What's New in iOS 13: Part 1, Changes for VoiceOver Users

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In the first of two podcast exploring some of what's new in iOS 13, Thomas Domville showcases some of what's new and changed for VoiceOver users. This includes:

  • Customizing VoiceOver's haptic feedback
  • More responsive VoiceOver when exploring by touch
  • Using Voice Control with VoiceOver
  • Customizing VoiceOver gestures
  • Customizing VoiceOver keyboard shortcuts
  • VoiceOver Activities; set custom VoiceOver configurations for specific tasks
  • New VoiceOver rotor item: Context Menu
  • QuickPath; slide to type
  • Scrollbars for faster navigation
  • Spoken and haptic guidance when taking photos
  • Enhanced Siri US female voice



Submitted by Malthe on Saturday, September 14, 2019

Will there be a textual summary of the new features in iOS 13 for VoiceOver as well? I much prefer reading to podcasts in this case (no offense to anyone).

Submitted by Zachary on Saturday, September 14, 2019

Can anyone confirm that the new Siri voice is indeed the new machine learning model? In the podcast it's slightly different, but it still sounds like it's using concatenated synthesis instead of ML to generate the speech. Is it device specific? Could we maybe hear a longer sample of it reading part of an Applevis article for example? I'm really excited for this and I'll be disappointed if were still stuck with the iOS 12 version.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Saturday, September 14, 2019

Hope a podcast for watchOS will be out.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Malthe,

Yes, a member of our team is working on an article detailing the new accessibility features for VoiceOver users in iOS 13. This should be posted to the site on or before September 19, 2019.

Submitted by Malthe on Sunday, September 15, 2019

@Michael Hansen Thank you for your reply! All the work Applevis staff does is very much appreciated.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Is iOs 13 released? I haven't gotten it and I know my devices can be updated.

Submitted by Little Star on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Thanks for this great job.
I would like to confirm with some other applevis users here,
I am using iphone 6s and ios 13 gm,
I couldn't find the haptic feedback under voiceover setting,
is it something that is not available on 6s?

Submitted by Troy on Sunday, September 15, 2019

I agree, I don't hear a change in the Siri voice so not sure how it's different than the one that came out in ios11.

Submitted by Darrell Bowles on Sunday, September 15, 2019

I don't believe that IOS 13 is out yet, or is it?

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, September 15, 2019

No. It is not out. It will be out next Thursday unless the earth is hit by a comet. I believe applevis release this to alert people about the issues with iOS 13. Someone disagree with me about bugs and a bad iOS. That person must be living in the moon. Applevis in the past waited for the release to report about iOS issues and bugs.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Sunday, September 15, 2019

I have been a beta tester from the start but failed to notice three things.
First, I did not understand what the context menu was but now I do and find it very useful.
Camera selfiecs are brilliant, I can take live photos as selfies.
The vertical scroll things have also been very useful to me.

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Sunday, September 15, 2019

For those on IPads, IPad OS 13.0 will be skipped, thus premiering with 13.1. It will not arrive publicly till September 30th, since there are more bugs being fixed currently on that platform vs IOS on phones.
FYI, the above is public knowledge.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Is there going to be what is new in watchOS 6?

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Sunday, September 15, 2019

As a follow up to my last post, has anyone gotten ‘Slide To Type” on an IPad with IPad OS to work properly? Having issues with it on my IPad Mini 5th gen. Running latest public beta.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Looking forward to trying these new aspects of voiceover. I wonder, is there any instruction built into IOS13 such as hints for such things or are they things that we must seek out and explore for ourselves?

Submitted by Scott Davert on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

The text article will be on the site sometime prior to the release of iOS 13.0 on Thursday. It will be posted as a blog entry, as it has been In previous years. I'm glad to see this is something a few people will read at least.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

@Zachary: That is a great question about if this is the NEW Siri voice or not. We believe this is the new voice but as like you we were thinking it would be more apparent, but it would be nice to have an official statement. However, once people get their hands on this iOS. It would be great to hear of other thoughts on this matter. I'll admit myself that it wasn't as substantial as I had thought it would be.

@Holger Fiallo: Currently, I have no plans in showing the new features in the Apple Watch OS. There have been several new features for accessibility but. I found very little in terms of new features. As for general features we do have the ability to use the AppStore on the Watch along with the NEW Calculator, Noise, Voice Memo and Audio Books.

@Sabrina: At this time, the GM is out for those that can obtain the file, but most simply will wait for the actual drop which will be this upcoming Thursday via over the air.

@Little Star: I believe that you will need an iPhone 7 and later to take advantage of this feature.

@Oliver Kennett: Most of the time it was apparent by hints but there were some that I would have no idea that it was there unless I just so happened to swipe in certain areas of some new features. So, it was mostly finding things on our own and words from others. Sadly, there are no instructions or Apple giving us a page of all the new things we can expect and find. Which makes it difficult for us to find everything.

Submitted by Khushi on Monday, September 16, 2019


I always love your podcasts
They become so lively with you.

Thanks for thisone!!!

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, September 16, 2019

Just listened to this last night and loved it as always. I'll definitely be getting iOS 13 sometime between Thursday and the end of the month, and then I'll update to 13.1 once it drops. Sounds like Apple's accessibility team has once again been hard at work. Thanks again for keeping us in the know. I'll listen to part 2 of this during the week.

Submitted by Nikola Jovic on Monday, September 16, 2019

As usual, Apple did a great job making sure everything works great with voiceover. There are quite a few additional commands worth mentioning for voiceover users. Saying voiceover followed by some keywords will execute voiceover specific commands. For example, saying voiceover magic tap will perform the magic tap gesture. You can do the same for managing your rotor. I recommend taking a look at the list of commands, especially the accessibility category found under voice control in the accessibility settings.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Monday, September 16, 2019

Nicely done! I already have the GM, and so far, the experience has been going great. I cannot wait until others try out the features that were mentioned during the podcast this Thursday. and don't forget to send your bugs to accessibility@apple.com so they can quickly resolve them during the general release cycle.

Submitted by treky fan on Monday, September 16, 2019

Hi all. When I checked for updates, I was told that my old iPhone is up to date, running iOS 12.41. I have an iPhone SE. Is that device even supported for the next release of iOS"

Submitted by Charlie on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hi, just wondring if anyone knows whether or not Voice Control can be used with earphones, for example, Airpods? If so, does the user simply say "Voiceover", followed by a command? Will such facilities work on an IPhone 6S+? Many Thanks.

The Iphone 6s doesn't have the haptic feedback engine. I believe that was introduced with the Iphone 7 when they made the home button part of the screen rather than a button. I believe this is why it doesn't show up for you.

Submitted by Nikola Jovic on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Note that you do not need to say voiceover for every command, just for VO specific commands. You normally say swipe right, double tap and so on since they are system gestures. This is also indicated in the voicecontrol settings, and if you enable this, voice control will give you hints if you say a wrong command. For example, if you say by mistake just magic tap, it will tell you try voiceover magic tap.

When it comes to using it with AirPods, i did not unfortunately get this to work. Either it can use only your phone's microphone, or I was simply unlucky.

Hope that helps.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

I'm trying to find where they keep the speed at which it turns to slide to type after leaving your finger there on a key... I'm sure I found it before but can't now...

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

It's in the voiceover typing section. The idea is switch on slide to type and then don't have to wait for it to switch over.