20 Quick Tips to get you Started with your First iPhone

Number one rule: your iPhone with VoiceOver running will operate differently to standard iPhone gestures.  In addition, VoiceOver will speak some items as "real" words when in reality on the screen they may be just symbols.  So just take this in to account when getting assistance from sighted friends and family, and listen to what VoiceOver is saying.

  1. Turning iPhone on: hold down power button (top right) for 2 seconds and release.  Takes about 15 seconds for the unlock screen to appear.  VoiceOver announces time.  Screen will lock after 10 seconds if the screen is not touched.
  2. Unlocking the iPhone from the unlock screen: press the Power button (top right or the Home button bottom middle).  VoiceOver announces the time. Drag 1 finger up from the Home button (bottom middle) just a little.  VoiceOver announces "Slide to unlock" and "Slide or double tap" (2nd message is the VoiceOver hint). 1 finger double tap anywhere on the screen to unlock (you don&;t need to drag your finger).  If screen not touched for 15 seconds, screen will lock.  When screen unlocked, you are at the Home screen with rows of apps, and the Status menu at the top.
  3. Basic VoiceOver navigation of the Main Home screen:  1 finger drag around screen to here what is under your finger or 1 finger flick left or right to move item by item left or right around the screen.  1 finger double tap to activate the item you wish to use.  1 finger flick left or right will only move you between the items on the main screen, it will not access the Status menu (see next point), but dragging 1 finger will.  The first row of icons on the main Home screen are: Messages, Calendar, Photos, and Camera, with further rows of icons (apps) below this.  At the bottom (of all Home screens), you have 4 apps (icons): Phone, Mail, Safari (web browser), and Music.
  4. Accessing Status menu:  locate the Speaker grill just below the top edge of the iPhone, and drag 1 finger down just a little.  . VoiceOver will announce an item on the Status menu, followed by the announcement "Status bar item" and "Swipe down with three fingers to reveal the Notification centre" (second message is the VoiceOver hint).  Once in the Status menu, you can 1 finger flick left or right to move left or right to the items in the Status menu: eg signal strength, time, battery status etc.  1 finger drag or touch anywhere on the screen to take VoiceOver out of the Status menu.
  5. Practising VoiceOver gestures: VoiceOver itself has a practise mode (much like keyboard practise on desktop screen readers) where you can practise all the gestures with out them actually doing anything besides speaking their function:  To do this: Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, VoiceOver Practise, and try out a few of the gestures in this document.  Press the Home button (bottom middle) to return to the Main Home screen.  Remember, you can navigate to all of these items by 1 finger drag or flick left or right to locate each item, and then a 1 finger double tap to select an item.  Tip: touching the screen with 4 fingers at the top will jump the voiceOver focus to the top most item on the screen which in the Setting screens is the Back button to go back a screen, 1 finger double tap as usual to activate this if you wish to go back a screen, and of course, 4 finger touch at the bottom of the screen moves the VoiceOver focus to the last item on the screen.
  6. Adjusting the volume of VoiceOver: VoiceOver volume is adjusted by using the Volume up and Volume down buttons on the left hand side of the iPhone just below the top left hand edge and below the sleep/wake switch whilst VoiceOver is talking.  Two finger flick up will start VoiceOver talking from the top of the screen, whilst talking, press the Volume up or Volume down buttons to control the volume of VoiceOver.  When finished, a two finger touch on the screen will stop VoiceOver talking (which can be used any time to silence VoiceOver).
  7. Silencing the iPhone:  To silence the iPhone, locate the silence/wake switch on the top left edge of the iPhone just below the top.  Flicking the switch down towards the back of the iPhone will silence the iPhone (you will feel the iPhone vibrate).  Rather than ringing, the iPhone will now vibrate.  Flicking the switch up towards the front face of the iPhone, will put it back in normal operation.  When in Silent mode, you will not hear any sounds that VoiceOver makes when your touching the the screen (but it will keep talking).
  8. Answering and hanging up a call:  2 finger double tap anywhere on the screen will answer a call.  2 finger double tap anywhere on the screen whilst on a call, will hang up the call.  When not answering or hanging up a call, the two finger double tap will start and stop music playing etc if you have been previously been listening.  When you are on a call, taking the iPhone away from your ear will turn the loud speaker on (hands-free mode), and putting the iPhone back to your ear will put it back in private mode so that only you can hear the caller.
  9. Dialling a call:  to dial a call, activate the Phone app (bottom left of the Home screen), VoiceOver announces "Blank phone number", drag your finger around the screen or 1 finger flick left or right) through the standard layout phone keypad, when you find the number you want to use, 1 finger double tap to put that number in to the phone number field, when you have finished putting in all numbers, locate the Call button below the 0, and 1 finger double tap to make your call.  tip: the Delete button to delete the last number (or all numbers that you have put in to the dialling field) is located to the right of the Call button, 1 finger double tap the Delete button to start deleting numbers.  If you don&;t get VoiceOver saying "Blank phone number", locate the Keyboard item tab on the bottom of the screen, and one finger double tap to activate it (this will put the dialling keypad on the screen).  You can also use Siri to dial a phone number or a contact (see next item).  To exit the Phone app, just press the Home button (bottom middle).
