If you’re new to or thinking about getting an iPhone, you may be wondering, as I was at one time, “How, exactly, can a person who can’t see a screen use a device whose primary input surface is one?”
I would soon realize that it wasn’t nearly as crazy as it sounded, and that I could do things with it that I couldn’t have imagined that would increase my level of independence and improve my overall quality of life. However, if you’re just getting started, the level of information on the Internet can be overwhelming. That is why in this guide, I will provide a series of tips, organized by heading and subheading, along with links to more comprehensive guides and podcast episodes from across the AppleVis website.
Below is a listing of iOS and iPadOS finger gestures arranged by gesture type. All text, single document. Verified in iOS and iPadOS 15, using VoiceOver Practice; (Settings>Accessibility>VoiceOver>VoiceOver Practice).
Additional tips given at bottom.
Note: Much of the information gathered below is a rearrangement of Apple's original materials. Some editing has been performed to better fit the layout. Some editor's additions have been included, from experience and use.
Portions copyright Apple, Inc. All rights reserved.
The most direct method of navigation is to lightly drag a finger around on the screen and listen to what it touches. VoiceOver will speak everything you touch.
Braille Screen Input is a feature of iOS/iPadOS that allows you to type braille directly on your device's screen. You can use this input method anywhere an on-screen keyboard is available. If you prefer to listen, you can hear an
audio demonstration of braille input in iOS8 here.
Note that, though this podcast was made under iOS 8, its content is still relevant to more modern iOS versions. Similarly, we keep this guide as up-to-date as we can. The most recent update to this post covers iOS 14.0.
While braille screen input is a wonderful feature, it does have a few caveats you need to know about. Note that I assume you are already familiar with braille, and the basic VoiceOver gestures of swiping with one or more fingers and double tapping to activate items.
In this podcast, Thomas Domville takes us deep in to Focus, an iOS feature that helps you reduce distractions and set boundaries. When you want to concentrate on a specific activity, you can customize one of the provided Focus options—for example Work, Personal, or Sleep—or create a custom Focus. You can use Focus to temporarily silence all notifications, or allow only specific notifications—ones that apply to your task, for example—and let other people and apps know you’re busy.
In iOs eight, Apple introduced a feature called Interactive Notifications. This feature allows users to interact with notifications without leaving the app they are currently using. For example, you could respond to a text message without leaving Mail, Safari, or whatever app you're using at the moment you receive the text, or trash an email without ever opening the Mail app.
How Do I Use Them?
The officially documented way of doing this is through a series of gestures: pulling down the notification, swiping to the right or left, and so on. Of course, VoiceOver users are not able to easily do this; therefore, Apple has extended the functionality of the VoiceOver rotor.
As part of their continuing efforts to make iPad a device which customers can use for real work, Apple has this year created iPadOS, a distinct, though still closely related, operating system cousin of iOS.
iPadOS does everything iOS does on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and more. One of the key distinguishing features, which Apple has made further improvements too, is multitasking.
There are two main flavours to multitasking on iPad, floating windows over the main app, called "slide over", and split screen, called "pinned apps".
In this guide, we will go through what these are and how they work with VoiceOver.
Slide over is employed when you have one app already open in full screen, and want to dip into another app to check some information or carry out an action for example, such as sending a message, without closing the current app you're using.
In this podcast, Thomas Domville gives us a whistle-stop tour of some of the notable new features and enhancements in iOS 16. These include new features such as Lock Screen customization; new settings; enhancements to existing features; and improvements for many of Apple's apps such as Mail, Messages, News, and Music.
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In this edition of his introductory series of podcast, Thomas Domville discusses and explores the Airplane mode available on iOS devices.
Airplane mode turns off the wireless features on your iOS device so that you comply with airline regulations. However, there are other situations where you might want to use it, such as when trying to conserve battery usage.
In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and explores the background app refresh settings in iOS. These settings are used to control what apps are allowed to run in the background and carry out routine tasks (such as updating your Twitter timeline or retrieving weather data).
In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and explores the Personal Hotspot feature available on the iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular models) which lets you share your cellular data connection with other devices.