Why Can't Siri Read?

Why Can't Siri Read?

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: unsplash-logoAaron Burden


About Will Puckett

A 20 year veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area, Will Puckett is an author, artist, and guide. He enjoys styling CSS, and helping friends move furniture. When not parked in front of his iPad, he rescues, restores and rides bikes. Will has been lucky enough to take long rides on both coasts of the United States, and encourages people to explore the world by bike. He tries to lay in his hammock as much as possible reading and planning his future container home, but does enjoy periodically escaping to skate. And of course ice cream.