cool feature called Screen Curtain which is enabled via a three finger triple tap – what it does is it blacks out the entire screen, providing you some battery boost and privacy. The same action turns the Screen Curtain off.

You will find a comprehensive list of settings and options for using the iPhone with the VoiceOver feature enabled.

Speak selection

It is a highly convenient option that enables a speak command in the buttons that appear on your screen. When you select speak command, the phone will read the selected text out loud. Highlight any text in any application – email messages, text messages, webpages – it reads anything.

Speak auto-text

This feature will enable your iPhone to speak each suggestion when you type words. You can do so by going to Settings – General – Accessibility. That feature has three advantages – in the first place, it assists blind people or visually impaired to know better what they are typing; secondly, there is no need to take your eyes off the keyboard, which boosts your concentration and speed; thirdly, if you zoom in, you may not be able to the see the suggested words completely under your text, but with this feature enabled, you can hear them.

Enable the VoiceOver and let us know your impressions in the comments below.