Getting Started with iOS and VoiceOver

More and more blind and low vision people are using iPhones, iPads, and iPods, as well as the Apple Watch and Apple TV. It has been amazing how the iDevices have become widespread in the community. Over the last few years in particular, people who I had thought would never get an iDevice have done so.

With that said, resources to help the new user get started have also increased in variety and number. The problem has been locating these resources. Hopefully, on this page, I will provide some helpful documentation, podcast links and other resources that will help the new iOS user get familiar with their device and using VoiceOver with it.

As always, suggestions and contributions are welcomed and encouraged.


Here are some manuals and other documentation that should help the beginner learn about their iOS device and VoiceOver.
Note that iOS 9.X is the current version of iOS, but I offer older documentation for reference and in case the user is utilizing an older system with an earlier version of iOS.. However, for this page, I am only going to present the latest documents. If you are using an older operating system, please take a look at
the Documentation page.

Additionally, at the time of this posting, there is no electronic form of the iOS 10 manuals available and, unfortunately, one will have to access it


The same goes for those still using iOS 9.
Look here for it.

iPhone iOS 8 User Guide
iphone user guide for iOS 8.rtf

iPad iOS 8 User Guide
ipad user guide for iOS 8.1.rtf

iPod Nano G7 user guide

iPod Shuffle G4 User Guide
Bluetooth commands for iOS 9
Up-to-date Bluetooth Keyboard Commands for iOS 9

Braille Commands for iOS 7
iOS 7Braille Display Commands.txt

Some helpful tips for using the Siri Assistant on the iPhone 4S and all later iPhones and iPads that support SIRI, as well as some dictation tips.

Siri Tips for Dictation.rtf

Podcasts and Demonstrations

Please note that I have several demonstrations and podcasts that cover a variety of topics on the
Demonstrations page of the site.

Applevis has a number of podcasts on helping a user learn their iDevice. If you go to
their main site,
and search for, “beginners’ guide to the iPhone”, you will find several helpful podcasts.

Garth Humphreys and his iBlindtech podcasts for iDevice users contains several great podcasts for using iDevices. Instead of singling out specific podcast, please see his podcast page and review the episodes he has recorded.

). iBlindtech podcast

A podcast demonstrating the use of the VO Starter application on your iDevice, a podcast from the folks at Applevis.

VO Starter

Scott Davert of Applevis covers the new 3D Touch feature in VoiceOver on the iPhone 6s.

3D Touch and VoiceOver on the iPhone 6s

Scott Davert of Applevis offers the following podcast on using SIRI in iOS 7.
What’s new with Siri in iOS 7

Scott Davert of Applevis explores Braille in iOS 7 in this podcast.
What’s new and what has changed for braille users in iOS 7

Another Applevis podcast that talks about the accessibility settings in iOS 6.

The accessibility panel in iOS 6

Another Applevis podcast about using the rotor feature in iOS 6.

Features and using the Rotor in iOS 6

From Applevis again, using VoiceOver and Zoom at the same time in iOS 6.

Using VoiceOver and Zoom at the same time in iOS 6

From Applevis, Greg Kelchner offers a podcast on exploring and Demonstrating the Advanced Text Editing Capabilities in iOS for VoiceOver Users

exploring and Demonstrating the Advanced Text Editing Capabilities in iOS for VoiceOver Users

This is a brief demonstration using the Siri Assistant on the iPhone 4S. I go over some basics in checking the time/weather to setting reminders, checking ones schedule and sending text messages. I also discuss a bug that crops up from time to time with VoiceOver and Siri and an easy work around that corrects the problem in most instances.

Working with Siri Demo.MP3

Other Resources

Here are some additional resources for getting started with iOS and VoiceOver for beginners. .

Starting with this site, I offer iOS audio tutorials for sale

There is also our

how-to-for-iOS-devices page.

We also have a

Tips-and-Tricks-for-iOS-Devices page.

Please also take a close look at our
Links page
where you will find links to several great email lists and a variety of iOS related resources.

In addition, Mac for the Blind offers training and support services. If you need help getting started or would like to learn how to use your iOS device and VoiceOver in a more comprehensive way, we offer several training packages and can easily customize a training program that meets your needs and, more importantly, your wallet. Please review our

Training and Support page.

Shelly Brisbane is back with her iOS 10 version of her book all about the accessibility features available on iOS 8 for all of the iDevices. She covers VoiceOver, of course, but she also includes all of the other accessibility options and features Apple has put into iOS 10.

iOS Access for All

Jonathan Mosen offers a great book on using iOS 10 for VoiceOver users:


The National Braille Press offers some great books that can help you with your iOS devices. Here is the link to the NBP book store. In there, search for iOS books, and you will find that they offer a lot of books and reference cards to assist you.

Fedora Outlier LLC has a great guide for helping you learn the iPhone as well. Note that this is an iBook and can be read using the iBooks application on your iDevice.

The Old Hat Guide to iPhone Accessibility

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