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How to Use Voice Control on iPad: A Step-by-Step Guide

24th May 2024

Jacob Woolcock


| Accessibility
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In this video, I demonstrate how to enable and effectively use the Voice Control feature on an iPad, allowing you to navigate your device entirely hands-free.

You’ll learn step-by-step how to access this feature in the Settings app, customise the overlay options, and use voice commands to perform various tasks. This tutorial is especially valuable for those seeking accessibility solutions or simply looking for convenient ways to interact with their iPad when their hands are occupied. By the end of the video, you’ll see how easy and powerful Voice Control can be for enhancing your iPad experience.

The Voice Control feature for iPad will let you control your whole device without ever having to touch the screen. You can simply use your voice to navigate around the applications and the operating system itself, making your device more accessible than perhaps it would be just using touch input.

To enable this feature, all we need to do is jump into the Settings app and then scroll down until we find Accessibility. From here, we’re looking for Voice Control under the Physical and Motor section of the settings. When you tap on here, it’s simply a case of using that toggle at the top of your screen to enable Voice Control.

But before we leave this page, there are a couple of other things I want to draw your attention to. One of them is the overlay you can have on the screen itself. If I tap on here, I can choose to have a grid of numbers, or I can choose to label each button with its own unique number. We’ll have a look at the item numbers in a second, but if I turn the grid on, this is what you’ll see, and you can then simply navigate the iPad by using the number of that grid reference.

I prefer using the numbers myself rather than the grid, so if we go back a screen, we can actually use the Voice Control guide at the top to learn a little bit about how this feature works. When we open this screen, we get this nice guide made by Apple that can show us what this feature is capable of.

At the moment, you can still see that grid of lines over my screen, but we’ll soon get rid of that and replace it with something which, for me personally, I find more useful. So, we’re going to simply use our voice to begin this process. Click “Getting Started.” Throughout this guide, we’re going to follow the instructions, and I’m going to do a little bit of it with you now. I won’t do the whole thing, but just so you can get the idea of how this works: “Show numbers,” “Tap five,” “Tap six,” “Scroll down,” “Scroll up,” “Tap six,” “Swipe down,” “Go home,” “Go home.”

You can see that I can navigate that demo using my voice, but it works in other apps as well. For example, “Open App Store.” Of course, I can choose to hide that overlay of numbers or show it, so it hasn’t always got to be on: “Hide numbers,” “Show numbers,” “Tap eleven,” “Tap four,” “Tap six,” and just like that, I’ve used the App Store. You can see just what a powerful tool this is if physical interaction is difficult for you.

Of course, we can turn the setting off as well. Let’s do that using our voice, just because we can: “Go home,” “Open Settings,” “Tap four,” and now I’ve turned off that Voice Control feature.

And that’s Voice Control for iPadOS. At the end of this video, I’d urge you to go into the Settings app and enable it on your device and just give it a go. See how easy it is to control your device using just your voice. This is a great accessibility tool, but it’s also really good for times when your hands are busy. Perhaps you’re cooking and you want to stop a timer. Voice Control can help in all sorts of different situations like that as well.

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