How to use Voice Control on iOS: The Basics

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In this podcast, Thomas Domville introduces us to Voice Control, a brand-new accessibility feature in iOS 13 that lets you control every single aspect of your iOS device using only your voice.



Submitted by Shawn T on Wednesday, September 18, 2019

This is nothing short of amazing! I've been a Dragon and j-say user at work, and have wished for similar features on iOS. My hands shall be forever greatful if this works as well as it did in your demo. Thanks for putting this together!

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Thanks. The voice speed is perfect. Thanks for taking the time and hope future podcast have the same spee. My question do we know how voice control affect battery?

Submitted by ming on Thursday, September 19, 2019

does it work in IPhone7

Submitted by Khushi on Thursday, September 19, 2019

this is amazing!

Submitted by Kerby on Thursday, September 19, 2019

Great podcast. Can you use voice control while in an app to control features specific to that app?

Submitted by Will on Thursday, September 19, 2019

hello voice control is only in u s english.

Submitted by Kerby on Thursday, September 19, 2019

I'm having issues with entering text using dictation with voice control. It keeps entering extra characters I didn't enter. Suggestions?

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, September 20, 2019

Hi. This is in response to the person who asked about the iPhone 7. VC does work on there, but it seems to want to lose focus a bit. Or perhaps this is just me. I didn't have my phone plugged in when the files for VC were downloading, so perhaps that's why I haven't yet gotten it to work that well. I was able to speak 2 commands, and my phone did exactly what I told it to do.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, September 20, 2019

Please let us know about battery. How VC affects the battery?

Submitted by Moses Gitari on Friday, November 22, 2019

Thanks tomas for the tip. I’ve really enjoyed listening to your podcast. What if you’re too busy re-arranging your furniture, but you need to jot down stray thoughts in the Notes app, such as items for your grocery list this week? Allow The voice control feature on iPhone to do the magic.
  1. On the home screen of your iPhone, say “Tap Notes” to open the Notes app.
  2. Create a Note by saying “New Note.”
  3. On your new note, say “Single tap.” This will simulate a single tap and launch the keyboard.
  4. Speak what you want to write down.
Boom I got the tip from This article There are a couple of other iPhone voice control tips on there. Cheers. Freeman

Submitted by Doug on Wednesday, November 27, 2019

This is really weird but I might have been a tad suspicious when Thomas mentioned that voice control works "fairly well" with VoiceOver. Problem is, it seems that occasionally VoiceOver says something to which Voice Control responds by activating some command it thinks was given. I'll play a bit more and provide examples, but not tonite, it's beddie-by time!

Submitted by Mandy V on Thursday, January 23, 2020

Doug, you might have better luck with earbuds or headphones so that VoiceControl doesn’t pick up the VoiceOver speech. The same is true when using Switch Control with speech on. Siri sometimes picks up a few words from voices that come from a map app or audio such as podcasts, if coming from speakers.

AirPods or Earbuds with controls would also help you answer a call, not handsfree that I know of. There is an option to automatically answer a call but I am not sure if that is practical.

Submitted by Michael Feir on Thursday, January 23, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

Voice Control certainly has tremendous potential for blind people once it develops more. I had good luck when commanding it to open apps, play or pause music etc. However, you pretty much need to be using a headset, earpods or airpods or VoiceOver will cause havoc. I found dictation to be disastrous for writing anything lengthy sinc it made mistakes you then had to check very carefully for. Also, I couldn't edit anything using Voice Control.

Another issue is with apps like Kindle. I thought nothing would be more simple than navigating a Kindle book. However, the scroll commands didn't work. You could use the swipe and double tap commands to navigate via the book navigation menu but that seems so utterly clunky when compared to gestures. I think expectations have been set to high initially despite Apple's efforts to the contrary during WWDC. This is a really new tool and they didn't even think of blind people wanting to use it until late in the beta cycle. What we have here are very initial efforts to allow for that. A year from now, I wouldn't be surprised if it proves a whole lot more useful to us.

Submitted by JC on Thursday, January 23, 2020

Voice Control is awesome!! the first time I used it with VoiceOver, it was easy to use, however, the experience is best used with earphones, which I found the performance amazing and cool. although, it can be a hit and miss sometimes, but nevertheless, it's worth it.

Submitted by Doug on Thursday, January 23, 2020

I doubt, due to the nature of some voice control features and functions, that we will never Be free from some type of near ear listening device. Even with limitations, during minus 20 degree weather, I often use “hey Siri”and other voice commands; my fingers stay warm and my phone is snuggled inside my warm parka. Voice ctrl could be awesome for many blind folks!

Submitted by Scott F on Thursday, August 5, 2021

Hello I listened to this podcast with great interest. However, using voiceover on iOS 14 I found that the commands to control voiceover with voice control did not work properly, as they do in the podcast. For example, swiping left or right on the home screen moves one screen over rather than going from one item to the next. When I double tap on an item the wrong item is activated. Is anyone else having this problem? Is this a bug in the current iOS? And he suggested work arounds? Also, where would I find a list of Voice control commands for voiceover? Sorry for all the questions but I'm very motivated to get this to work because I have repetitive stress injury besides being visually impaired so hands-free is best. Thank you!

Submitted by Scott F on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Hello. I have continued to experiment with voice control on my iPhone running iOS 14 and as useful as it is for many things, I can't get it to do anything useful with voiceover besides Reading all and double tap. I can't replicate any of the other things in this podcast. I'm hoping maybe that will be fixed at some point. I have brought this to apples attention and I'm wondering if anyone else is encountering this. Thank you