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Cheat sheet on VoiceOver gestures for iOS

Learn to test accessibility in your iOS applications with VoiceOver.

08 Aug 2022 · 2 min read

As we established in this guide on accessibility for SwiftUI, the Accessibility Inspector is really helpful during development, but doesn't replace testing accessibility with VoiceOver on a real device.

When we turn VoiceOver on, the standard gestures have different effects, and additional gestures let us navigate through the app and control items.

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Activating the VoiceOver shortcut

To be able to quickly switch VoiceOver on and off, we can activate a shortcut on the iOS device by selecting Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > VoiceOver.

It enables us to switch VoiceOver on and off by triple-clicking the device’s side button. That's really useful, especially when testing only certain parts of the app, we can quickly switch back and forth.

Frequently used VoiceOver gestures

After turning VoiceOver on, we can use the following gestures to navigate and take actions:

  • Drag the finger over the screen to explore items on the screen, VoiceOver will name each touched item.
  • Tap or touch an item to select it and let VoiceOver name it.
  • Swipe right or left to select the next or previous item.
  • Two-finger swipe up or down to let VoiceOver speak the entire screen from the top or from the selected item.
  • Two-finger tap to pause or continue speaking.
  • Three-finger swipe down, up, right or left to scroll.
  • Double tap to activate a selected item.

The listed gestured are sufficient to test most features. For more advanced gestures, check out Apple's official VoiceOver gestures guide.

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Using Proxyman to inspect network traffic
Proxyman is a native debugging proxy that can act as a man-in-the-middle between your application and web server. You can use its powerful toolkit to inspect network calls and debug your application on Mac, iOS Simulator, or remote devices effortlessly.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE

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