Introducing Social Speaker: Handsfree and Audible Twitter Client

iOS & iPadOS

Hi AppleVis members! I made a handsfree and audible Twitter client called Social Speaker. It automatically retrieves Tweets at regular intervals and speaks them using the same accessibility voices as VoiceOver. Tweets can be sourced from your timeline, mentions, trending topics, lists and saved searches. There are also many settings to tailor how Tweets are spoken.

I would love to hear any and all feedback from the AppleVis community regarding the app's accessibility. I want to do all I can to make it work for everyone! The link below should take you straight to the App Store page if you access it from your iOS device:

Thank you!

Will Dinkel



Submitted by JTran2013 on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I'm looking forward to using this app! It's another tool in my toolbox! Thank you for creating it!

Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In reply to by JTran2013

You're very welcome. Please keep me posted on how it works for you.

Submitted by Peter Saathoff on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I’m using voiceover. When I get to the screen where I need to select timeline, lists, etc., VO can’t select any of those items, so I’m stuck. Also, many interface elements that aren’t visible on the screen are able to be navigated to by VO, which shouldn’t happen. I would recommend learning how to use VO yourself and doing some basic testing before asking for further input because it seems like there are multiple basic VO navigation problems. You need to be able to iterate faster on those problems.

Submitted by lelia on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I actually got it to work, there is some voiceover issues but I like it. I can’t seem to get it to go from for example timeline to my list. Keep up the good work I’m keeping this app

Submitted by lelia on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Do you want me to keep leaving feedback here? Or is there somewhere else that you would prefer?

Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In reply to by lelia

Glad you're finding it useful, lelia! I'll look into the issue with switching sources. I'm thinking I tried to make too many UI elements respond to VoiceOver at the same time, and they're getting in the way of each other, especially while the app is actively speaking new Tweets.

Submitted by Lynne on Saturday, March 3, 2018

Thank you for wanting to make your social Speaker app as accessible as possible. I'm a Voiceover for iOS screen reader user and I downloaded it. I've already hit a snag where you instruct us to tap on a guy's head. Moving my finger across the screen reveals no such button. Perhaps someone using the Zoom screen magnifier might be able to find it but...

I'll keep the app and check in to see the progress you've made re accessibility for VO users.

Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Saturday, March 3, 2018

In reply to by Will Dinkel (S…

According to iTunes Connect, all territories are checked, including the Czech Republic. I haven't localized the app for Czech yet, so I'm pretty sure English search terms can be used. Try these out:

<li>social speaker</li>
<li>twitter listen</li>
<li>twitter audible</li>

Submitted by lelia on Saturday, March 3, 2018

In reply to by Lynne

If you go to the far right-hand corner or right hand End you’ll find it. I did I am also a voice over user

Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Saturday, March 3, 2018

In reply to by Lynne

Hi Lynne,

Thanks for giving it a shot! That voice prompt isn't too helpful, is it? You're looking for the "Twitter Account Selection" button. I'll get that text fixed.

I've gotten some great feedback here on AppleVis, and I'm already working through a lot of other VO improvements. I hope to have something available for beta test by mid next week. I'll post back here so users can sign up.

Have a good one!

Submitted by JTran2013 on Sunday, March 4, 2018

I've noticed there are two unlabeled buttons each time I open the app. The first button is in the top left and the other is in the top right corner of the screen. When I tap and hold on the top right button the settings menu comes up. After I exit the settings menu the settings button is properly labeled using Voice Over and the twitter account button in the top left corner is labeled correctly as well.

The option for the in app purchase is not seen correctly when I have Voice Over in focus on it inside the source menuu. It is hard to make an in app purchase.

I enjoy using this app! Keep up the great work!

Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Sunday, March 4, 2018

In reply to by JTran2013

Hi JoAnn,

Yup, those two buttons weren’t being properly hidden during the onboarding, so VO thought they were still “visible”. There were a few other interface elements with the same issue. I have them fixed in my development version.

And I’ll definitely look at the store pop up. Thanks for pointing out that issue.

Glad you like the app! The next version will be much more accessible!

Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Many thanks to everyone here on AppleVis for all of the feedback. I have a new version of Social Speaker ready for beta testing. If you would like to participate, please email and I'll send a TestFlight invite.

Here's what has changed in this new, improved-accessibility version:

<li>Hidden views are properly hidden and should no longer be selectable when VoiceOver is enabled.</li>
<li>When using VoiceOver during the tutorial, the app will pause before speaking the tutorial elements. This allows VoiceOver prompts to finish. Some tutorial text is also tailored specifically for VoiceOver.</li>
<li>When using VoiceOver while the app is actively speaking Tweets (i.e. playing), they are no longer selectable in the list. They become selectable when you activate the pause button. I did this because VoiceOver would keep switching focus to a different element when a new Tweet was inserted at the top of the screen. This caused both the app and VoiceOver to speak at the same time, which was confusing.</li>
<li>Better VoiceOver labels and hints in general.</li>

There are a few more tweaks to implement, but I wanted to get this version out there and see how it works out for you all. Looking forward to more feedback!


Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Monday, March 12, 2018

In reply to by Will Dinkel (S…

After some great feedback from the first wave of AppleVis beta testers, I've made some tweaks and posted an updated beta version. Please email if you'd like to participate.

I'm looking forward to releasing this improved VoiceOver version to the public soon!

Submitted by Tree on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I just wanted to say that I love your app.

I make Twitter bots and I have been wanting a way to hear tweets from the bots as they come through. I had been trying to use a windows app with a similar function, but it does not work well and is partly inaccessible. I have your app open on my phone, next to me while I work; By the way, I know your probably busy with this iOS app, but it would be great if you could create an app like this for Windows at some point. Thank's for the useful app.

Submitted by Will Dinkel (S… on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

In reply to by Tree

I'm thrilled to hear that you're loving the app! Thanks for sharing.

For Windows I would have to research to see if it includes speech synthesis voices like iOS does. It makes things much snappier to be able to do the synthesis on-device rather than farming it out to a web service. If it does, I don't see it being too difficult to reproduce what the app does. Then it's just a matter of having enough time to do the development!

Android support is another item on the list. A list that keeps growing, unfortunately.

As for a macOS version, there are rumblings that Apple may soon announce iOS app compatibility for macOS. This could mean Social Speaker would work as-is on a Mac with just a few tweaks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

All the best,

Submitted by Tree on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Yes Windows does have built in voices. There are different voices depending on the OS version, but I really like the Windows 10 David voice; I use in with my screen readers.

Just in case it's helpful, the Windows app I mentioned is called Twisten.
It's not a great ood app and I believe it is not being actively developed, but it does use the Windows built-in speech synthesis voices.