Here is How you Use Your iPhone to Voice-to-Text

We all live busy lives to lead in the twenty-first century and saving on time is of utmost importance nowadays. Going through your emails and reading group conversations take a significant chunk of our time, and in most cases, it is not something we can avoid altogether. Enter, dictation and voice-to-text software. Such technology helps us get through a lot of our emails and messages at a faster pace, and this is also something that dramatically increases our accessibility as such software helps the visually impaired deal with their day to day life. The iPhone specialises in such software, and this time around, we decided to come out with a guide that informs you how to use the inbuilt voice-to-text feature.  

Such hacks allow you to save a lot of time. For example, you can have your emails read out to you while driving or going on a run; you can browse your favourite magazine while doing the dishes so that you save up on time and have more time to invest in genuinely productive things.

Speak Screen

One feature you can use to make this happen is the Speak Screen functionality. To access it, here’s what you need to do.

  • Go to Settings< General< Accessibility< Speech
  • Switch both Speak Selection and Speak Screen ON

After setting this up, it runs as a background operation and whenever there’s something you need to read, just swipe up using two fingers. A tab will come up, and the iPhone will start reading the text out loud. You also have the option of adjusting the volume, speed and can even skip lines or go back to repeat lines you might have missed out. The voice is the default Siri one, but even this can be changed from the Settings tab.

To Highlight Words

As per regulations, the iPhone highlights every word that it reads out. It also underlines the paragraph that it currently reads. Fine tuning these settings to focus on keywords helps the reader get a better understanding of the section as a whole, and it also functions as a handy learning tool. To enable this just switch on the option of highlighting words as the iPhone reads them out loud through the Settings Panel.

  • Launch Settings>>General>> Accessibility>>Speech>>Highlight Content
  • Flip the switch to turn the option on


For people who suffer from low vision or a visual impairment, it gets tough to use small devices such as the iPhone. In such cases, this kind of technology helps to vastly improve the device’s accessibility can help. Here’s how to use ‘Speech Selection’ which lets you read pages and documents aloud.


This functionality enables you to select sections from a page or document and then read it out loud.

Launch Settings, click on General and then head on over to Accessibility.

Click on Speech and then switch on Speak Selection.


Focus on the line or paragraph you want to be read out loud and navigate to that particular section. Tap and press so as to highlight that part and then click on the Speak button.

Character Feedback

If you have issues with seeing the letters while typing, you can enable the character feedback option which makes the phone read aloud each letter or character you type and hence, this leads to fewer grammatical and typo errors. To enable this functionality:

  • Launch Settings>> General>> Accessibility>> Speech>> Typing Feedback.
  • Switch on Characters to enable it.

Character Hints

Character hints help the user by reading out each letter or character as a phonetic alphabet. Here’s how to enable that option.

  • Launch Settings>>General>>Accessibility>>Speech>>Typing Feedback
  • Tap on Character Hints once to turn the option on.

To change the delay period, you can access the same option and turn it faster or slower according to your preference. Sometimes people want the character to be read out loud a couple of seconds after they are done typing it so that they have enough time to make the necessary changes.

  • Launch Settings>>General>>Accessibility>>Typing Feedback.
  • Click on the plus and minus buttons to adjust the Feedback Delay.

Speak Words

If you switch the Speak Words option on, then VoiceOver will read aloud whole words rather than individual letters as you type.

Launch Settings>>General>>Accessibility>>Speech>>Typing Feedback.

Click Speak Words to turn the option on.

Speak Auto-text

The VoiceOver also reads out loud auto-corrections and capitalisations if you have that option enabled.

Launch Settings>>General>>Accessibility>>Speech>>Typing Feedback.

Toggle the Speak Auto-text tab to enable it.

All these options will help you enable voice recognition software and hence, help you save up on large chunks of time. Make sure you give these a good read and choose which ones you want to activate for a total hands-free experience.


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