Looking for a hands-free way to have incoming messages automatically spoken via bluetooth headset

iOS and iPadOS

Hi all, this is my first post. I am not visually impaired, I am a quadriplegic resulting from a spinal cord injury. I am looking for a way/app that will automatically convert incoming iMessages to voice that will be sent to my bluetooth ear piece. I cannot use my fingers so it would have to be completely hands free. Can anyone suggest an app or way to set up my phone? I am using an iPhone 7plus running ios 10.3. Thank you! Mark



Submitted by Dave Matters on Friday, September 15, 2017

Hello. Welcome to AppleVis.
Do you use Voiceover? Would you be willing to use it? I believe that if you want to use Voiceover you, can then have it read all of your notifications. You can also use Siri (hands free with Hey Siri) and she/he/it can read any new text messages. Using Siri you could also reply to them.

Submitted by Mark on Friday, September 15, 2017

In reply to by Dave Matters

I have tried Voiceover. I cannot think of anything Apple could ever develop that is more frustrating than Voiceover. I was hoping there is an app available that would work better.

Submitted by Aaron on Friday, September 15, 2017

I don't know of anything for iPhone/iPad that could help with this. The only thing I can think of is using Hey Siri to at least read and respond to new messages.

Android now has a feature called "Voice Access" that is designed specifically to allow you to operate the entire device without physically touching the screen. There are even voice commands to perform normal gestures. Here is a link to more info:


Terrible thing to say on AppleVis......but perhaps an Android device may be a better fit for you given this feature.

Submitted by Mark on Friday, September 15, 2017

In reply to by Aaron

Thank you Aaron, sadly I agree. There is an Android app named Voice Text that I used prior to getting my iPhone that does exactly what I want it to. I am on a respirator at times and Voice Access drains my speech.

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Friday, September 15, 2017

In addition to voice access from Google, there is also Bixby by Samsung, which also lets you control the phone, plus most programs using your voice, including turning on and off the phone, optimizing the phone itself, surfing the web, Etc.

You can find a YouTube playlist featuring many demonstrations of Bixby commands, by visiting the following URL,Samsung Bixby voice: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuIeKo_ERMfAEkeKbYNCKPySuKOXnGydM

You will need a Galaxy S8 or later, in order to take advantage of it though.

At this time, I am unable to find info about Bixby with bluetooth devices, with the acception of Bixby specific wireless earbuds.
Price for now, is unknown.


Submitted by Shawn T on Saturday, September 16, 2017

In reply to by JTran2013

I'm not sure if the o6 on its own can manage messages with the companion app, as I've never tried. However, I will give it a look. It may however be a moot point, as the o6 itself is rather small. The belt clip accessory provides some stability, but the dial does take some dextarity to turn. I use mine with VoiceOver as a replacement for flicking through items over and over to help with carpul tunnel. Not sure this will work for someone in Mark's situation though, and $99 is a lot to spend on something that he may be unable to physically manipulate. The belt clip, which is pretty much a necessity to use the device with one hand, adds another $20.

Submitted by david s on Saturday, September 16, 2017


There are three ways you can do this and no additional software is required.

Hey Siri. When you hear your text message alert, say hey Siri, check text message. After the message is read, you will be asked if you want to reply.

Voice Over. When you are not actively using your iPhone, ask Siri to turn on voice over. When a new text message or notification comes in, it will be read to you. When you are ready to use your Iphone, ask Siri to turn off voice Over.

Switch Control. You can turn on switch control. You will then be able to use the iphone’s front camera and head movements to perform tasks on your device. See the link

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by Mark on Monday, September 18, 2017

Thank you everyone for the tips. I think using Siri will be my best option. Voice Over just about drove me insane!