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Using Point and Speak for iPhone

5th September 2023

Jacob Woolcock


In this iOS17 QuickTips tutorial I’ll walk you through the revolutionary “Point and Speak” feature for iPhone, an accessibility marvel that uses hand recognition and text recognition to read aloud any text you point to. Whether you’re an accessibility enthusiast or just curious about iOS 17’s innovations, this video is your gateway to a more accessible and informative iPhone experience. Join me as we dive into the world of “Point and Speak” and stay tuned for more iOS 17 insights.

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In this video, I’m going to talk you through how iOS 17’s brand new accessibility feature, called Point and Speak, works in real life. Now, this feature is built into the Magnifier app, which is a really cool accessibility tool with loads of things built in, and Point and Speak is now another option in there. When we open the Magnifier app, we’re going to press a little cog settings icon to make some changes to what’s available on this customizing screen. We have a list of different tools that are available in the Magnifying app, and you’re looking for Detection Mode. For me, it’s actually on already, but if I just quickly take it off, it might look like this for you. By pressing that green plus button, it will then move up to that top list of items, and that means that Detection Mode is now ready to use in Magnifier.

So, let’s come off of this screen, and what we’re going to do is we’re going to find something to demo this feature on. I’m going to go for my washing machine. When you tap onto Detection Mode, you’re going to see a new option bar on the left-hand side, and here you can turn on or off things for the app to detect, for example, doorways or people and how far away you are. At the bottom, we have the option for Point to Speak, and I’ll make sure that’s turned on. And now the really clever part: as long as your camera can see text on something, and it’s fairly easy to read for the phone’s camera, you can simply put your finger on the text in real life, or point to it, and you’ll see a yellow box that comes around it, and it will read it aloud like this: “Hand detected, Auto clean, Color Care, Time Saver, Auto”. As you can see, it’s pretty accurate, and whilst it’s not 100% perfect, it’s a really useful tool to have.

This is certainly not going to be a feature for everyone, but for people who do need it, who would benefit from this, it’s a very valuable addition to iOS 17. And there are tons more things that are new in iOS 17, and if you want to learn all about them, please check out this playlist on the end screen now. And if you’ve enjoyed this video and you like some more iPhone tips on your homepage, please do subscribe down below. Thanks.

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