Sometimes it’s helpful for someone to read you the words that appear on your iPhone’s screen. For example, there may be a long news article that you would like to listen to while driving into work. Or, perhaps there are instructions for setting up something that you’d rather hear than read

The iPhone has a feature called “Speak Screen” that is designed as an assistive feature for those who have a vision impairment. The feature can also come in handy for anyone who needs their phone to read text aloud. While not as dramatic as a performance by Will Patton reading the latest Steven King novel, the Siri voice that reads Speak Screen aloud is clear and understandable.

How to enable Speak Screen and make your iPhone talk

To enable the speaking feature of your iPhone, follow this trail:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech. Then, enable “Speak Screen.”

Once enabled, any of these options will launch the reading:

Two fingers swipe down | Swiping down from the top of your screen will start the narration of the words on the screen.
Siri command | Tell Siri, “Speak Screen.”
Highlight text | When Speak Screen is enabled, whenever you highlight a section of text, in addition to the options like “copy,” you’ll see an option to “speak the highlighted text.”


Minimize content on the page | Speak Screen works best when the screen has long blocks of continuous text. In other words, as few ads as possible. The best way to accomplish this is by using the Safari iOS browser and clicking on the “read mode” icon at the top-left corner of the screen.


It works with Kindle books | However, as noted before, the Siri-read version of a book is not the experience you have when listening to an audible book performed by an actor.

Experiment with the speed control | Individuals with vision impairments who are experienced “listeners” can often develop the skill to understand text read at high speeds. For this reason, a speed control panel will launch when you start listening. Experiment with the turtle or rabbit to see how the speed of the reading affects your ability to understand the content. Also, you can use the |<<  or  >>| icons to skip back or forward to blocks of text.



(via: How to Geek)

Illustration: ThinkStock

Related Articles