  10. Using touch typing mode: If you would like to speed things up a bit when using the dial keypad: rather than 1 finger double tap on a number, just take your finger off the number to put the number in to the phone dialling field): for this, you need to use the rotor.  This is rotating or turning two fingers on the screen (like a dial).  Each time you turn the dial, you go to a new option on the rotor.  When you dial to typing, a 1 finger flick up or down will change between standard and touch typing.  You must be on the phone number field for typing mode to appear in the rotor.  This also applies to the on-screen QWERTY keyboard when you come to using iMessages/text messages.  The rotor also lets you move by such items as character, word etc.  e.g. to spell out one of the icons (apps) on the home screen, two finger dial around to character, and then 1 finger flick up or down will move left or right through the current icon (app) name.  Remember, 1 finger left or right moves to the previous or next item, 1 finger flick up or down moves by the current rotor setting or select something like the desired typing mode.
  11. Using Siri (if activated):  hold down the Home button (bottom middle) until you hear an ascending double beep, speak an instruction such as "What is the time", and Siri after a descending double beep will give you the time.  When Siri is on the screen, two finger double tap will activate Siri with the ascending double beep, speak your instruction, wait for the descending double beep or two finger double tap, and Siri will speak the result of your instruction.  To dismiss Siri, press the Home button (bottom middle).  If you want to dial a number using Siri, at the instruction point, just say "dial 1300 847 466" and Siri will dial this number (Vision Australia).  Alternatively, if Vision Australia is in your contacts, you could just say "call Vision Australia" and Siri would also call Vision Australia.
  12. Moving between screens: The iPhone comes with two screens of apps.  To move to the second screen of apps from the Main Home screen, do a three finger flick left to scroll the screen to the right.  To move back to the first screen of apps, do a three finger flick right to scroll the screen to the left or press the Home button (bottom middle).  If you press the Home button whilst on the first screen of apps, you will be taken to the Spotlight search screen, just press the Home button to get back to the Main Home screen.
  13. Activating an app (like the Phone app above):  to activate or use an app, 1 finger drag or flick left or right with 1 finger to locate the app (such as Weather), when located 1 finger double tap anywhere on screen to use or activate that app. Once in the app, just like the Home screen, 1 finger drag around screen to explore the app or use the 1 finger flick left or right gesture to also explore he app.  To exit or come out of an app, just press the Home button (bottom middle).
  14. Plugging in headphones:  the headphone jack on the iPhone 5 is on the bottom edge of the iPhone towards the left.  You can adjust the volume of VoiceOver independently of the general speaker volume by using the Volume up or Volume down controls as above.
  15. iPhone battery notification:  When your iPhone is at either 20 or 10 percent charge, it will pop up a message alerting you that it is getting low.  Plug the iPhone in to recharge.  If the iPhone is fully discharged, after you have plugged in to charge, when it wakes up, you will hear two quick vibrations as it powers up.  The lighting cable to charge the iPhone is plugged in to the small lightning connector at the bottom edge of the iPhone in the middle.
  16. Triple click:  to allow a non VoiceOver user to use your iPhone, you need to enable Triple click.  When this is activated, you can press the Home button (bottom middle) three times to turn VoiceOver on or off when ever you need to.  This is done by activating Settings, General, Accessibility, Triple click, and then selecting VoiceOver.  Once on, press the Home button (bottom middle) to return to the Main Home screen.  Remember, you can navigate to all of these items by 1 finger drag or flick left or right to locate each item, and then a 1 finger double tap to select an item.  Tip: touching the screen with 4 fingers at the top will jump the voiceOver focus to the top most item on the screen which in the Setting screens is the Back button to go back a screen, 1 finger double tap as usual to activate this if you wish to go back a screen, and of course, 4 finger touch at the bottom of the screen moves the VoiceOver focus to the last item on the screen.
  17. Gesture to mute VoiceOver and turn on screen privacy mode (screen curtain): Three finger tap twice on the screen will turn VoiceOver speech off or on (this is not the same as Triple click where VoiceOver is completely turned off), mentioned hear just as a warning, and avoid if possible.  Screen curtain is useful as it blanks the screen so that no person can see what is on your screen.  To turn this on or off, three finger triple tap: remember, three finger double tap was the speech off or on gesture.
  18. Locking the iPhone: Press the Power button (top right) to lock the iPhone.  The iPhone will automatically lock after 1 minute if the screen is not being touched.
  19. Adjusting the auto lock from 1 minute: as you might come to appreciate, having the screen lock every 1 minute particularly when your learning is a pest.  To adjust the time for auto lock: Settings, General, Auto-Lock, and then select 1 (default), 2, 3, 4, 5 or Never.  Press the Home button (bottom middle) to return to the main Home screen.  Remember, you can navigate to all of these items by 1 finger drag or flick left or right to locate each item, and then a 1 finger double tap to select an item.  Tip: touching the screen with 4 fingers at the top will jump the voiceOver focus to the top most item on the screen which in the Setting screens is the Back button to go back a screen, 1 finger double tap as usual to activate this if you wish to go back a screen, and of course, 4 finger touch at the bottom of the screen moves the VoiceOver focus to the last item on the screen.
  20. Turning off the iPhone (not recommended):  Hold the Power button (top right) in for two seconds.  VoiceOver will announce "Slide to power off" and "slide or double tap" (second message is the VoiceOver hint).  1 finger double tap anywhere on the screen to Power off.  If screen not touched for 30 seconds, screen will lock.  Otherwise, drag 1 finger up from Home button (bottom middle) to find the Cancel button, and then 1 finger double tap anywhere on screen to activate the Cancel button.  The Power off control is towards the top of the screen if you wish to find it by dragging one finger.

