What is VoiceOverTouch in iCloud Drive?

iOS and iPadOS

Hi all,

I will try to keep this as short as possible so please try to bare with me,

I just recently updated to iOS 9.3 and afterwards I went through my settings to check what has changed and found something in iCloud drive that puzzles me. In iCloud Drive there was an entry labeled VoiceOvertouch and I have no clue what this entry means. I tried searching the web for information, but the info I found didn't help much. Does anyone know what this VoiceOvertouch entry is for and what data is being saved?
The only thing that I have done differently after updating, is that I played around with the Siri hq voices, so could that ICloud Drive entry have something to do with that? I'm using an iPad mini 4 and I also use the iPhone 6s (both are not jailbrocken). On my iPhone this VoiceOvertouch entry does not show under ICloud Drive. The only difference in the way voiceover is setup between the two devices, is that on my iPhone I don't have the Siri hq voices downloaded. Thanks for your time and a happy Easter to all,




Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Friday, March 25, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Great question! I had not done a full sweep through my own settings since installing 9.3 on my 6S Plus, but I looked inside the iCloud Drive settings and found VoiceOverTouch listed with other apps. I suspect we will all say, "Of course!" once the reason is found, but I did a quick serch on the Web and have not yet found the answer. I am curious, too!

Submitted by AppleVis on Friday, March 25, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Good find, Fritz.

We will reach out to Apple to see if they are able to provide any information on what this new setting option relates to.

Will report back once we know more.

Submitted by Fritz on Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hello all,

First off, thanks for your replies, please don't take my delay in replying as sign of disinterest, with it being easter it's family first and besides that I don't hit the Web everday. So aagain thanks for your effort and time.

In conjunction with my original post, I decided to test my VoiceOvertouch - Siri hq theory and play around a little bit. I tried to uninstall the Siri hq voices to see if that would clear out that VoiceOvertouch iCloud drive entry. So I went into voiceover settings to the voice managing options. Strange was that I get presented with the initial option to delete the Siri hq voices, but after choosing one, a pop window comes up saying that this voice can't be deleted. I don't know if this has always been like this or if this bug or if I'm just doing something wrong, but I thought I should mention this to let people know that once the Siri hq voices are installed in Voiceover that they can't be deleted.
I have also tried contacting Apple but no response yet. But of course it's Easter so no biggie. Take care and happy Easter holidays,


Submitted by David on Sunday, March 27, 2016

You're probably aware, but you can't delete a voice if it's the one currently being used by VoiceOver or SIRI. Might that be the cause of the message? Or did you get it even for HQ voices you weren't using?

Thanks for your reply,

Yes I got the message even for the voices that aren't being used. I deactivated Siri, but even then I get the message "the Siri HQ voice can not be deleted for your language". Maybe this is a language specific problem. I'm running my iPhone in German. Thanks, have a nice day, Fritz

Submitted by Becca on Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hello. I went to the Apple Store to pick up a keyboard. I asked someone who works on accessibility and they had no clue. They thought it was a bug. Hope this helps some people.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Sunday, March 27, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi Fritz,

While I don't think the "VoiceOver Touch" feature is related to the HQ voices, in order to remove an HQ Siri voice you need to have a different region selected in your Language and Region options. So, if you switched to UK English, for example, you could then go in and remove the HQ US English Siri voices and then switch back.

Submitted by Fritz on Sunday, March 27, 2016

In reply to by Michael Hansen


Thank you very much for your reply and your solution, I will do that. One keeps on learning thanks to all the great people at Applevis. Happy Easter, take care, Fritz

Has there been any more learned on this query? I've been having issues with deleting the enhanced Siri voices for VoiceOver, also. I tried changing my region and was able to delete the Siri enhanced voices, but as soon as I changed my region back to United States, the Siri enhanced voices were downloaded again.

Submitted by Fritz on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hello all,

I finally got a reply from Apple, two replies to be exact, but apparently, at least to my understanding from apple's accessibility team response, they aren't sure what voiceovertouch in iCloud is but decide for yoursel. Here the response:

First response:

Thank you for your email. So far I have not been able to reproduce this. I suspect however that this is just an OS element that is not normally visible to VoiceOver but has been inadvertently exposed. When VoiceOver lands on it how does it behave? If you flick up or down does VoiceOver call out some action that can be taken? Does the rotor offer some action that can be used when it's selected?

Apple Accessibility

Second response:

Hello again,
I just checked with our engineering group. Much as I suspected it's not something meant to be called out by VoiceOver.
It's part of the OS that VoiceOver is supposed to ignore. There has already been a report filed on this. For now you can ignore it.

Apple Accessibility

For what reason so ever they were not able to answer my question to what voiceovertouch is or what it does. Bummer. I will try to contact Apple again, maybe next time I will have more luck.

To Megan, Sorry that changing region to delete the hq Siri voice's didn't work for you. I did what Michael Hansen suggested, and it worked, maybe trying again will do the trick. So to all, have a great day, Fritz

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hi. It really is there, I promise. VoiceOver touch is actually listed with the apps that can be backed up with iCloud drive. It's a switch button, and right now, VoiceOver touch is set to on. VoiceOver says, VoiceOver touch. switch button, on. I don't suppose we'll ever know what it is since they don't even seem to understand their own product.

I'm not sure why the voice being used for Siri would have anything to do with whether or not one can delete the enhanced Siri voices as Siri was in use long before the Siri voices were available for use with VoiceOver. Just a thought.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I like making up theories about such things so I say it's a method of using touch ID on any ios device to activate your personal vo settings, speed, voice, etc... If they continue down the path as they have with 9.3 and classroom multi users, this is not such a bonkers idea. I've always fancied the idea of having vo settings tied to ones iCloud both on mac and IOS.

Submitted by Nathan Stocking on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I have a feeling that it's just a sync of certain voiceOver information, as voiceOver for touch screens is referred to as VoiceOverTouch in some files. I would guess that such information includes extra labels, settings, and the like. I don't know why it might be such a mystery, but it is possible that some programmer thought it'd be a good idea and implemented it quickly then forgot about it.