Getting Started With iOS and iPadOS

Listed below is a selection of posts from across the AppleVis website which have been especially selected to help you setup and get to know your first iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

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Guide by Tyler on Monday, October 12, 2020

Intro

If you’re new to or thinking about getting an iOS device, you may be wondering, as I did when I got my first one, “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 podcasts from across the AppleVis website.

Guide by Nicholas on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Below is a listing of iOS and iPadOS finger gestures arranged by gesture type. All text, single document. Verified in iOS and iPadOS 13, 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.

Basic Navigation

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.

Guide by mehgcap on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Before We Begin

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.

Guide by Scott Davert on Thursday, May 19, 2016

There are many models of Bluetooth keyboards supported on iOS. The Amazon Basics Bluetooth Keyboard for Apple Devices, the Logitech line of keyboards, Apple's own set of keyboards, and many others. While it's impossible to cover the massive amounts of various keyboards and their various functions, the aim of this guide is to provide information that will help you make the most out of your bluetooth keyboard as a VoiceOver user on iOS.

Guide by mehgcap on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What Are They?

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.

Guide by Dave Nason on Saturday, September 21, 2019

Introduction

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

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.

Podcast by AppleVis on Friday, April 13, 2018

In this podcast, Cati gives us an overview and demonstration of the English voices available for VoiceOver users on iOS. Additionally, Cati demonstrates the process of downloading a voice.

iOS & iPadOS App Directory by Mr Potato Head on Thursday, January 15, 2015

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Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, October 5, 2015

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.

Podcast by AppleVis on Saturday, January 16, 2016

In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and demonstrates how you can control your iOS device using a VoiceOver-specific gestures on the touch screen.

You can use these gestures to navigate and interact with items on the screen, and enter VoiceOver commands.

In this podcast, Thomas introduces us to these gestures using the area available within the iOS Settings where you can learn and practice VoiceOver gestures.

Podcast by AppleVis on Sunday, January 17, 2016

In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville continues his discussion and demonstration of how you can control your iOS device using a VoiceOver-specific gestures on the touch screen.

Whereas much of his previous podcast was spent in the VoiceOver Gesture Practice Area of the iOS Settings, he now moves to showing how these gestures are used for real.

Podcast by AppleVis on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and explores the About section found in the iOS Settings.

Podcast by AppleVis on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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).

Podcast by AppleVis on Saturday, January 9, 2016

In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and explores the VoiceOver Rotor.

The VoiceOver Rotor provides a quick and convenient way to navigate the screen, input and manipulate text, change VoiceOver settings, and more.

More information on the VoiceOver Rotor can be found in this AppleVis Tutorial.

Podcast by AppleVis on Thursday, January 21, 2016

In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and explores what’s available from within the ‘FaceTime’ area of iOS Settings.

This Apple Support page provides more information on FaceTime and how it can be used to make video and audio calls from your iOS devices.

Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, January 18, 2016

In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and explores what’s available from within the ‘Reset’ area of iOS Settings. The settings here offer the ability to reset specific settings within iOS or to completely restore your device to its default state by erasing all content and settings..

Podcast by AppleVis on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and explores what’s available from within the ‘Touch ID & Passcode’ area of iOS Settings.

This Apple Support page provides more information on how to set up and use Touch ID, a fingerprint identity sensor that makes it easy for you to get into your device.

Podcast by AppleVis on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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.

Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, October 5, 2015

In this edition of his introductory series of podcast, Thomas Domville discusses and explores the settings available within iOS to control what sounds are played to accompany various actions and events.

Podcast by AppleVis on Saturday, September 26, 2015

In this podcast, Thomas Domville introduces us to Apple’s News app which is new in iOS 9.

News collects all the stories you want to read, from top news sources, based on topics you’re most interested in — so you no longer need to move from app to app to stay informed.

Explore a huge selection of topics from sources including top news organizations and indie publications. Choose the ones you want to add to your favorites so you can get the news that interests you — like business, technology, fashion, sports, and more.

The more you read, the better News gets at understanding your interests, refining the selection of stories delivered to your screen so they are relevant to you. Easily share articles with others and save them to read offline.