Use VoiceOver Recognition on your iPhone or iPad

With VoiceOver Recognition, your device can recognise images and text in apps and web experiences where VoiceOver support – such as alt text or ARIA labels – is missing.

What you need

To use VoiceOver Recognition, you'll need to have one of these devices and be running 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 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 turned on, VoiceOver will describe images in apps and on the web. When using the Camera app to take a photo, VoiceOver will also describe what's visible in the viewfinder. VoiceOver will let you know if an image has sensitive content before describing the image. Image Descriptions is available in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin – China mainland), English (UK), English (US), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian and Spanish (Spain).

Screen Recognition

When Screen Recognition is turned on, VoiceOver will recognise an app's interface controls to help navigate it.

Text Recognition

When Text Recognition is turned on, VoiceOver will read the text it has identified within images and photos. Text Recognition is available in Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English (US), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (Spain).

Choose a Feedback Style

To choose how VoiceOver will announce unlabelled icons or images, select Feedback Style:

  • Speak: VoiceOver will first say "possibly", then describe what it has recognised. For example, if VoiceOver has found an unlabelled triangular icon in a music app, it may say something such as: "Possibly Play button".
  • Play Sound: VoiceOver will first play a quick sound, then describe what it has recognised. For example, when you select a photo of a pet in your Photos Library, it may play a sound, then say something such as: "A black dog lying on a blue and white blanket on a wooden floor".
  • Do Nothing: VoiceOver will describe what it has recognised without notifying you first.

Learn more

Published Date: