A Guide to BARD Mobile for iOS


Hi! Welcome to my guide on BARD Mobile.

I will make sure you are familiar with all the elements and screens, the ones that are most important I mean.

So, what are we waiting for? Lets do this!

Halt! You Must Know This...

In order to use this app, you must have a BARD account or NLS account as you may call it. Yeah, I know you are like, awww, but that's how they do it.

So, you must have that set up.

Signing In

You must first agree to the terms of service/privacy policy by selecting the agree button before you can sign in.

Once you do that, you can sign in with your account credentials. Then, hit the login button.

The app will load for a bit, then you will be in your Bookshelf screen.


Your Bookshelf is your main tab in the BARD Mobile app.

The books that you get are organized in four folders/categories.

  1. Audio books

  2. Audio magazines

  3. Braille books

  4. Braille magazines

You may also see a help folder with some tips or guides that you can consult.

Lets move to the tabs at the bottom of the screen.


In the BARD Mobile app, the sections are organized in tabs.

The first tab is selected, which is the Bookshelf tab, which I told you about above.

Secondly, you have your Get Books tab.

Thirdly, your Settings tab.

And finally, your Now Reading tab, which is dimmed if you are not reading anything.

Get Books

In the Get Books tab you can find recent books and recent magazines, along with a Wish List and Browse BARD button.

Sadly, you cannot download a book directly into the app, because there is no search function, so you must select the browse BARD button, otherwise you can look in the most recent books/magazines to find something you like.

When you select Browse BARD, you will be focused in a Safari like interface, but it is not Safari, it's the built-in app browser.

Turn your rotor settings to headings, then flick down till you find the Find Books heading. Flick right till you find the text field to search the collection.

Type in what you want to search for, and hit return on the onscreen keyboard or the Go button to the right of the text box.

Now, you will get your results. It will tell you how many books were found referring to title, author, annotation, etc.

Adding Books to The Wish List

There are two ways you can do this: you can either keep following my instructions, or use a separate device like a Mac or PC to add to the wish list, then return to the app.

But the iOS way, simply find the book you want and find the add to wish list button in the toolbar associated with the book. If you are satisfied with the books you've downloaded you may press the get books back button.

Downloading Books

To download a book that you've added to your wish list, locate the wish list button, then locate the book you would like to download by doing a single finger double tap on it. You will get a confirmation alert, and if confirmed with ok, the download will begin.

If you are still in the app when the download completes, you will hear a door bell sound from the app and an alert pop up confirming the book has been successfully downloaded.

Listening to Audio books

To listen to an audio book, go to the Bookshelf tab and select the Audio books folder.

Find your audiobook and double tap.

An audio book player will appear on your screen, in a DAISY type layout.

At the top you will see the title of the book, a navigation button to take you through the table of contents, an author status, narrator status, and time status.

After that you can find more items like the sleep timer, bookmark, etc.

Previous and Next Buttons

There are two types of previous and next buttons in the player.

First, you have the regular Rewind and Fast Forward buttons you are familiar with.

Then, you have a previous and next button that performs many different things.

In between the Next/Previous buttons you can control what they do. For example, if it is set on jump by chapter, the previous button will move back a chapter, and the next button will move forward a chapter.

There is also jump by phrase, level, parts (if in the book), and more.

The rewind and fast forward button also have a cool function.

If you double tap and hold, it will go back an amount of seconds, minutes or hours. First, it will move back 5 seconds, then it will keep getting bigger as your finger stays held on the screen.

Speed and Tone

You can adjust the speed and tone of the narrator to the right of the fast forward button. This is a toggle button, and to the right of that is the slider to adjust to what the toggle button is toggled on.

For example: if it were on tone, the slider would move the tone. If it were on speed, it would adjust speed.

This is kind of like the next and previous button that I reviewed above.

Reading Braille books

Braille books can be read with a braille display, but VoiceOver is useless. For a computer braille reason, voiceOver does not recognize the contractions, and mistakes them for other signs.

Lets give you an example:

I am singing to myself.

As you can see, VoiceOver said that right. But if it was written in braille, VoiceOver would pronounce it as a computer sign, and it would be like this.

I am s plus plus to myf.

You can see that the I N G symbol was mistaken for the computer braille sign of plus, and the myself contraction mistaken for m y f.

To read it with your braille display, change your braille output setting to eight dot to read the text properly. VoiceOver is useless as you read, so I recommend getting the audiobook of what you are trying to read in braille book format (if available on BARD).


Finally, that was a lot of explaining. LOL

We've reached the Settings screen.

In the Settings screen there are three sections:

  1. Audio Settings

  2. Visual Settings

  3. User account settings.

. IN the audio settings you can adjust:

  1. Speed

  2. Tone

  3. Background Playback

  4. Auto-lock during playback

  5. Skippable, play (drop down menu)

  6. Verbosity

  7. Restore Defaults.

In visual settings you can djust:

  1. Font Size, Medium (drop down menu)

  2. Contrast, Black & White (drop down menu)

  3. Restore Defaults

In the User Account settings there is:

  1. BARD Account

  2. Auto-lock during download

  3. Restore Defaults

With all these settings you can adjust the app to your liking.

Now Reading

The Now Reading tab is the tab that opens when the app has been opened, and you recently read a book.

For example, if I read the book Holes, in audio book format, I could re-open the app, and zap, the player is there, waiting for me.

The Now Reading tab is dimmed if you delete the book, or reached the end of the book.


Well, I enjoyed making this guide.

It may not be perfect, but it may still be helpful.

Like always, for extra help, contact me via AppeVis contact form, or add a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Keep navigating AppleVis,




The guide on this page has generously been submitted by a member of the AppleVis community. As AppleVis is a community-powered website, we make no guarantee, either express or implied, of the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this guide.

1 Comment

#1 I wish I knew when this app was going to be updated.

This app has been out for a very long time. It is very good. However it does need to be updated so that it works properly with the latest iOS. It already has a few bugs and problems downloading. If you play a book while downloading another one that download goes faster for some unknown reason. Sometimes the download actually sticks and does not finish. Also I wish you could sync your position with two iOS devices.