Control Your iPad with Your Voice

Apple has always been keen to make its products more accessible to those with disabilities. This laudable goal gets a boost in iPadOS, with an exciting new feature that lets you control Apple devices such as the iPad by speaking to it. It’s amazing how much you can do with just your voice.

First of all, from the Home screen, go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control. There’s a range of options on offer to configure the Voice Control feature, but first, we must set it up using the link at the top; tap it to continue.

The iPad downloads the filters needed for Voice Control, and you’re shown a list of commands you can use. It’s worthwhile taking a moment to read through these commands, to familiarise yourself with what the feature does.

When it’s done, Voice Control is switched on; look for the Blue icon in the top left corner. You can turn Voice
Control on and off by saying ‘Hey Siri, turn on/off Voice Control’. You can now begin using this accessibility feature.

To open an application, say, “Open [name of app]. It then opens, just as it would if you tapped its icon on the Home screen. To return to the Home screen, say “Go Home”. To return to the previous screen, say “Go Back”.

Voice Control shows what you last said at the top of the screen for a few seconds. You can move up and down a screen by saying, “Scroll up/down”, and navigate your Safari browsing history with “Tap forward/back”.

Say “Show/hide grid” to make the grid appear and vanish, and then quote a number from the grid to overlay a smaller, more detailed grid there. When there’s only one button or link in a square, say “Tap [number]” to tap it.

When dictating text, if you make a mistake, say “Correct [word/phrase]” and it’s highlighted, with a list of corrections offered. Say the number of one of these suggestions to insert it. You can replace words with emojis this way too.

Voice Control Commands

To open Voice Control, say, “Hey Siri, turn on Voice Control”, or open Siri with the buttons. If you get stuck, try, “Show me what to say”. It takes time to get familiar with using Voice Control, but with practice, it really is immensely powerful.

System Commands & Navigation

  • Open [application name]
  • Open Control Centre
  • Go home
  • Go back
  • Go to sleep

Working with the Touchscreen

  • Show grid
  • Show names
  • Tap [number]
  • Tap [item name]
  • Long press [item name]
  • Swipe left/right
  • Swipe up/down

Dictation and Editing

  • Select [phrase]
  • Move up/down
  • Move to end/beginning
  • Delete that
  • Correct [word/phrase]
  • Uppercase that
  • Copy that

Interact with Device

  • Turn up volume
  • Lock screen
  • Take screenshot
  • Turn on Smart Invert
  • Colours
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Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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