Speech Central with Siri Shortcuts

iOS & iPadOS

As Siri shortcuts may be a great accessibility feature, Speech Central has launched initial support for 28 Siri commands almost as soon as the iOS 12 has launched.

You need first to perform the command in the app (like pressing the button that will take you to the next paragraph) and after that you can define a phrase in the system settings to invoke this command using Siri (like 'Read the next paragraph').

As this is the initial support some improvements regarding Siri shortcuts are expected in the next version (currently there is no message if you ask for a command that cannot be performed in the current usage context and using Navigation panel doesn't add new Siri shortcuts, it works only if you assign those commands to player buttons).

Since my last post on this site there were several new versions of the app so many things have improved, maybe of specific interest of this audience is that Speech Central now supports importing of books from the Project Gutenberg (Bookshare support already exists).

As always your feedback is welcome as it has greatly helped to improve the app. For new users, the download link is: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/speech-central/id1127349155



Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Monday, September 24, 2018

Back in the wild and wooly days of DOS, I used WordPerfect for my law office document creation and record keeping. The very best feature in that program was the ability to create macros by simply pressing a combination of keys to begin macro creation, then performing thee actions to be performed in the future by the macro, then pressing a key combination to end creation of the macro,, and then pressing a keystroke combination to be used to execute the macro in the future. After that, for example, I would press alt-c to open my checking register and move the cursor to the spot for the next entry. Also for example, I could press alt-t to open my time log and move the cursor to the next billing entry. The list of potential macros is endless.

Better yet, after beginning the macro creation process, I could use macro keystrokes inside the macro I'm creating to include a string of macros as part of the macro I was creating.
Confusing? I'll give you an example. I had a macro to search for an asterisk. I included that macro inside the macro to open and move the cursor in my time log. That way, after being interrupted, I could return to where I had left off by typing an asterisk to note where I had left off in a billing entry, and when I came back to the time log macro, I used the one that would search for where I put the asterisk instead of the one set up to take me to my next billing entry.

Any chance you could modify Apple's short cuts with an app that would perform like the
DOS WordPerfect macro feature? If so, it would be extremely simple and versatile to use. As it is, many in the blind community (including me) is confused and unable to use SIRI shortcuts. We need one or more beginner podcasts or tutorials or whatever. I've tried creating shortcuts, but I actually only succeeded once.


Submitted by Labsii on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In reply to by Bruce Harrell

I do agree with some of your comments that Siri shortcuts where made less discoverable than they should be. Basically it is simple - you go to Settings, Siri and Search, All shortcuts, find the shortcut you need and record the voice phrase for that.

However the problem appears that Apple requires the app not to send all shortcuts to that list immediately, but after the user performs those functions in the app. Still that's all, if you know that it isn't too complicated.

If you want to use Apple's Shortcuts app you should definitely first master this. After that you can make combination of those tasks in Apple's Shortcuts app.