The Voice Control accessibility feature makes it easy to control your iPhone 13 without your hands. Here are some handy tips to ensure your iPhone 13 responds.
Voice Control is an accessibility setting on iPhone 13 that’s very useful. With it, you speak commands to your iPhone 13, rather than using on-screen taps or gestures. It doesn’t interfere with the normal touch operation of your iPhone 13, and it can be ready to use any time your hands are full or messy, or you’re just too far away to touch your iPhone.
No wake word is required, and you don’t have to say, ”Hey Siri.” You simply tell your iPhone what you want it to do. It does much more than Siri commands and takes text dictation to another level. Voice Control is fully customizable; you can teach it unique vocabulary words, like company names or jargon, that you use in writing that may not be in the dictionary. Without further ado, here’s how to use voice control on iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max.
How to Set Up and Customize Voice Control on iPhone 13
Voice Control is one of many Apple’s accessibility settings that can be useful for everyone.
To set up Voice Control on your iPhone 13, go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control, switch on Voice Control, and choose your Language.
There are several setting preferences on this screen. You can choose to play a sound when the iPhone hears a command, and it can show visual confirmation. There is also an option to turn on Attention Aware, where the iPhone will wake when you look at it and sleep when you look away.
When you are first learning to use Voice Control on iPhone 13, it’s helpful to turn on Show Hints. When you speak, a small bubble displays at the top of the screen with suggestions of voice commands related to what you are doing.
The Customize Commands submenu has a list of all commands listed by category, like Basic Navigation, Overlays, and Dictation. If you want to limit the available commands, you can turn individual commands off from their category.
If a gesture or action isn’t listed, or you want to give it a different name, you can Create New Command with your own phrase. This could be a shortcut to insert specific text like your name or email.
You can also record a series of gestures and specify which apps you can use those gestures in. Custom gestures can be created to take a photo or control the camera in the camera app.
List of Voice Commands for iPhone 13
There is a voice command for almost every gesture or tap performed on the iPhone 13.
Likely, you’ll regularly use these commands:
- “Go home” (takes you to the home screen)
- “Go back” (takes you to the previous screen)
- “Open [app name]”
- “Swipe left,” “Swipe right”
- “Scroll up,” “Scroll down”
- “Take screenshot”
- “Turn up volume,” “Turn down volume,”
Two other handy commands are “Reboot device” and “Make emergency call.”
When choosing something on-screen via the screen overlay (more information on that below), you can say the name or number of an item, but it responds better when you say, “Tap [the name or the number].” Consider if you would double-tap an item and say “Double tap.”
“Tap and hold” allows you to move an item, or you can use “Drag this item” and “Drop this item.”
How to Use Screen Overlay on iPhone 13
One feature that sets Voice Control apart from Siri is the screen overlay. This labels everything that you can tap on-screen. You can choose if you want the items on the screen to be labeled with names or numbers, or if you want to divide the screen into zones using a numbered grid.
If you enable this, the overlay will always display over whatever is on-screen. This clutters the screen, so it’s best to leave the overlay off. You can still use voice control to display item names or numbers whenever you want to choose something on-screen, by saying “Show item names” or “Show numbers.”
How to Use Dictation Mode on iPhone 13
To insert a word or phrase into text you’ve already written, say “Insert [x] before/after [y].” To replace a word or phrase, say, “Replace [x] with [y].
Format words by saying “Bold that,” or “Bold [word or phrase].” This works for italicizing and underlining, too. Also, “Capitalize that,” or “Capitalize/lowercase [word or phrase].”
Dictation will work anywhere you write, like Notes, Pages, or other writing apps.
Tips to Make Voice Control on iPhone 13 Run Smoothly
Now that you know how Voice Control works, check out some tips to use it efficiently.
- Disable Continuous Overlay, as you can show names or numbers on-screen at any time.
- Use overlay numbers when there are many items to choose on-screen, like in Mail or Messages, or when selecting a movie to watch.
- Use overlay numbers when you want to tap on something on screen that you don’t know the command for (i.e., sending a message).
- “Show Grid” is helpful on web pages.
- It never hurts to say “Tap” or “Double-tap” to clarify your intended action.
- There may not be commands for typical actions like sending a message. You can create a command or use “Show numbers” to choose the action.
- Say “What can I say?” for a list of commands available on that screen.
- Check the hint bubble for what to do next, especially if the iPhone is not responding.
Input Text, Messaging, and More
If you are on an input line when you open an app (i.e., ready to write a message), be aware that the iPhone may write anything you say or it detects. To avoid confusion, say “Command mode,” so it won’t write everything that is spoken. You will need to say “Tap confirm” when the dialog appears.
Use “Show numbers” to choose from people you’ve recently texted, or say the number atop the new message icon to compose a text to a new recipient.
Once you are in the message line and ready to compose the message, say “Dictation mode,” and the iPhone will type anything you say. When you are prepared to send the message, say “Command mode,” then “Show numbers,” and say the number over the send arrow.
Use the Command and Dictation modes when writing in a search field or other input line. Or, when inputting words, say “Enter that” after you are done dictating.
Playback controls in entertainment apps won’t respond to a pause command when there is dialog in the movie. It’s better to use “Hey Siri” for playback controls (e.g, using Siri to control Apple Music).
Once You Start Using Voice Commands on your iPhone 13, You’ll Love Them
Voice Control is convenient once you get used to what you want to say. You can still use your iPhone with taps and gestures. Still, if it’s inconvenient to use touch, you can leave your iPhone on a nearby stand and do almost everything without ever picking it up.
Next time you want to AirPlay from your iPhone to a TV, take a screenshot, or follow a recipe with messy hands, you’ll be happy that you turned on Voice Control.