Two Tips for iOS Voiceover Users

Hey there folks, today I wanted to share two tips with you that address annoyances that I ran into when I was working on braille displays and keyboards with my students.

First off, when you have an iPad or iPhone and turn on Voiceover, you will quickly realize that it is so helpful to tell you how to use swipes and taps to navigate the operating system.  For example, you are told to "Double tap to open" when you browse your apps on the home screen.  However, this kind of alert is something that becomes REALLY ANNOYING once you get the idea.  Furthermore, the words "double tap to open" literally pop up on a refreshable braille display, throwing users off from what they are actually wanting to read.  When I first started getting annoyed, I was full of frustration thinking that I'd be stuck with this prompt for the rest of my life.  Then, reason returned to me and I looked into the settings to figure out how to remove the alerts. 

Here's what you do:

  • Go to Settings, Accessibility, VoiceOver, Verbosity
  • Locate the Speak Hints option and turn it OFF
  • Voila! No more reminders and pop ups! :D

The second annoyance that I ran into occurred when I was using a plug-in keyboard with my students' iPads.  A recent update, possibly in iOS 11 or 12, stopped letting my students unlock the iPads using the keyboard; instead, a notification appeared saying that we needed to "Unlock device to use USB accessory."  We used to be able to press the numbers needed to unlock the devices, but now we had to swipe on the screen via VoiceOver to do so, a more tedious task than before (With VoiceOver on, pressing a number key on the keyboard will directly input it to the passcode field, no extra tapping, etc. required.).  Again, I looked and Googled and looked and Googled, and I found what I was looking for:

Here's what you do:

  • Go to Settings, Touch ID & Passcode
  • Scroll all the way to the last few options and look for USB Accessories, which should be turned off.  
  • Turn the USB Accessories option ON
  • BOOM! You should now be able to use your keyboards (and other USB accessories) on the lock screen

Were either of these hints helpful to you as an iOS user?  What other tips do you have?  I'd love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below!