 

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7 Comments

Triple Click option has moved

App Developer

Per item 16 above, the Triple Click setting has moved slightly from where it's described.

It's under Settings, General, Accessibility, Accessibility Shortcut. This takes you to a screen where you can assign one of five actions as the Triple Click accessibility shortcut: VoiceOver, Invert Colors, Zoom, Switch Control, and AssistiveTouch.

This is my observation in iOS 7.0.2.

Super Cool!

If I would have found your site earlier I would have been prepared. But the iPhone hints teach you everything you need to know about using the phone. It's self learning that got me loving the product. Good job with the tips though!

My understanding is that as

My understanding is that as for ios 7 the silence key does not affect voiceover sounds anymore, at lease this is what happens with my devices.
The rest of sounds won't play but voiceover sounds will keep playing, ana noiance when you are trying to read a book and want to turn off that scrolling sound.
Marlon

Oops it's a notification!

If the screen is locked and you get notifications from any of the apps. VO will start reading the notification. I find this very upseting to my privacy. So I switch VO off and lock the screen. Now my concern is how do I answer the call when VO is turned off? I don't think there is a way as such.

Powering Off Phone

As for no. 20 on this list, I'd like to clarify something for those of you reading this site. It's probably not a good idea to power off your IPhone while charging since it will charge the battery very slowly. However, it is a good idea to turn the phone off periodically. This will help with performance since it allows the electronic components to discharge and to allow for cleaner performance.

20 tips for beginners

OK, I must say that this message is quite helpful for a beginner like me. Thanks.