Use VoiceOver Recognition on your iPhone or iPad

With VoiceOver Recognition, your device can recognize images and text in apps and web experiences where VoiceOver support—like alt text or ARIA labels—is missing.

What you need

To use VoiceOver Recognition, you need one of these devices using iOS or iPadOS 14 or later:

  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, or later
  • iPad mini (5th generation) or later
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) or iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad (8th generation) or later
  • All iPad Pro 11-inch models
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) or later

Turn on VoiceOver Recognition

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver. Check that VoiceOver is turned on.
  2. Tap VoiceOver Recognition.
  3. Then select any of the available options to turn them on.

Image Descriptions

When Image Descriptions is on, VoiceOver describes images in apps and on the web. When using the Camera app to take a photo, VoiceOver also describes what's visible in the viewfinder. VoiceOver lets you know if an image has sensitive content before it describes the image. Image Descriptions is available in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin - China mainland), English (U.K.), English (U.S.), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Spanish (Spain).

Screen Recognition

When Screen Recognition is on, VoiceOver recognizes an app's interface controls to help you navigate it.

Text Recognition

When Text Recognition is on, VoiceOver reads the text it identifies within images and photos. Text Recognition is available in Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English (U.S.), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish (Spain).

Choose a Feedback Style

To choose how VoiceOver announces unlabeled icons or images, select Feedback Style:

  • Speak: VoiceOver first says "possibly," then it describes what it recognizes. For example, if VoiceOver finds an unlabeled triangular icon in a music app, it might say something like "Possibly Play button."
  • Play Sound: VoiceOver first plays a quick sound, then it describes what it recognizes. For example, when you select a photo of a pet in your Photos Library, it might play a sound, then say something like "A black dog lying on a blue and white blanket on a wooden floor."
  • Do Nothing: VoiceOver describes what it recognizes without notifying you first.

Learn more

Published Date: