Kindle for iOSKindle for iOS received a major update yesterday, allowing it to work with the VoiceOver features of the iPhone and iPad.

This is a good thing for the blind and visually impaired. It also has application for sighted readers who don’t mind computer text-to-speech voices and want to listen to their books on the go.

I tested it out for a bit. VoiceOver takes some getting used to, if you’ve never used it. I had to relearn most of the ways I interact with my iPad, but I finally figured it out well enough to get my Kindle app reading to me.

If you’ve ever used text-to-speech (TTS), you already know that it will never replace a human reader, and this experience was about what I expected. VoiceOver is a pretty robotic voice, and it’s nothing like Ivona for the Android. However, it worked well enough. I compared it to Text to Speech on my Kindle Touch, and I prefer the Kindle’s voice, but they were close.

There were some enhancement to the “Before You Go” feature, which I never use. They also included an additional font selection for Japan.

The other enhancements were minor, but if you’re willing to learn a new interface and like having your books read to you, this is an update to grab quickly.

* This post originally appeared on GadgeTell, a TeleRead sister site


  1. If you configure ‘three-click’ setting to toggle VoiceOver, you can turn VO on by triple-clicking the Home button when you want the TTS-ish experience and turn it off when you are done. That way you don’t have navigate back to Settings to turn it on and off.

    To do this, go to Settings/General/Accessibility/Three-Click , set to VoiceOver (default is off).

  2. If all you want from VoiceOver is TTS-like functionality on demand, configure the ‘3 click’ (home button) setting to toggle VoiceOver: Settings/General/Accessibility/Three-Click–>VoiceOver.

    Then when you want text read to you, triple click the home button to go to VO mode, and 2-finger drag will start continuous reading. Triple click Home to exit VO mode.

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