By: Martin Courcelles
Every time I take out my iPhone in a computer store and start zooming through the different screens, the store tellers are always amazed at the speech. What surprises them even more is that they too have access to such wonders. Yes that's right, you too can make your iDevice speak. This entry is directed to people who are unaware of iDevice accessibility.
Picture the following scenario. You've had a long day and would love to read your most recent iBooks purchase, but don't feel like squinting at the little screen. What is a biped sentient creature to do? Well, turn on speech and have it do the heavy lifting. Lay back in your easy chair, relax and listen to VoiceOver read to you.
What is VoiceOver?
VoiceOver is the speech output built into both MAC and iDevices. It will assist in reading whatever there is on the screen in a, rather pleasant computer generated voice. Here are the steps to enable it on your iDevice. From the home screen, go to: settings, general and accessibility. Since you probably don't want Voiceover turned on all of the time, let's make it easy to turn it on and off. Find the last option on this screen. It's called triple click home. Tap on that and change the settings from "off", to "VoiceOver". From now on, to turn on VoiceOver, all you have to do is triple tap the Home button. If you want to change such things as the rate of the speech, you can find that under the VoiceOver options under vision in the accessibility settings menu. You can also set it up in the rotor, but that exceeds the scope of this particular blog entry.
A Few Caveats:
When VoiceOver is enabled, some of the gestures will change. For example, your single tap is now turned into a double tap. For more information on VoiceOver, visit: VoiceOver Information
Enough setup, let's get reading:
Okay, let's open iBooks. From there, go to the book that you were reading. Once the book is displayed on the screen, let's do a triple click on the home button. Your device should say, "VoiceOver on". Now start swiping to the right until VoiceOver starts reading the page of the book. Do a 2 fingered single tap to pause reading, as it's only going to read the page that is displayed. We want it to read continually. The gesture to accomplish this is a 2 fingered downward swipe. Do this and Voiceover will merrily read out loud and even turn the pages for you. Once you're done reading, do the triple click home process and VoiceOver will turn itself off.
So, there you have it. A crash course in automatic reading.
Bonus: Want your Mac computer to talk? Press COMMAND+F5 and it will start speaking to you.