We’ve all listened to an audiobook, but did you know Siri can read a book to you? Actually, s/he can read any text to you, and it’s super easy to take advantage of.
“He who teaches himself has a fool for a master” –Ben Franklin
Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech and turn on Speak Screen. Now you can go to iBooks/Kindle/Your Local Library App, open the book you’d like to have narrated, and, using two fingers together, slide down from the top of the screen, like you’re accessing your notifications but with two fingers together. I do notice a small lag at the page turns, so I usually shrink the text as small as possible so there are fewer page turns.
And to make matters even better, you do not have to keep the book as the active application. You can change apps and Siri will continue reading. I love backgrounding the reading while I’m driving or at home cleaning.
If you need to change the speed of the speech, there is a small, somewhat translucent > button on the left of the screen while Siri is speaking. If you tap it, you can speed up with the 🐇, or slow down with the 🐢. You’ll also notice a ⏮ and ⏭ button in the > menu. I use these on webpages mainly to jump over headers and title bars, but they can also be handy if you’re trying to scan through reading material without hearing everything.
I used Siri to read the CA DMV Motorcycle manual, and I felt like Trinity from The Matrix when she learned how to fly the helicopter. Grab your earbud and start packing some of your spare time with the wide world of human self reflection.
Featured image by: Aaron Burden