When you turn on the Siri text to speech feature, it’s possible to listen to web pages, emails, text messages, and other text. This is a huge time saver and lets you go about your work with hands and eyes free as you listen.
To enable speech on an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings
- Tap on Accessibility
- Tap on Speech
- Turn on Speak Selection by moving the slide button to the right until it has a green indicator.
- Tap on Voices
- Tap on English (or your language of choice)
- Select a voice to use. The enhanced voices will sound much more natural and may be easier to understand. These require a download.
- Once you’re done with the above steps, you can select text in any app on the device, and once the text is selected you’ll see an option to Speak. However, don’t exit the Voices selection yet.
- You will want to try out a few of the enhanced voices to see which you prefer. To do so, press the Home key twice to switch to another app. Or, press it once to go to the home screen and start an app such as email or Safari to browse the web. Now you can press home twice to toggle between the two screens — the app you want to read from and the Voices selection screen.
- Change to a voice and then switch back to the app to select text and choose Speak. Each time you’ll hear the voice you’ve just selected in settings.
- You will also want to adjust the speed of speech to see what speed is best for you. This is found under General > Accessibility > Speech. The Speaking Rate is illustrated by a turtle or a rabbit. When you adjust the speed, the default voice will read a sample. To hear how your selected voice (from step #9) sounds with the speed setting, you can go to a document as described in step #9 above.