How to customize announcements and hints for VoiceOver on Mac

VoiceOver Utility Announcements

One of the features of VoiceOver on Mac is the ability to hear announcements spoken to you. This can include everything from when a system dialog box displays to when you enable caps lock. In addition, you can hear hints like when an item has a Help tag.

Luckily, you can customize what you want to hear and how you want to hear it in just a few clicks. Here are the options for announcements and hints using VoiceOver on your Mac.

How to add your own pronunciations on iPhone and iPad

Accessibility Pronunciation Replacement Replacement Screen on iPhone

When it comes to using the accessibility features on iPhone and iPad, there are times when you need to make some tweaks. For spoken content it could be the speaking rate or the voice you hear. With this, have there ever been times when things didn’t sound quite right?

A great example is if you have one of those family names that no one seems to pronounce correctly. I’ve been there and it can be annoying.

Luckily, you can fix this on your iPhone and iPad with custom pronunciations. If there’s a word or phrase that you want to hear spoken a specific way, you can add it to your device and from then on, hear it pronounced the way you want. Here’s how to add your own pronunciations on iOS.

How to receive typing feedback on iPhone and iPad

Typing Feedback Options on iPhone

Accessibility features on iPhone and iPad can be extremely helpful to those with hearing or vision impairments. And whether you need extra help for a short time or permanently, Apple gives you easy ways to enable and disable these features.

So if you or a family member are currently having an issue with vision, you can get extra help when  typing. With the Typing Feedback feature on iPhone and iPad, you can hear characters, words, and even the text predictions spoken to you as you type. If this feature is new to you and you want to try it out or set it up for a loved one to use, here’s how.

How to have your Mac announce alerts and speak text

Mac Accessibility Speech Features

You may not have a reason to browse through the Accessibility features on your Mac. But this means you are missing out on some great features that can be helpful to anyone.

A few of these useful features are in the Speech area of the Accessibility settings. With just a few adjustments, you can have your Mac announce alerts and speak text. Spoken alerts are super handy for grabbing your attention when you’re hard at work and spoken text can help you spot errors or get pronunciations.

If you want to give these accessibility features a try, here’s how to have your Mac announce alerts and speak text.

Head of Apple’s speech team explains how Siri learns new languages

Just how exactly does Siri learn a new language? In today's interview with Reuters, Apple's speech team head Alex Acero offered a behind-the-scenes look at how Siri is being taught new languages, a process that involves script-writing, capturing voices in multiple accents and dialects and using machine learning and artificial intelligence to build and evolve new language models over time. The system requires a team of people tasked with reading passages of manually transcribed text.

Before actually updating Siri, Apple first rolls out Dictation support for a new language.

Siri currently speaks 21 languages in 36 countries. By comparison, Microsoft's Cortana supports eight languages tailored for thirteen countries, Google Assistant speaks four languages while Amazon's Alexa works only in English and German.

How to convert text into a spoken iTunes track on Mac

Whenever you want to save a block of important text to your Mac, you probably copy and paste it into the Notes app or into a text editor to save it as a text document. But, did you know you could save any body of text on your Mac as a spoken iTunes track instead?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to convert any highlighted body of text into a spoken iTunes audio track.

How to make your Mac speak with a simple Terminal command

Make Mac's Terminal speak anything you want

It's possible to force your Mac to say anything you want with a simple command line from the Terminal app. Not only does this allow for some good old-fashioned fun, but it can even come in handy depending on the situation.

In this short tutorial, we'll show you how to make your Mac speak whatever you want it to.