Your iPhone has a hidden feature that will read text out loud to you

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Your iPhone has a hidden feature that will read text out loud to you
Image Credit: Alex Sadler
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If you’re ever driving, running or in some other situation where you can’t look at your phone long enough to read an article or any other type of text, there’s a hidden feature that will totally change your life.

Hidden iPhone feature reads text to you out loud

Since the radio in my car stopped working — and it’s not worth the money to fix whatever it is that causes the fuze to continue to blow — I’ve had to find other ways to entertain myself on the road.

I have my list of podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis, but sometimes I just want to get caught up on the news of the day. And since I can’t read while I drive, I just use the “Speak Selection” tool on my iPhone that reads the articles to me out loud.

How it works and how to set it up

The feature has been around since iOS 5, but it comes automatically disabled, so most people don’t even realize it’s there. Once you enable it on your iPhone or iPad, the tool can read pretty much any text out loud.

Finding the feature isn’t very intuitive, but it only takes a few taps.

Follow these steps to enable the tool:

  • Settings
  • General
  • Accessibility
  • Speech
  • Turn “Speak Selection” on (it should currently be disabled).

Then any time you want your phone to read something aloud, use two fingers to swipe down at the top of the screen.

Siri will then start reading to you as a menu bar pops up, which allows you to pause and play as you wish. You can then hide the tool bar by tapping the “<” symbol on the top left — and tap it again to open it back up on the screen.

The speed is set to a pretty good pace, but you have the option to make it faster or slower. You can also change the voice — under the “Speech” menu, tap “Voices” to listen to the different options.

More tips & tricks:

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Alex Thomas Sadler About the author:
Alex Thomas Sadler is the Managing Editor of Clark.com and Clark Howard Digital Products. Alex is also the host of Common Cents, a new Clark.com series that makes money simple, so you can better understand and take control of your own financial life. Alex graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor's degrees in ...Read more
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