We’ve covered dozens upon dozens of great iOS 8 tips over the past month or so in an effort to ensure that users get the most out of their iPhones and iPads after updating them. After all, iOS 8 includes hundreds upon hundreds of user-facing and behind-the-scenes changes, many of which can potentially have a big impact on how you use your iOS device. We try to zero in on one tip or trick that is particularly interesting or helpful from time to time, and today we’ll discuss how to get your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to read text aloud so you can focus elsewhere.
The text to speech features have always been remarkably helpful to many users of Apple’s iOS devices, and in iOS 8 they are more robust than ever, as a reader recently reminded us. Apart from speed improvements, there are also new speech features in iOS 8 that make it easier than ever to make your iPhone or iPad read text to you.
These features are great not just for users with certain disabilities, but also for just about anyone in many scenarios. For example, you can have your iPhone read you a lengthy article in Safari or any other news reader while you work out or commute, essentially turning every piece of printed news on the planet into your own personal podcast.
Enabling iOS 8’s great speech feature is very easy. Simply open the Settings app and navigate to General > Accessibility > Speech and then enable both the “Speak Selection” and the “Speak Screen” options.
“Speak Selection” will let you manually select a word or phrase as you normally would when copying text. But now, in addition to the normal options like “select all” and “define,” you’ll also see a new option labeled “speak.”
“Speak Screen” is even better. This option can be triggered by simply swiping down with two fingers from the top of any screen, and it will make iOS speak all of the text on any page in any app. An image of Speak Screen in action can be seen above.