Apple's Voice Control accessibility feature

Fusia

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After reading Jim's recent post with detailed information on his PAL's new Eyegaze system, I thought I would post a bit on Apple's Voice Control feature. This can be useful if you use an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac computer – IF you still have the use of your voice. It allows you to navigate screens, websites, and apps, use overlays, do finger gestures, dictate and edit text, and control your device using your voice. Maybe everyone already knows about this and uses it, but I was pretty thrilled when I realized what it could do for me. I searched the forums for information about it, but found nothing.

My ALS started in the hands and arms, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to use touch screens, a mouse, and a keyboard. When I began looking for Dragon software for my Mac computer, I found that support for Dragon on the Mac had been discontinued. But, Apple had released their Voice Control feature last fall and seems to replicate much of the Dragon functionality.

As long as you have a recent version of iOS or macOS (iOS 10.13, macOS Catalina), it's very easy to enable in accessibility settings. The main drawback for me has been that it's a fairly large learning curve, and there does not seem to be a lot of good, detailed information to help learn it. There are some YouTube videos and some Apple support information, but those just kind of scratched the surface. Most of my learning has been through trial and error. However, after working with it for a few months, I'm pretty proficient, especially on the iPhone and iPad.

I'm curious if anyone else is using Apple Voice Control, and, if so, what you think. Also, if you have found any good reference or user guides, please let me know.
 

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Thanks so much for this update. As an apple user I'm so pleased to know it has come so far. I wonder if there are user groups, usually any technology has a following where the actual users talk about it and help each other, like here.
 

lgg

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My husband uses Apple voice control. It’s a game changer. His arms and hands have no useful function, so the voice control has allowed him to read books (through the Kindle app), read, answer and delete texts and emails, look up his investments, etc. The sky is the limit. It brings him a renewed independence. Fortunately, his voice is still clear. This function can be found under settings/accessibility and is available on any updated iPhone 7 and up. Fusia, thank you for mentioning this.
 

Scotiaspirit

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I will be looking further into it. Thanks for the info.
 

Ferorol

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Hi! You have no idea how much hope reading your comment brought. My father in law has the same issue. I'm trying to set the voice control but I can't figure out how to use it with the kindle app. I would really appreciate some guidance. Thank you!!
 

Fusia

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On an iPhone or iPad, download the kindle app from the App Store. Then, enable the voice control function on your device (Settings>Accessibility> Voice Control, then select the voice control toggle). Then you can say "Open Kindle" to open the kindle app. There are lots of commands that you can use to move around and select books that you have on your Kindle - the best thing to do would probably be to find a YouTube video that introduces the basics of using the voice control feature. Particularly useful are the number and grid overlays allowing you to select pretty much anything on the screen. Once you have a book open in the Kindle app
 

Fusia

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Not sure why my entire post didn't appear, so here's the rest of the post…
Once you have a book open in the Kindle app, you can use commands such as "Swipe Left" or "Swipe Right" to turn pages. You are essentially using your voice to perform gestures you would normally make with your fingers on the touchscreen.
I hope this is enough to help get you and your father-in-law started.
 

Fusia

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I should have also started out by saying that you need iOS 13 or later on your device in order to run voice control. If you have an older device that cannot be updated to iOS 13 or later, you may want to look at acquiring a newer device.
 

Nikki J

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Thanks for posting this. I have been playing with this. The open kindle is easy as is the swipe left/ right when reading. I struggled to figure out how to select a book but finally found a video that said “ show numbers” is the magic phrase and then you just say press 1 ( or whatever number the desired book was assigned. ). I am sure there are a million little tricks. If anyone finds a really good youtube video for this will you post?
 

richdees23

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thanks alot for the posts! all this info will be very helpful. now i have a new project.
 

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thank you this is fantastic 🤗
 

Nikki J

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the voice control really uses up your battery quickly when turned on even if you are not using it. Not a problem as long as you are prepared for it to happen.
 

KimT

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I thought I already posted on this thread. I ordered a new iMac Pro as part of my 65th birthday present. I had some Apple credits and gift cards and can expect the new beast to get here in a couple of weeks. I also had $500 in Best buy rewards so I found a better printer and the software I need to make it work for a Windows environment. Good to hear of people having success with iOS and OS. Macs are so much more reliable. I upgraded my Internet speed so that will help, too.

I've been playing around with the accessibility features on my iPad, including some eye gaze software. Funny, I had to redo facial recognition when I went without glasses after the lens implants but eye gaze works much better without glasses and it feels good to not have to worry about glasses ever again.

So far I've found the Kindle App easy but my preferred method of "reading" is still audible books.
 

KarenNWendyn

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Kim, please remind me what eyegaze features (if any) are available for iOS.
 

KimT

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