VoiceOver is an Accessibility feature available on Apple platforms. It provides an interface between your app and your blind or low-vision users. In short, it's a screen reader.


Activating VoiceOver fundamentally changes the touch interface of an iOS device, so when you activate it, you need to know these basic commands to navigate:

  • VoiceOver focuses an item on the screen and speaks it to the user.
  • To navigate between items, you can either flick left/right to go to the previous/next item, or you can drag your finger around the screen.
  • Double tapping anywhere on the screen activates the item (no need to double tap exactly on the item on the screen).
  • Items have a label (describing the item) and can have among others:
    • traits (describing the item: a header, a button, selection state, etc.);
    • a hint (describing how to interact with the item).

The following video is a great summary. The content is succinct, high quality and up-to-date, even though the video quality is low and the demo is on an iPhone 3GS.

Video screenshot

Activate VoiceOver

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver and toggle the top switch.

Alternatively, if you are activating/deactivating VoiceOver often, I'd advise to set it as the Accessibility Shortcut. When enabled, a triple tap on the Home button will toggle VoiceOver ON and OFF from anywhere.

Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut

Additional Resources